Less relevance in Google’s search results – Decline in Search Quality

Decline in Google’s Search Quality

I have been using Google for at least the last decade or so and have been quite happy with their service but in the last year or two I have seen a noticeable decline in the relevance of the search results returned. I don’t know whether this is because people have worked out how to spam the Google search engine or whether some of the returned results are just paying for their listing to be higher. Regardless of the reasons the net result is that the search results coming back from Google are less relevant and in my office we have come to the same conclusion independently and some have told me that they have set their default search engine to DuckDuckGo and even Bing.

For instance, there is a building in Hong Kong called “Asia Trade Centre” so I go to Google and search for “Asia Trade Centre Hong Kong” – I click on the first result and see this:-

irrelevant google search results
irrelevant google search results

And then at the bottom of the page:-

more irrelevant search results on google
more irrelevant search results on google

When I first clicked on the above link, the whole page turned black and then paused and then I was forwarded to the above page which has no relevant information about the building I’m searching for, no pictures, no description, etc. just a title and an address and in the footer I see a list of spammy keywords of building names that are completely irrelevant to what I’m searching for. So I guess this must be a site that knows how to spam Google and also on the search results it showed that 481 people had reviewed this building which is not true because when I clicked in there was not a single review:-

false information on Google
false information on Google

Secondly, the whole page showed nothing useful (my screen size is one of a standard Mac Air 13″)…… does the screenshot look like it could be a page that contains information that could be of interest to anyone at all? I don’t know who would find a blank page with names of other buildings in the footer interesting yet it is presented by Google as the most relevant. No reivews, no photos, no information, nothing…… I didn’t see any of the purported 481 reviews on that page…..

Another link further down the page shows an SSL error on Chrome:-

irrelevant google results
irrelevant google results

When I saw the aboveI clicked away immediately; but why show these insecure pages within the 1st page of the search results?

And then about 5th result I get a link going “Asian Trade Centre” – “Asian” not “Asia” so Google probably thinks that I spelt the word incorrectly BUT (and a big BUT) I click into the link and get the following:-

relevant or not - google's search results
relevant or not – google’s search results


google's demise in search results
google’s demise in search results

I explicitly searched for “Hong Kong” in my search results and this link is to Asian Trade Centre not Asia Trade Centre. The page not only doesn’t contain the words “Asia Trade Centre” within the entire page it doesn’t even contain the words “Hong Kong” which was absolutely pertinent to what I was looking for – so why has Google returned this completely irrelevant result on the 1st page? It is so irrelevant that I am surprised it even came up. Did Google think that I was wrong to add “hong kong” to my search results? Is Google telling me what I should be searching?

Then there are 3 results from one site and then I click into it and get this:-

3 results from same site - 1st page google3 results from same site - 1st page google
3 results from same site – 1st page google

and then I click into the page to find blanks, empty graphs, a google map on the first screen and nothing of real interest:-

empty results - google's search
empty results – google’s search

The 9th result is Yelp (yelp.com.hk) which is a complete waste of time; nothing on the page is of any interest to me yet its within the 10 search results – 80% of the page is a generic holding page:-

yelp is a complete waste of time
yelp is a complete waste of time

“Claim This Business” is a complete waste of time. The whole page has about 5% of the space allocated to information that I am looking for which is the address everything else is useless but the  Google search results page already gave me the address of the building so this page has given me nothing new. So why is it presented at all? Why waste my precious time with useless pages?

By the 10th result, I’m getting a result that is of interest me, e.g. (floor plans, pictures of the building, address, sales listings, rental listings, etc) but still it lacks a lot of information that I’m interested in e.g. past sales and rental transactions, nearby buildings, building age, etc. but at least it is starting to get relevant.

some relevant by the 10th result
some relevant by the 10th result

Can anyone explain what is going on with Google and why they are losing the plot in such a massive way?

You can see for yourself the level of abundantly irrelevant search results on this link:-


In Google’s defence there was one or maybe two relevant results within the top 10 results such as this one but one or two out of 10 is not exactly very good:-

one relevant result on google's top page
one relevant result on google’s top page

I found that some of the more relevant pages were on page 3, 4 and 5 but interlaced with more irrelevant results.

Anyways, I am starting to investigate the use of other search results and have so far found https://www.duckduckgo.com/ to be quite good as I am not too happy with Google’s service any more.