Thursday, July 14, 2011

If only Google had a decent search engine

Three reasons why Google is an awful search engine these days, and how they can fix it.

1. If anything's obscure in your search results, Google will ignore it.

For some reason, Google are under the impression that it's more helpful to have 100,000 wrong answers, than three good ones, or even that "There's nothing like that on the web" might actually often be more helpful than pages upon pages upon pages upon pages upon pages of irrelevant, useless, links, whose lack of relevance has to be ploddingly checked one by effing one.

2. Google will change your search for no good reason

Some time ago, Google started posting, above the search results, a little note along the lines of "Did you intend to search for something or other" where something or other was your search string passed through a spell checker - or something. 98% of the time it was wrong, but occasionally something useful would come through. And then the user could click on that suggestion, and get the search results they wanted.

Not any more. Now it just automatically searches for the "corrected" version which means if you're not searching for "Brittnay speahs nood pix" but, say, the name of a product, or a code, or something else that, well, is the kind of thing you go to Google to find, you'll get pages upon pages upon pages upon pages upon pages of irrelevant, useless, links, whose lack of relevance will seem completely unexplained unless you happen to scroll back up and notice that the bit of text that looked like "Did you intend to search for something or other" had, in fact, been "Showing search results for 'Google is awesome'. Click here to search instead for 'Obscure error message #3193'"

3. You can't click to focus any more without the world's most useless feature interrupting you.

Some idiot at Google, and I use the word "idiot" without reservation, I don't care how much effort and cleverness was involved in developing the feature, decided that people aren't interested in the content of webpages. Oh no. What they're looking for, when they do a search, is some idea of the effing color scheme of the pages that might contain the information they're looking for. And so millions were invested in creating a tool that would ensure that if a user wants to see the color scheme of any page listed in their search results, they can do so without actually visiting the page in question.

So convinced of their own cleverness were these idiots that they didn't stop there. They incorporated into Google as a mandatory search feature - you can't turn it off - and set it up so it'll be invoked if you click anywhere on a search results page that's vaguely close to a search result. When you do so, your web browser will do a little dance as it processes some Javascript that downloads a thumbnail rendering of the website in question, showing a scaled down image that's just large enough to see the color scheme, but not large enough to bother your pretty eyes with any readable content.

How can Google fix these problems

It's quite simple really. All they have to do is remove the instant preview crap, and by default search for pages containing all of the words/phrases that the user asked for.

Will they do this? Hell no.

1 comment:

  1. Just tonight I thought about switching search engines - I've been using Google for ten years! Google, please listen! and Microsoft Word, please listen! We are not little babies gurgling goo goo gaa, we are grown people trying to find out things online. aaaargh!


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