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Last post Author Topic: Link: Why Google does not qualify for searching the web anymore  (Read 4524 times)

Tuxman

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Link: Why Google does not qualify for searching the web anymore
« on: January 06, 2011, 11:52:33 PM »
Marco Arment wrote:

Quote
Now, massive amounts of technically-not-spam sites are generated by penny-hungry affiliate marketers and sleazy web “content” startups to target long-tail Google queries en masse, scraping content from others or paying low-wage workers to churn out formulaic, minimally nutritious pages to answer them.

Searching Google is now like asking a question in a crowded flea market of hungry, desperate, sleazy salesmen who all claim to have the answer to every question you ask.

(...)

And none of them actually know a damn thing about what you’re asking, of course — they’re just offering meaningless, valueless words that seem to form sentences until you actually try to make use of them.

They call this “content”. But it’s not, really — it’s filler. And by a more common-sense definition, it’s spam. But Google either doesn’t think so, or is so overwhelmed by its volume that it has seemingly stopped trying to keep it under control.

Well, thank you, Web 2.0 with your "user-generated" mindfuck.

Although I wonder why other search engines (cough, Yippy, cough) don't have such a massive spam problem, in fact we should all consider the consequences. What could be an efficient way to filter our very own web experience?

Just a thought.

Stephen66515

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Re: Link: Why Google does not qualify for searching the web anymore
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2011, 11:59:32 PM »
What could be an efficient way to filter our very own web experience?

Just a thought.

Making your own search engine, running on its own code, nothing re-used :) - That way, YOU filter what content appears.

(Im speaking in general terms, not just aiming at you Tux)  :Thmbsup:

Tuxman

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Re: Link: Why Google does not qualify for searching the web anymore
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2011, 12:05:57 AM »
I could use YaCy for that, but I'm not speaking about search engines here but about the splog market.

Renegade

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Re: Link: Why Google does not qualify for searching the web anymore
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2011, 12:21:55 AM »
Well, thank you, Web 2.0 with your "user-generated" mindfuck.

:D Pretty much.

Google has every reason to serve up shit because shit serves Google ads.
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nudone

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Re: Link: Why Google does not qualify for searching the web anymore
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2011, 01:42:31 AM »
You know how we can filter stuff with Adblock plus (or whatever you may use), is there something similar that could be done with google search results - like a blacklist of "splog" (good word) sites?

These sites must be well known and there must be enough interest to keep a compiled list going.

Or is this the kind of feature already built in to something like copernic?

Tuxman

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Re: Link: Why Google does not qualify for searching the web anymore
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2011, 01:46:00 AM »
These sites change their domains and contents quite twice a day. Once they are reported, they have a new name again and again and again. Seems to be a good business.

nudone

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Re: Link: Why Google does not qualify for searching the web anymore
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2011, 01:49:17 AM »
oh dear. i didn't realise that. that is terrible. what a load of b*stards.

Renegade

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Re: Link: Why Google does not qualify for searching the web anymore
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2011, 02:01:37 AM »
oh dear. i didn't realise that. that is terrible. what a load of b*stards.

It's worse. They're big, rich b*stards.

The level of complexity to a lot of them is astounding.
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timns

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Re: Link: Why Google does not qualify for searching the web anymore
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2011, 04:43:12 PM »
Hence something like a voting-powered search engine is handy. Problem for me is that I can never remember the name of any of the stupid things.

Josh

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Re: Link: Why Google does not qualify for searching the web anymore
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2011, 04:49:16 PM »
Voting would not work. There would be sweatshops dedicated to "voting" a link up/down depending on the desired outcome.

Bamse

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Re: Link: Why Google does not qualify for searching the web anymore
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2011, 01:53:45 PM »
Once again I am amazed by all that trust in own search methodes (unknown here but they seem to be naive) and in Googles ability to deliver personal satisfying answers to everyone, 24/7. May be a better question is how do you research a question? Bookmarks based on past experience etc. will be part of that. In 2011 I would have hoped such an internet veteran would be above and beyond ehow via bookmarks. I think internet/marketing moves a lot faster than most peoples minds. He can use Google with simple keyword searching of course but why act shocked result is not click, click optimal for him?

Google accepts just about every crappy site for their ad-show so that alone should be a hint they are not a phone book you look up in. Those sites are not noise but business partners and  money usually rules. May be there is a battle going on at Googles house where index people are sticking tung out at ad-dep :)

Nobody seem to evaluate what Google does to help users limit noise. How much does a web history help? How much does left sidebar (mini version of advanced search page)? What about the new link at bottom of page, "Search within results"? Impact of announcing location? Timeline, Wonderwheel? I think it is pretty obvious Google knows defaults results are no more than an address bar why they make it a feature via Instant Search - now also the fresh Google Toolbar from yesterday, say goodby to the old one, now all Google Chrome FRAME ;) Hardcore research demands much more than simple word searching. Understandable why Google is very slow and conservative when making changes to the very fast google.com page but that is where critique should be focused anyway. Requires more than whining.

Another point of view is internet has ALWAYS been full of noise, crap, copy-writing crap, attempts to get on top of any list, not just Googles. There is nothing new in crying about noise. Kind of stupid really - and old in 2011 I think. I would never ever expect perfect results even when doing an advanced search. Did not do that when using Netscape on dial up either. Where does all that trust come from? I expect usable results for further research and that is what I get. How educated people can be so dumb I don't know. Or they are not but just want attention but must accept what is written! Google has not changed anything, just made it more clear how people act and through ads they indirectly encourage a certain way of shouting which is common in modern age. How they make their money.

If anyone is interested look up Jason Calacanis through thisweekin.com I am too lazy to wade through all those videos but he had a serie where people could call in and was encourged to kind of roast him, take him on. I saw one of those where a dude, also in SEO business (for big ISP company if I remember correctly), complained about Calacanis circus and said Google put a blind eye on bigger sites screweing around with adding content for no other purpose than getting attention, filling up index. His main complaint about Calacanis was the obvioius misuse of delivering "content". What Google in theory and by reading any sane SEO advise should punish they reward. Calacanis agreed to some extend but also made the point that he was recognized as SEO master no. 1. He also sort of agreed about Google having different policies towards different sites, but was more like "We all know that!!) - while not looking too unhappy with himself ;) Video is probably about 1 year old now.

Not solution but another amazing experience is when you see results pages as autoloading in 2+ columns. Suddenly you are no more victim to top 10, 20, 30 and can evaluate way better. Not thanks to Google but Firefox and Greasemonkey.

About the voting which really should be a user defined block list, the opposite of Google Custom Search but same way of thinking, look up Google Sidewiki - which has now changed in to a star/Chrome thingy (as well). They are not blind or stupid. Question is how to supply the tools in a way that does not hurt business and satisfy majority - for as much as they can bothered to use them.

Tuxman

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Re: Link: Why Google does not qualify for searching the web anymore
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2011, 02:04:31 PM »
Another point of view is internet has ALWAYS been full of noise, crap, copy-writing crap, attempts to get on top of any list, not just Googles.
Early "top lists" were manually generated, so they required a certain level of worthy contents. Google's don't.

I would never ever expect perfect results even when doing an advanced search.
So you arranged with Google's inability to provide good search results. That is your fault, not theirs.

Not solution but another amazing experience is when you see results pages as autoloading in 2+ columns. Suddenly you are no more victim to top 10, 20, 30 and can evaluate way better.
You still are, but it takes less time.

Bamse

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Re: Link: Why Google does not qualify for searching the web anymore
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2011, 02:09:53 PM »
I don't accept any other definition of worthyness than my own. I expect crap regardless of "manual" claims.

And by saying I don't expect perfect results I mean it in the way your link guy seem to do. You never go in click, click mode regardless of your efforts. You evaluate! Using year old available filtering tricks, read Google Search Help, just make it more efficient and less annoying. If bookmarks (may be gigantic history of browser should be added as a bookmark type of feature) are used you can go been there, don that - I know what works and not, go away! What awareness is all about. If you ask to be a victim you will be eaten.

The fantastic trick with columns and other gadgets like preview/favicons is not only measurable but also a constant reminder that task is bigger than what Google and its fanboys (aware or not) demand it to be. There is more value in scanning 150+ hits than just having looked at more than top whatever.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2011, 02:29:27 PM by Bamse »

JavaJones

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Re: Link: Why Google does not qualify for searching the web anymore
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2011, 03:06:49 PM »
Has anyone actually done any serious, rigorous, side-by-side tests of the various up and coming search engines against Google and Bing? I've seen a Bing vs. Google "showdown" before, but that was mostly a draw, unsurprisingly. And since I like Google's UI better, it wins. I'd love to see how DuckDuckGo, Yippy, and the rest do in actual testing, with specific keywords common across all tested engines, and qualitative as well as quantitative results analysis. I suspect quite frankly that the appeal of DuckDuckGo and Yippy is not so much that they are hands-down better than Google, but that they are *not* Google, and the very fact that they're smaller makes one feel better about using them. For my part, with admittedly brief tests, I have not seen significant differences between them, much less significant advantage for Yippy or DDG.

- Oshyan

Bamse

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Re: Link: Why Google does not qualify for searching the web anymore
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2011, 01:51:49 PM »
That is like testing the weather. Too many parameters involved and besides one thing SEO dudes agree on is they change all the time. Probably also the case for Bing results. Have seen a couple of extensions for Firefox giving you a side by side result page.

People don't complain about Google not indexing enough, which would be a REAL disaster, but about spam/SEO. In some cases that seem to go against what they declare in guides on how-to set up a website, do SEO. Google allow and encourage all legit tricks but should punish those who ignore. That is the complaint. Not sure if crying about high ranking for about.com type of sites qualifies, more like a personal preference - may be not understanding how your search methods are hopeless? Webhistory should take care of that over time. If not logged in enjoy generic results ;)

I do use Webhistory and it sure does help or rather knows what I have been clicking on for the last 4 years. Now they have a link at bottom of search page "View Customizations" to get to generic results. This should be on top or in left sidebar so there are never any doubt what is active.

Anyway, just noticed Search Engine Blacklist for Chrome. Would be better if one could attach blacklist to Google Account though, Google should provide this.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2011, 01:53:48 PM by Bamse »

Tuxman

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Re: Link: Why Google does not qualify for searching the web anymore
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2011, 01:54:20 PM »
A Firefox alternative is CustomizeGoogle or, as a successor, OptimizeGoogle, but they can only filter by domain or wildcard, so "random" domains are still there.

Bamse

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Re: Link: Why Google does not qualify for searching the web anymore
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2011, 02:04:21 PM »
Yeah but it only grey out domains, make them non-clickable right? But one to check, have not tried new version of CustomizeGoogle https://addons.mozil...firefox/addon/52498/ I think most regular Google users know exactly what to wipe out, can't wait to do it either. I don't see many Yahoo Answers lately but 1-2 year ago they seem to pop up for every computer related search I did. May be Web history kicks in since I rarely clicked on them.

Tuxman

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Re: Link: Why Google does not qualify for searching the web anymore
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2011, 02:08:40 PM »
Yeah but it only grey out domains, make them non-clickable right?
Right.

JavaJones

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Re: Link: Why Google does not qualify for searching the web anymore
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2011, 04:20:16 PM »
Sorry  Bamse, but I think that's a cop-out. After all, we have plenty of weather men/meteorologists who make weather predictions all the time. ;)

But seriously, as long as you perform the tests on the same day, from common criteria, how are they not valid? Yes the results may change in a day, a week, a month, certainly in a year, but that is true of many things that are tested quite often. A more rigorous test would test over a period of months, once a day, automatically perhaps, but even just a single test on a single day would be useful.

I'm just tired of this "Google sucks, DuckDuckGo is definitely better for such and such" assertions when, so far, I have not been able to really find evidence of it. But then I am beginning to feel as if I am DC's resident Google apologist. ;)

- Oshyan

Bamse

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Re: Link: Why Google does not qualify for searching the web anymore
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2011, 04:28:22 PM »
Well go ahead and review :) Bing vs. Google May be I have more reservations about how results are interpreted than test it self - though you must be aware of impact from location, Goggles webhistory vs. being nobody. Do location based results get a boost while searching from a mobile unit? Who knows? There is also a Firefox extension which lets you search Google as if you were placed in Israel, Russia, US and so on. For SEO purposes of course but there are no definitive results list.

This is the real problem with Google as of now, and since long Why You Should Never Search For Free WordPress Themes in Google or Anywhere Else Classic search terms, classic result. This you can reproduce also if searching from the moon and is what feeds anti-Google movement ;) Must not forget how horrible Google is.

JavaJones

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Re: Link: Why Google does not qualify for searching the web anymore
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2011, 04:37:48 PM »
I think the key is not to do much analysis on the data and to be *very up front and clear with all factors you can think of*, e.g. "tests performed on a Windows 7 x64 system with Google Chrome browser v8.1.512 between 9AM and 12PM Pacific Time in San Francisco, California with web history disabled, all cookies cleared..." etc.

Maybe the Wordpress themes thing is a good test if Google turns up crap for it. The bigger question is whether Yippy, etc. do better. If so that's a potentially compelling argument for all the "Google puts crap sites first because of ad dollars" talk. But I've yet to see any real, compelling, actual, factual evidence on any of that. Does Google benefit financially from sides with Google Ads coming up first? Yes. Does it benefit from *crap* sites with Google ads coming up first? No more so than *good* sites with Google ads coming up first! And since Google owns so much of the ad market, it's highly arguable whether there's any particular incentive for Google to actually not remove the "abusive" sites.

I think it's just a very hard problem to solve, how to get rid of the majority of the bad and keep the majority of the good. Nobody else seems to have managed much better (though people argue otherwise which is why I want to see good tests that show whether this is true or not). If that's true, if nobody else is doing any better, then it just means people hold Google to a higher standard, they expect more because they at one time revolutionized the search engine market, so theoretically they're the experts.

For my part I feel like when the next search revolution arrives, it will be as clear as it was with Google. So far Yippy, DuckDuckGo, etc. are not clear winners by any means, so I don't think they're the "messiah" we're looking for.

- Oshyan

Bamse

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Re: Link: Why Google does not qualify for searching the web anymore
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2011, 06:35:22 PM »
Yep, but you see the problem with Google doing lots of good via malware blocking services via browsers and helping site admins in Webmaster Central/Stop Badware and then the fact they index and present content used to make block worthy sites? That is a genuine problem. This is even an area where Google has all the expertise in the world. They could block sites manually, would not take long. "Censorship" would be in new headlines if they go too far, but there is no logic in trying to protect users via browser filters, giving security advises and then allowing WP crap sites or sites with cracks, warez for that matter, more of the same. This also goes for Youtube where there are loads of videos with how-to crack, serial numbers. They probably do block a lot but priorities should change a bit perhaps.

Real calculated evil schemes are common elsewhere. A streaming site like justin.tv don't mind copyrighted content like full movies, series UNTIL someone complains - they they are taken down fast so not to get lawyers interested. Official rules of course do not accept this type of content, is illegal. Sharing ad-revenue with popular channel admins is how ends meet. The more popular=typically illgal content shown the more money you make - and so do we. That site is also a reminder why Google text-ads are adorable if some should have forgotten why they were almost praised years ago. I would not be surprised if Google have slightly different rule set for some sites but would think that has more to do with running a huge world wide business (give and take a little and mistakes do happen) than basis for how they make money ;) Lousy WP theme sites is not how they became stinking rich. Is more embarrassing for them but definitely fuels any whoop Google butt campaign.

Another test you can do is to set up a new site. Then compare between Googlebot and whatever. Unless site is set up to annoy Google I bet they will win easy. If content consist of nothingness you have contributed nothing but indexed you will be ;)

Btw. the new Google Toolbar for IE adds 5 chrome.exe processes and 1 Google Toolbar Broker process to task manager :) Seems like a big step backwards compared to old. Way less settings but now has instant search build-in! They must assume majority demands simplicity and want click click ease of use regardless of task. Personalization is of no interest if it require effort. Hopefully they have higher goals with web search or that won't be changing much from now on.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2011, 06:37:46 PM by Bamse »

zridling

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Re: Link: Why Google does not qualify for searching the web anymore
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2011, 05:12:01 PM »
As the web gains more spam, search becomes less and less useful, and takes too damn long. I judge a search engine not by the ordinary/common links it can find, but by the extraordinary ones. There's the google for ordinary folks, then there's the google for expert users, i.e., those who use Boolean operators to narrow or expand their search. So you can make it better. Here's the most common I've found that works like a charm:

Use quotations around specific word/term you are searching
"-" sign in front of the word you want to exclude
OR capitalized is inclusive
"~" use in front of the search word when you want to include results that contain similar words or synonyms.
( ) parentheses are a delimiting phrase search, but you can expand the search after the delimiter by adding AND/OR operators.

If I use the phonebook search, I can see a list of people and/or places that have had my phone number before me. (Or who now has my old number.)

I could go on, but here's a guided tour site based on one's level:
http://www.googleguide.com/


mouser

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Re: Link: Why Google does not qualify for searching the web anymore
« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2011, 03:03:56 PM »
Slashdot link's to an article reporting to compare google and bing objectively:
http://searchenginel...-search-engine-60928

slashdot discussion of it: http://search.slashd...uasi-empirical-Study

JavaJones

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Re: Link: Why Google does not qualify for searching the web anymore
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2011, 05:42:06 PM »
Interestingly that article is also essentially makes a statement exactly opposite of some made in this thread: "search is less painful than it used to be". Regardless of whether Bing is better than Google (which the article indicates, by a small margin), the author still seems to feel we've come a long way and not necessarily regressed a lot. Others here seem to perhaps feel differently?

Anyway, very glad to see a semi-objective comparison!

- Oshyan