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Last post Author Topic: What the heck has happened to Google search?  (Read 19459 times)

Carol Haynes

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What the heck has happened to Google search?
« on: June 12, 2010, 08:16:17 AM »
Is it just me or is the new Google search simply broken?

It has been increasingly frustrating for a long time that it is difficult to find anything relevant because of SEO kiddies bunging up the top spots (yes I know there is another thread) but since the "new" google started appearing search results have become totally useless.

Almost everything now seems to be pretty much irrelevant to the search items.

What is going on?

Josh

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Re: What the heck has happened to Google search?
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2010, 08:24:10 AM »
Every one of my search results has had the result I am looking for in the top 3 depending on search terms used, usually the first is what I require. No change noticed here.

Paul Keith

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Re: What the heck has happened to Google search?
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2010, 08:47:37 AM »
Sorry if this sounds impolite (not trying to act like an unnoficial mod but this recent topic seems too similar to not refer to):

Has SEO ruined the Web?

Edit: Sorry missed this section of the post: (yes I know there is another thread)


zridling

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Re: What the heck has happened to Google search?
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2010, 08:56:04 AM »
Fine for me, but they did change their results page format recently to include photos, video, maps, and as many Google services as needed on one page. The FIFA info alone is invaluable this month.

http://www.google.co...gs_rfai=&prmdo=1

iphigenie

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Re: What the heck has happened to Google search?
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2010, 09:00:14 AM »
My personal interpretation - which I built when I was involved for 18 months with a semantic search project and spent time thinking about how to achieve results that are a)relevant b)diverse c)of the right granularity (i.e. not too general or too specific for the precision of the query) - is that Google results were actually pretty bad on a lot of these measures but rescued by familiarity

i.e. they were mostly perceived as good because people "knew" that Google was the best there is, were familiar with its result sets, and had acquired habits to "correct" for bad results. In a way almost everyone has acquired forms of Google auto-correction...

If you asked people what they wanted of a search engine, and asked them to rate result sets on paper lists, what you would find is that google is pretty poor at what people say they want. But they are used to it, and their way of searching has been moulded by it. Put them in front of a better engine and these habits backfire, as people search in a google way

All these habits don't transfer to another engine if it improves on Google too much and takes it out of "familiarity" and all of which means any new search engine will be perceived as worse compared to Google, even if it is better on paper (clustering,  relevance etc.) if it changes the experience enough.

For one, if you showed results of one search engine in the "look" of another, it affected the reported quality of the results :)

But this problem also applies to google themselves, as soon as they change too much, the familiarity auto-correction disappears and you notice that the results are noise.

For me, the only way I got good results out of google was the country filtering, but that has been removed. Well, it is still there somewhere but it doesnt work anymore. And I get LOTS of crap especially when searching for a UK source of a product, most of the links are US nonetheless :( That really has gotten measurably worse with the changes
« Last Edit: June 12, 2010, 09:02:31 AM by iphigenie »

Innuendo

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Re: What the heck has happened to Google search?
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2010, 09:17:01 AM »
Put them in front of a better engine and these habits backfire, as people search in a google way

And what engine would you be putting them in front of?

Paul Keith

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Re: What the heck has happened to Google search?
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2010, 01:12:55 PM »
My personal interpretation

This is not always true. I don't know how to determine content and what specific categories are being compared to but I personally feel Diigo + Google's sidebar, SocialMentions' Matrix, Mahalo's Article meets Twitter, Diigo's drop down show several contents of highlights and Google with Twitter Search Results on Google greasemonkey script are some of the few things that beat out default Google.

Problem is, Google is very built in. It almost feels like a native app.

To paraphrase an ICarly joke:

What's the default search engine on your browser? Google.com

What does Google Reader remind you of when you check your RSS feeds? Google.com

What does Google Docs remind you of when you browse your documents? Google.com

What does Gmail remind you of when you browse your e-mail? Google.com

What is one of the fastest alternative at getting to a Wikipedia article if you're too lazy to type the full site? Google.com

What do most privacy conscious alternative search engines steal their results from the most? Google.com

Obviously power users can fix this but Google is just shy of Twitter as far as avoiding it's influence.

All other search engines either try to be aggregators or search engines, if you use at least one other non-Google search engine service, it's almost impossible to not just settle for Google on quick searches. It doesn't hurt that the term is ingrained as a verb.

The more you avoid Google, the more you'll just get annoyed at people telling you to Google it. Even if you avoid everything Google, topics like this still make you want to click on Google just to "verify" the claim.

It doesn't hurt that eventually you'll still find quick search results to be much more comfortable on Google and in-depth results too as they have the biggest content and the most active ranking changes.

For the most part, other search engines are only best if it's middle ground filtering. I love the way Clusty's filtering works and Yahoo has a better way of searching for CC'd images. 

Deozaan

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Re: What the heck has happened to Google search?
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2010, 08:10:49 PM »
What I hate is how website somehow dynamically create pages that are indexed by Google search results.

For example (entirely hypothetical), if I type in "Brother MFC-7840W Driver Suite" I get a website something like:

somewebsite.com/brother-mfc-7840W-driver-suite/

That just lists a bunch of keywords (usually not even the ones in my search!) in a tag cloud and a bunch of advertisements. How do these pages even get indexed by Google when (it seems to me) they are just created dynamically on the fly?


MilesAhead

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Re: What the heck has happened to Google search?
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2010, 08:47:29 PM »
I don't particularly have anything against google. But it has replaced the verb "to search" using a web based engine.  If for no other reasons than nostalgia and breaking a habit, I have AltaVista set as my default search engine.  In (I know it's a bit ironic) Google Chrome, I have it set to use google if I preface the search with the keyword 'g'.  It took me a couple of days to get used to the look of AltaVista results.  There is some ad infiltration but not as pronounced as google results it seems.

Also I get fewer of those pages with a bunch of keywords and no content.  But I can't give you any numbers.  The results just feel less tainted.

« Last Edit: June 12, 2010, 08:50:22 PM by MilesAhead »

Paul Keith

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Re: What the heck has happened to Google search?
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2010, 06:53:50 PM »
Google's MayDay Algorithmn:

http://searchenginel...g-tail-traffic-43054

Quote
I asked Google for more specifics and they told me that it was a rankings change, not a crawling or indexing change, which seems to imply that sites getting less traffic still have their pages indexed, but some of those pages are no longer ranking as highly as before. Based on Matt’s comment, this change impacts “long tail” traffic, which generally is from longer queries that few people search for individually, but in aggregate can provide a large percentage of traffic.

Quote
Michael Martinez, May 28th, 2010 at 2:03 pm ET:

“The bottom line is, does it remove search engine spam?”

Almost certainly. But that is still just one escalation in an ever-escalating war between search engineering and search spamming.

My sites’ traffic is still up, but my Google referrals do seem to be down a little. The quality of linking content may indeed be a deciding factor in more ways than one. It seems I’m getting more referral traffic from non-search sites.

Is that because of this Google change or in spite of it?

Was informed by this via a 30 Day Challenge e-mail.

Excerpt:

Quote
We all know that Google is an ever changing beast with a
thousand heads. One minute they're telling us how to
utilize Page Rank, the next minute they're telling us not
to worry about Page Rank and concentrate on quality
content, the next minute they're telling us to concentrate
on page speed, and the minute after they're telling us
that page speed is important, but also not to forget
about... Yada, Yada, Yada...

Honestly, which way are you supposed to go?!

I think the only thing we can trust from Google is that
they'll always be looking for ways to weed out the crumby
sites with crappy content and get better at serving the
quality results for the user - and they're getting pretty
damn smart at it as well.

In a recent article on Google's blog they actually came out
and said that 70% of their search results aren't served
from the keywords people are typing in, but they're affected
by *synonyms*.

Yes, you did read that correctly - 70% - THAT'S HUGE!!

Quote
However, there is another issue...

Google have again just dropped another hammer blow by making a
*permanent* change to their algorithm, code named "May Day".

The "May Day" algorithm change has basically gone and wiped out
thousands of rankings for long-tail keyword pages, which has
hit quite a few of you hard.

But as always, we have a plan!

Renegade

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Re: What the heck has happened to Google search?
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2010, 07:09:39 PM »
This is a page from Google search results: http://www.bigresource.com/Tracker/Track-ms_sql-fqOlzqVW/ (in case it gets squashed: http://www.bigresour...ack-ms_sql-fqOlzqVW/ )

Look at the header, then the body. It's EXACTLY an MSDN page ripped out -- stolen. Pathetic that sort of crap makes it into Google SERPs.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

clif_notes

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Re: What the heck has happened to Google search?
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2010, 12:09:28 AM »
I don't use Google as my default web search anymore. I got tired of a couple things:

1. Ads ads and more ads
2. Sponsored results
3. Tracking of your queries
4. Ability of others to see your queries on non-private netorks

I use Scroogle SSL now as the default. It's easy to change your default in the Chrome or Opera browser, not as easy in Firefox but there is an addon.

http://scroogle.org

I've written some helpful posts about using Scroogle if you're interested:

1. Remove Ads from Google Search Results in Chrome
http://techie-buzz.c...h-ads-in-chrome.html

2. Google, Bing and Yahoo Site Search Bookmarklet
http://techie-buzz.c...tor-bookmarklet.html

3. Add Right Click Search to Chrome Browser
http://techie-buzz.c...-chrome-browser.html

4. Add Right Click Search Menu to Internet Explorer
http://techie-buzz.c...ternet-explorer.html

Devoted to promoting freeware and free information

allen

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Re: What the heck has happened to Google search?
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2010, 02:19:15 AM »
had acquired habits to "correct" for bad results. In a way almost everyone has acquired forms of Google auto-correction...

You say that as if it's a bad thing . . .

I mean, no tool is or ever has been perfect -- I doubt any tool ever will.  In ever walk of life, expertise is judged not by the tools used but by the results one can achieve with them.

While google isn't my primary search engine these days, it's still where I go when I've got a difficult search at hand. I quite firmly believe that, if nothing else, they have the best spidering and content database on the web. I seriously doubt there's anything that can be found elsewhere that can't be found with Google.

To the original question, I guess I cannot confirm/agree. . . it still serves me well enough. Admittedly when I query google it's generally a fairly lengthy query and one oozing with "familiarity" and "correcting habits".

MilesAhead

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Re: What the heck has happened to Google search?
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2010, 05:25:22 PM »
@clif_notes I'm liking scroogle already!!  It's weird to see a results page without all the clutter. :)


Carol Haynes

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Re: What the heck has happened to Google search?
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2010, 06:55:50 AM »
Hi thanks for the scroogle link - I am liking what I see.

For Firefox there are a variety of search plugins (which restrict regional content) - is there any way to craft the URL for scroogle to restrict say to the UK?

Update - figured it out - easy to do just add " site:.uk" (without quotes) to the URL being set up as a default search engine or to the search term in the Scroogle page.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2010, 07:03:20 AM by Carol Haynes »

Gothi[c]

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Re: What the heck has happened to Google search?
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2010, 08:51:45 AM »
I like scroogle.

Another alternative I use is startpage https ( https://startpage.com ) which doesn't even log IP's (though it does have ads  :huh: ).

What I miss on both of them is the calculator features :)



kyrathaba

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Re: What the heck has happened to Google search?
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2010, 06:47:35 PM »
An alternative search engine, Blekko, has been launched, which purports to eliminate the spam found in Google search results.

My bad: just saw where mouser beat me to the punch in another post ;)
« Last Edit: November 01, 2010, 07:22:50 PM by kyrathaba »

Renegade

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Re: What the heck has happened to Google search?
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2010, 08:21:40 PM »
An alternative search engine, Blekko, has been launched, which purports to eliminate the spam found in Google search results.

My bad: just saw where mouser beat me to the punch in another post ;)

Just checked out the Blekko video. In a few words... F*** ME, THAT'S COOL~!

From the site:

Quote
web search bill of rights
1.    Search shall be open
2.    Search results shall involve people
3.    Ranking data shall not be kept secret
4.    Web data shall be readily available
5.    There is no one-size-fits-all for search
6.    Advanced search shall be accessible
7.    Search engine tools shall be open to all
8.    Search & community go hand-in-hand
9.    Spam does not belong in search results
10.    Privacy of searchers shall not be violated

The first thing I noticed was that Robert Scobel and Danny Sullivan were on the front page. This could be a very good thing, as it obviously has some heavy-weights behind it.

Anyways, it looks very interesting, and I'll be using it over the next while as it seems to address some limitations that have been frustrations for me when searching.

I can see some clear limitations as well in there with some slash tags requiring human editing, but still, it's looking good.
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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Carol Haynes

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Re: What the heck has happened to Google search?
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2010, 04:56:21 AM »
I have swapped to Blekko for a trial period - looks promising and hopefully they can resist the onslaught.

I suppose the test will come in months to come when the 'hand picked' nature of the websites included in results start to be manipulated to get higher ratings, then we shall see if the hand picking is revisited regularly.

mouser

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Re: What the heck has happened to Google search?
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2010, 12:46:42 PM »
Blekko discussion on this thread please: http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=24420.0

J-Mac

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Re: What the heck has happened to Google search?
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2010, 01:33:34 PM »
OK, another complaint about Google Search:

I don’t mind the auto-complete drop-down search term suggestions; they are sometimes useful, saving me a bit of typing if the terms I was going to use are there...

I don’t mind (too much) the spelling correction drop-downs; these mostly occur for me if I am changing the search terms of an existing search and the space between two words is deleted - Google suggests putting the space back in before I get a chance to do so... I usually just ignore those.

But now Google decides that I have misspelled some search words and silently "corrects" it for me! Aaarrgghh!! An example is shown below:

[attachthumb=#1][/attachthumb]

Why do they assume that they know what I want more than I do?!?

I can't find a setting to disable this; just have to be more vigilant.

Thanks!

Jim

Bamse

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Re: What the heck has happened to Google search?
« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2010, 01:51:56 PM »
Does not work that way in all languages so they are testing again :) Do we sense a buzz or not?

I think left sidebar is best thing ever since it tells people who think Google is a phonebook that there is more to it. Make an effort in search terms etc. or get generic noise, up to you. Helps a bit with Advanced search page but how many can be botered? All automated/intelligence stuff is crap and only encourage lazyness and more of the same thinking/searching/results. Making use of ones web history is ok though. Instant search and this auto approved suggestion is not good.

sajman99

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Re: What the heck has happened to Google search?
« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2011, 01:11:47 PM »
Anyone notice that Google seems to have rediscovered DonationCoder?

Many of my searches are related to software, and for the longest time Google seemed blisfully unaware of this very forum. :huh:
Just lately the DC results are there, as of course they should be. 8)

mahesh2k

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Re: What the heck has happened to Google search?
« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2011, 03:44:08 PM »
That's because mouser re-indexed the robots.txt in webmaster tools section.

tomos

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Re: What the heck has happened to Google search?
« Reply #24 on: April 11, 2011, 03:46:57 PM »
Anyone notice that Google seems to have rediscovered DonationCoder?

Many of my searches are related to software, and for the longest time Google seemed blisfully unaware of this very forum. :huh:
Just lately the DC results are there, as of course they should be. 8)

from about this post on - For what it's worth, DC Homepage is now google PageRank 6 there's some info about it
Tom