Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

Google's Page: Our search was pretty bad five years ago

Speaking at his company's Zeitgeist conference, Google's CEO dings his own search platform. He did say, however, that search is better now.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read

Google CEO Larry Page has taken aim at his own company's search platform.

Speaking at his company's Zeitgeist conference this week in the U.K., Page acknowledged that about five years ago, Google Search was not operating as well as it could have, news site TechRadar reported. But since then, Page said, his company has made it much better.

"I think if you used Google five years ago you'd be astounded by how bad it is, or how bad it was right?" Page asked during the conference, according to TechRadar. "And you know search has got a lot better."

Google last year acknowledged that its search wasn't necessarily delivering the best results. The issue resulted from search engine optimizers finding a way to game the platform by making low-quality content more visible. In response, Google launched its Panda algorithm to cut down on the number of low-quality sites gaining placement.

According to Page, search is very much a work in progress, and his company is making changes to its platform each day. However, the changes tend to be slight, so the company doesn't "distract" users.

But that's not always the case. Last week, for example, Google launched the Knowledge Graph, a database of 500 million people, places, and things that culls factoids and presents them aside search results. The change is designed to give people more information. Some wonder if it might steal traffic from destination sites that house that data, but Google asserts it will do quite the opposite.

"We found that by doing better information summaries, the vast majority of the time people don't just get facts and walk away," Jack Menzel, product management director of search at Google, told CNET last week. "Actually, it entices them to go a little deeper. And now they have the time for it since their research was faster."