Could Google, insert GASP, Be Wrong?

One of the biggest misconceptions that has become ingrained in the public consciousness is that Google, you know that large search engine, is always accurate AND is the best source of information on where to travel and stay when RVing or camping. This notion breeds from the original idea, perpetuated by Google in their early years when word of mouth spread like fire, suggesting that Google is the best search engine around. While this statement may be true it is, at the same time, a loaded suggestion belying the fact that the competing search engines were pretty darn bad at the time.

Over the last 15 years Google has further extended their dominant hold on the search market to the point that people simply “Google it” to find whatever “it” may be.

Unfortunately this concept ignores the reality that Google has muddled their dominant position by downgrading quality information sources in exchange for their own properties. When looking for a “campground” or “rv park” in your city of choice this change in results is blatantly obvious with the local places results as found in the following example.


The above search for “RV Park in Santa Paula CA” demonstrates in stunning detail the problems so many RV and tent campers face when they look to “Google it” for their camping information. In the above example only the first two results out of seven total provide RV spaces the remainder are mobile-home communities. At this point you may discount the analysis by suggesting bias in our search criteria so we will now be a bit more specific and look for a “campground in Santa Paula CA”.


Again we find the top two results as valid locations adding in only one new potentially valid campground, “Cross Campground”, which is a primitive hike-in only campground located deep in the wilderness and not maintained by the forest service. There happen to be a couple dozen of these back country campgrounds including ones closer to Santa Paula so why Google provided this result we can only guess? Compare now the above results with the following from


The first two results have stayed the same while all the remaining have changed. Of particular interest in this example is item number three “Steckel Park River View Campground”. This county run location is nearly adjacent to the KOA location, provides paved full hookup RV sites and tent camping sites all while maintaining a physical address within the “Santa Paula” search area. How come Google completely overlooked this location in their results? Why are results so much different?

The answer to the first question is sort of found in the answer to the second; because went “old school” with the directory. Rather than rely on algorithms and computers we relied upon human editors and good ole’ fashioned hard work to create a human edited and maintained list of campgrounds and RV parks in the United States. Is it perfect? No. Is it more accurate than Google? Absolutely yes.

The next time you look to find a place to stay during your RV or tent travels may we suggest that you “campgroundview it”? Come along and Share the Adventure at!

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