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Did Google search get worse?

It's been a while now that for a few searches Google doesn't seem to provide me with the best results.

For example when I search for "best places to stay" I'm looking for locations to stay, and first-hand experiences like travelers, locals, or expats living there.
But the first pages are all about Agoda, Booking, Hotels.com.

I also noticed that researches are very high up in the results.

As an example, a search for "hypergamy":

I know that Google sought to prioritize "high authority" pages and website.

Yet, this seems to go beyond that and serve direct links to papers.
And I'm not convinced that most people are looking for a research paper when looking for results.

Anyone's had a similar experience?

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Pretty normal to me:

Those are weird results as you seem to be using Incognito.

Thank you, Matthew!

The "Incognito" window is the golden standard of checking for SEO because, supposedly, you're not being served results based on your browsing history (and I suspected I was being served papers because I search them more often than the average).

But now I realize that an "blank slate" search is no solution, because there is no blank slate. Every user a history and a personalized experience.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
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