A less artificial future
For the longest time, people were responsible for creating content for the web. And, in an ideal world, search engines were the tools to help you discover said content. Then money got involved, people started tweaking their content in order to win the SEO game and rank higher and higher, and quickly the web become the cesspool that it is now. You can't trust the first 10 or 20 results for any given search because you constantly land on some garbage website. This is the state with just people writing content.
But things are about to change—for the worse—and become a lot more messy because finally, FINALLY, we have not only people writing garbage content but also bots. You might have read about or even tried these new fancy AI powered chat bots and discovered what they're capable of. And you can bet that marketing people are salivating at the idea of deploying these tools to pump out even more SEO optimised content, AKA fucking garbage. Good luck finding quality content.
There must be a solution to this problem right? Well, maybe. I'm not so sure. People right now are getting some luck by searching directly on a reduced subset of the web (they search on Reddit) with the assumption (hope?) that at least there the content is authentic and genuinely written by human beings with good intentions. I'm sure that's also going to end real fast.
In my opinion, there are only two solutions to this problem. The first, is to ditch Google and use some other search engine. Brave is apparently building its own index and Kagi is an interesting experiment because they're going down the premium route. Maybe they'll care more about quality content.
The second option is to rely less on search engines and more on human curation and human networks. Rather than searching for a product recommendation, search for people with knowledge and ask for their opinion. Make connections. And also, if you have the tools and the time, try making content worth consuming. Create, curate, share and interact with others. As a human.