Welcome Guest.   Make a donation to an author on the site April 15, 2014, 11:11:42 PM  *

Please login or register.
Or did you miss your validation email?


Login with username and password (forgot your password?)
Why not become a lifetime supporting member of the site with a one-time donation of any amount? Your donation entitles you to a ton of additional benefits, including access to exclusive discounts and downloads, the ability to enter monthly free software drawings, and a single non-expiring license key for all of our programs.


You must sign up here before you can post and access some areas of the site. Registration is totally free and confidential.
 
Learn about the DonationCoder.com microdonation system (DonationCredits).
   
   Forum Home   Thread Marks Chat! Downloads Search Login Register  
Pages: Prev 1 [2]   Go Down
  Reply  |  New Topic  |  Print  
Author Topic: A Very Simple Ethical Principle for Search: Google Fails Miserably  (Read 14847 times)
mouser
First Author
Administrator
*****
Posts: 32,643



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2007, 02:58:51 AM »

You know this thread has suggested a really interesting idea.
What about a web service or local browser addon/tool which simply did this:

when you type in a search, it lets google do the search, and then collects all of the results,
and then re-scores and re-ranks them based on a scoring heuristic that you can tune.

i would suggest that one of the most interesting scoring heuristics that i would be interested in configuring for myself is to penalize the scores of all pages/sites with ads on them.

now that would be a generally useful and fascinating thing, and you wouldn't be discarding sites as much as you would be simply re-ranking them, in case you don't happen to believe that google's algorithm is god.
Logged
Curt
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 6,257

see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #26 on: May 05, 2007, 05:47:24 AM »

, in case you don't happen to believe that google's algorithm is god.



I think God is good, but I am not too sure if Google's algorithm is god...  Wink
Logged
zridling
Friend of the Site
Charter Member
***
Posts: 3,285


Linux captive

see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #27 on: May 05, 2007, 07:13:57 AM »

How'd that advertising work out for DIGG this past week? How about PC World? And don't forget Google helps China censor the hell out of the internet. Another thing that's sad is that even though Google is one of the richest, most profitable companies in history, it demanded a $165 million no-tax TIF from North Carolina for its server farms. In other words, citizens are free to pay all the taxes they want, while Google is free not to give one dime back to the community.

App is right, Google's not a bad company, warts and all. But this kind of corporate "citizenship" is fugly.
Logged

- zaine (on Google+)
onyx
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 2


View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #28 on: May 05, 2007, 07:21:02 AM »

The concept of a re-ranking system is good, but unfortunately reality is knocking once again.  Most search engine companies have strict policies on "scraping" their pages.  I suppose if it was just for "personal use" you could get away with it, but if it was used as the basis for a publicly available search site I think Google would step in.

Systems like Scroogle could be considered proxies that simply convey the information on the page through to the end user.  Yes, Scroogle is stripping away the cookies but the content is still being passed through in its entirety.  Since Google's lifeblood involves those ads, they basically ignore it.


Logged
app103
That scary taskbar girl
Global Moderator
*****
Posts: 5,017



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #29 on: May 05, 2007, 07:33:48 AM »

I finally remembered why I stopped using Copernic for web searches.

  • It's too slow.
  • Even though you have paid for it, you still get hit with ad links. This bothers me considering what they charge for the pro version. ($79.95!)
  • You don't get that many results for things you should get plenty of results for when doing a general web search. There was only 50 results for 'free programming ebooks' using the default settings and not one of them was my site...but there was 5 for digg.

It's really only good for some very specialized searches, and even then it's very limited.

For example: if you are going to do a search that is programming related, this is where your results are going to come from. If it's not here, you won't get it:


Software reviews? The ones from DC will never show up with this specialized search that only uses these sources:


You want to search newsgroups for something? You only get results from Topica and Yahoo groups.

Now keep in mind that I am using their best version...the super expensive pro version. It's probably much worse if you are using the free one.

Copernic may have been good at one time, before Google became popular, but not any more.  Sad



Systems like Scroogle could be considered proxies that simply convey the information on the page through to the end user.  Yes, Scroogle is stripping away the cookies but the content is still being passed through in its entirety.  Since Google's lifeblood involves those ads, they basically ignore it.

Scroogle does NOT contain Google ads. They are thrown out of the results you get.
Logged

Curt
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 6,257

see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #30 on: May 05, 2007, 08:03:58 AM »

I finally remembered why I stopped using Copernic for web searches.

I tried Copernic, and didn't like it, but I never realized it is this bad!! ohmy
Logged
onyx
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 2


View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #31 on: May 05, 2007, 08:11:35 AM »

app103 - I stand corrected.  If Scroogle becomes a major site, Google will probably request the site cease and desist.  My hunch is they haven't been visited simply because the site hasn't been used by that many people.

Logged
dk70
Charter Member
***
Posts: 269


View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #32 on: May 05, 2007, 09:04:01 AM »

Killing ads is easy and not worth complaining about since there are solutions. But is avoiding sites with ads not being hypocritical unless you have very selected taste and bookmarks? I cant use Admuncher without being hypocritical since I use many sites which are based on advertising. Possible to whitelist of course. If only majority of sites could stay within borders like set by Google I dont think there would be so many anti-advertising feelings. Some just cant control them self hunting down $$$, like putting ads in between posts on a forum! Other sites almost designed to make room for ads. Im open to the suggestion that there are too many websites run by fools and many deserve to die - have plenty of excuses for Admuncher Wink

I dont think there is a special Google World/standard zridling. Screaming they censor in China without looking at what MS, Yahoo, most likely also industry/government of your country, is doing dont make sense. Avoiding taxes, exploiting muscles also a common sport among such companies, some are hired for these activities. We probably only see top of the iceberg. Google is smart because they still present them self in a way that does not make you think world domination or oops I better hide plastic card! - not that much focusing on $$$/advertising. They dont have a "Windows Market Place". So that is MS and too easy but Google is very different in user experience, like they expect you to have a brain. Im sure that is how they gained momentum - now unstoppable perhaps. Does not make them angle like when it comes to business. Dont know where that expectation comes from.

Unless Mousers wet dream of new engine with a no profit policy comes true there is no real alternative. Stumbleupon is not without advertising/sponsoring btw - not that is has anything to do with Google, not a search engine in any way. Money is always a player. Now you can wait for Stumbleupon to grow bigger and bigger - eventually they make mistakes and get same criticism as Google. Unavoidable. Going "Least evil" and manipulating at users end is only way to deal with this.

Live.com has some cool sliders under advanced. "Results ranking" - something Google should implement. No matter detailed guides not many use advanced search operators or even advanced search page. Sliders might change approach and remind users hits are result of more parameters than simple keyword. If Google really had information treatment as top priority they would only offer advanced search page.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2007, 09:46:46 AM by dk70 » Logged
broken85
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 88


see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #33 on: May 05, 2007, 09:35:02 AM »

But information treatment is only one priority these days... simplicity is one of google's major advantages. Aside from the little one-liners about google services, their home page is almost as empty as it always was and loads just as quickly. There's one box where you can enter whatever the hell you want, and Google will usually find, decipher, or correct whatever it is. Most people don't even realize they can enter search operators into the box to get more specific (I'm a frequent excluder of words in google), and Google probably likes it that way.

You don't have to explain one single thing about them, their page, or how to use Google in general, even to some without any computer knowledge, because it is so incredibly fast and simple. If they only offered an advanced search page, that simplicity would be gone. Even if you didn't enter anything except in the top search box, you have still lost that "empty" simplicity that is Google and replaced it with power features which, for the most part, aren't even necessary if you use operators in the search. I like Google's advanced search feature, but I'm glad they offer the simple one-field search box on their homepage; it's part of the reason I've stuck with Google for so long (aside from the fact that the results I get from Google are often leaps and bounds more relevant than those I get from other engines).

Not only is Google the fastest (at searching and displaying pages) search engine I have ever used, it still manages to be the most powerful. What I find on the first page or two in Google is often what I'd have to browse through pages of results for in other engines. I am also a fan of the fact that when they add new features and services, they generally do it behind the scenes and leave their core service alone (at least seemingly). That consistency is great in a world where so many sites are trying to be the be-all end-all of Internet destinations and are just adding layers and layers of complexity and often useless features. Go Google!
Logged

--
Ben M
mouser
First Author
Administrator
*****
Posts: 32,643



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #34 on: May 05, 2007, 10:28:34 AM »

I think onyx and broken85 make some good points.

I wouldn't want to be taking traffic away from the small little sites who are managing to make some money from ads on their pages.  I really want these small sites to survive and do well.

Even if i might be happier with a more community-involved micro-donation funding system for them, i'm not at all opposed in principal to sites making money from ads.

Actually i don't find most google ads on pages particularly annoying.

It's not the ads per se that i'm trying to avoid.

But i am keenly interested in the idea that google has its own little "wink and grin" secret ranking algorithms which they don't want to explain or justify, and entire industries of seo trying to find ways to squeeze their sites to the top of google ranked results to make more money, content be damned.

So the idea of empowering individuals to bypass this ranking system and "re-rank" results based seems intriguing.  Now having said that, i agree with broken85 that in fact google does (and has always done) a damn good job of ranking results.  That's one of the reason they beat out the competition is that they do such a damn good job of putting relevant finds up top.  So i'm not sure if such a tool is needed YET.

On the other hand, the temptation for google to start messing with result rankings to increase the scores of pages containing adsense, etc., and if they ever go in that direction, it would be nice to have a way to counter it.
Logged
broken85
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 88


see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #35 on: May 05, 2007, 11:28:40 AM »

It's too bad (not for google of course) that nobody seems to be able to do what they do, because we have to rely on whatever goes on behind the scenes there to continue to meet our searching needs and desires... As long as they keep getting better, or don't get any worse, that's all fine, but if they ever go too far, or just make some decisions highly frowned upon having to do with advertising, or anything really, what have we got to turn to?

I pretty much lump "every other search engine" in one category and Google over in its own as far as the value I get from it. If that value dissipates, I know of no other company ala-Google who just seems to get (nearly) everything right.

Maybe we'll someday have an open source (albeit less effective I'm sure) alternative for web searching utilizing similar algorithms without the corporate aspect involved. Because of how far Google has expanded, I imagine it would be a gigantic undertaking for any group, and it would probably never be as fast or reliable as Google simply because of their funds and network/server infrastructure.

And web searching aside, I don't know if I could properly function without Gmail anymore either... I fell in love with PocoMail, but rarely even open it up anymore because of Gmail's glory. I've come to rely on Google and their services to supply (or at least direct me to) a lot of my Internet experience.

I guess I agree, Google is the lesser of the (way more than 2) evils out there, and I would rather deal with Google's form of advertising and information collection than just about any other website's out there.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2007, 11:30:26 AM by broken85 » Logged

--
Ben M
DrJtoo
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 3


View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #36 on: May 07, 2007, 11:33:08 PM »

And web searching aside, I don't know if I could properly function without Gmail anymore either... I fell in love with PocoMail, but rarely even open it up anymore because of Gmail's glory. I've come to rely on Google and their services to supply (or at least direct me to) a lot of my Internet experience.

I think most people do not really understand why Google is such an advanced platform for searching. In their mission statement they state their strategy -- "Organize the world's information" and second "make it universally accessible".

So what do they do about "organizing" information? They enable people to blog (Blogger.com), organize people's emails (gmail.com), invite people to make notes while they research topics online (www.google.com/notebook/), provide tools to word process and prepared business documents (docs.google.com) -- you have the idea . . .

And how does Google make information universally accessible? Providing server farms on which is housed the world's number one search engine, they provide searching in almost every language on earth, and so on . . .

Want to get listed in Google really fast? Write a notebook page about it and publish the page. Guaranteed quick insertion. Why? Because Google hosts the "Notebook Pages" and every new page is entered into the search engine within minutes -- as long as it takes to disseminate the links to the various copies of the search listings. Crawlers do not need to be involved in searching for and indexing a page. Sheer genius!

The more Google provides us with tools to organize our information, the more it can be the number one search engine where people will find my information. Have you seen how many things Google is prototyping? The Museum of Modern Betas Labs lists the top 50 popular Google Betas.
Logged
broken85
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 88


see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #37 on: May 08, 2007, 07:21:02 AM »

Yes, it is pretty amazing what Google have gotten their hands into these past few years. They're so far advanced beyond any other "web organization system" I have seen before, whether that be searching or any of their other services, that they don't have any real competition and I don't have anywhere else to turn if all of it goes away at some point, or stops being free, or starts including ridiculous amounts of advertising in the results, or--you get the picture. I don't necessarily see that happening, and I really hope it doesn't since I live in a world partially supplied through Google, heh  cheesy

People have a lot of favorite search engines, but among many of the computer-savvy folks I know, Google is the only answer. That might have to do with its search effectiveness. When I first started using Google I didn't like it particularly more than anything else, except that it was fast and ad-free. However when I stopped asking it questions and started just throwing a bunch of related keywords and phrases at it, and adding operators and learning new search techniques, it instantly became my search engine of choice because of the quality of results it started to return. If that quality starts dissipating, can anyone else even fill Google's enormous shoes in the search technology and research/development departments? Google even has the edge on engines that have been around longer than itself.
Logged

--
Ben M
Mandork
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 64


Hopeless or hapless?

View Profile Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #38 on: May 08, 2007, 03:56:56 PM »

Yeah, I like Google and the miscellaneous apps and so on.  The trouble lately seems to be that no matter what I search for, my results seem to get less and less relevant.  I don't really mind ads on a page so much (except the ones that get in the way of whatever you're trying to do) as I do having to trawl through endless pron sites, obviously illegal software, crazy crackpot health sites, and just plain junk to get to the useful things out there.

I read somewhere about the "hidden internet"...someday I should Google it and find out how to search more effectively.   tongue
Logged

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.
Pablo Picasso
broken85
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 88


see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #39 on: May 08, 2007, 04:06:42 PM »

Mandork,

It's getting inevitably harder and harder to avoid that, now that there are so many "search sites" buying up domains and putting up useless collections of useless marketing, and directories of directories, etc. And all these years the Internet has been around, it's still getting easier for absolutely anybody to post absolutely anything on the Internet.

And with more effective indexing methods, search engines will keep picking up more and more of it. If those sites are universally hated, and I'm pretty sure they are, then Google/anyone should come up with a way to filter such junk out of the results. There have got to be patterns. Though I'm sure that would filter out some legit sites who would throw a huge fit unless it were 100% effective (which is essentially impossible). It would be so much easier if all these junk sites would just disappear! That and spam are helping to ruin online experiences everywhere!  mad
Logged

--
Ben M
flowgar
Participant
*
Posts: 1

View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #40 on: May 26, 2007, 10:59:36 AM »

* Crazy idea pops out *

Would it be possible to use either distributed computing or P2P protocols like BitTorrent to create a distributed search engine?

Have a look at FAROO ( http://www.faroo.com ), a peer-to-peer web search engine.
Logged
Curt
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 6,257

see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #41 on: May 26, 2007, 02:36:43 PM »

.. look at FAROO ( http://www.faroo.com ), ...

I have never before seen this error message. Why the 406? Is it merely because the browser didn't understand if I should be directed to the German or to the English page? The two links worked fine.

Logged
rxantos
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 98


see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #42 on: May 02, 2010, 01:33:34 PM »

There is an old saying that freedom of speech only applies to the owner of the newspaper.

I think this apply here, fair engine search hits apply only to the owner of the search engine. smiley. There will always be favoritism, thinking that it will not happen, is just naive. A private company lives to make profit. Irrelevant of ethics.

I do however hate when government plays favoritism. When that happens, I see taxes for what they really are. An extortion payment. If you don't pay something bad will happen to you. Just like the mafia asking for payment for protection. Except that with the mafia you actually get protection,and with government you only get threats. smiley





Logged
Pages: Prev 1 [2]   Go Up
  Reply  |  New Topic  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  
   Forum Home   Thread Marks Chat! Downloads Search Login Register  

DonationCoder.com | About Us
DonationCoder.com Forum | Powered by SMF
[ Page time: 0.052s | Server load: 0.16 ]