What could be worse when you search for information on Google Search, and the results list directs you to all sorts of sites where the information you want is obscurely referenced within text that you should spend most of your time reading completely.
The problem has long been understood by news site administrators. Simply put, material that is too long tends to be ignored, with readers preferring versions that deliver condensed information in a somewhat more “digestible” format. Alternatively, too short a story can be unconvincing, negating the desired effect.
According to Google, the ideal reading time of a news story should be 5 minutes or less, with any longer than this hitting the limited concentration horizon of readers, beyond which attention can be distracted and captured from other “sources”. In an attempt to address this problem, Google has reserved the label “Quick Read”, applicable to any Google Search link that leads to a website where relevant information can be discovered in 5 minutes or less.
Unfortunately, as is often the case, Google’s initiative to draw an unofficial definition for material that is too short or too long to be taken seriously could lead to distortion of the list of search results displayed. Thus, it would be no exaggeration that web pages with a read time of around 5 minutes will now be preferred on Google Search, with the platform’s algorithms again influencing the format of web content on the grounds that visibility on Google Search is more important than the content itself.