Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 15th May 2013 23:03 UTC
Google "During its Keynote today, Google announced new features coming to its flagship search function - you know, that thing we all started using Google for. VP Amit Singhal spent some time discussing what Google's search functionality will eventually morph into. Google's strategy is summarized by three words: answer, converse, and anticipate. Singhal explained that many of the pieces of these upcoming changes can already be seen in products that Google has recently introduced - namely, Google Knowledge Graph and Google Now, with perhaps a splash of Google Glass, too." I hold on to my hat every time Google changes Search. It's such a vital product in my daily life.
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Hopefully they don't screw it up...
by UltraZelda64 on Wed 15th May 2013 23:07 UTC
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

...like they are with the Gmail "Compose" page and they did with the Gmail/Contacts main interface before it. And the image search. :/

Edited 2013-05-15 23:11 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Comment by kragil
by kragil on Wed 15th May 2013 23:35 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

So you switched back from Duckduckgo? Why?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by kragil
by JAlexoid on Thu 16th May 2013 17:35 UTC in reply to "Comment by kragil"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Because it's an objective search engine... therefore will not find what you want, but only what you typed.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by kragil
by phoenix on Thu 16th May 2013 20:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kragil"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Stop doing what I tell you to do and start doing what I want you to do!! ;)

It's amazing how often I hear something similar from people trying to use computers/DVD players/TVs, etc. ;)

Reply Score: 2

I don't want
by WereCatf on Thu 16th May 2013 00:58 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

I don't even like how Google works now as I often search for this or that computing- and/or programming-related tidbit and Google has the tendency of ignoring most of my search query and returning completely irrelevant stuff, generally favoring all sorts of celebrity-fluff and the likes. It's even worse when searching for Finnish items because Google's engine doesn't really understand the language and just goes on a merry guessing-trip. I liked it much better back when you could enter a more database-engine-like query, it actually returned what I told it to return.

I am afraid the abovementioned trend will only get worse, that Google's search will even more strongly dumb down its results and aim for pleasing the general populace at the expense of real accuracy. Alas, I am not aware of any better a service to use, either. If I could afford it I would run my own database-like search-engine and open it to the public.

Reply Score: 12

RE: I don't want
by UltraZelda64 on Thu 16th May 2013 01:08 UTC in reply to "I don't want"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

I don't even like how Google works now as I often search for this or that computing- and/or programming-related tidbit and Google has the tendency of ignoring most of my search query and returning completely irrelevant stuff, generally favoring all sorts of celebrity-fluff and the likes.

Wow, really? I never, ever look up celebrities--and I don't know the last time I found such a ridiculously irrelevant result. Well, except when using their newly-neutered image search, where even if you are using blunt search terms, the porn filter kicks in and destroys your results. IMO their main search seems to work quite well and taking the main key words of a search query and giving relevant results. Maybe I'm just lucky... but then I don't know or search in Finnish either. A lot of my searches involve computing/operating systems, video games, hot peppers, beer, or just some random thing I get curious about all of a sudden (lately, keyboard layouts and languages, especially the German language).

Edited 2013-05-16 01:16 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I don't want
by ilovebeer on Thu 16th May 2013 04:51 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't want"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Their image search has indeed gotten bad. It could be worse but they've definitely taken a few steps backwards there. As for their web search, ... that has gotten worse over time, I agree. It would be a lie to say I haven't ever wanted to kick it in the nuts. But, it hasn't gotten so horrid that it's unusable so Google Search can stay, for now, ...but you've been put on notice.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I don't want
by WorknMan on Thu 16th May 2013 02:04 UTC in reply to "I don't want"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I am afraid the abovementioned trend will only get worse, that Google's search will even more strongly dumb down its results and aim for pleasing the general populace at the expense of real accuracy. Alas, I am not aware of any better a service to use, either. If I could afford it I would run my own database-like search-engine and open it to the public.


Yeah, I get the impression (esp from I/O) that Google will present you with information based on data they have gathered about you, and also based on what your friends have liked and commented on. It's basically the industry's continued assault on power users, where they attempt to remove as much control as possible from the end user. This is probably not malice on their part, but just an attempt to satisfy your average tech tard, who would rather trade convenience for accuracy.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing, except that the rest of us who want a little more control get alienated. Living in the Google ecosystem is like having a plane that always flies on auto pilot with no manual control, that only guesses where you want to go next, and you can never tell it otherwise. It's like on G+ - you have very little control over what information gets presented to you. About the only thing you can do is to adjust a slider that will let you see just a little more/less of your Streams' content. They have this nifty new hash tag feature, but notice there's no ability to blacklist certain hashtags, nor can you set up keyword blacklist filters.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I don't want
by WereCatf on Thu 16th May 2013 02:42 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't want"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

This is probably not malice on their part, but just an attempt to satisfy your average tech tard, who would rather trade convenience for accuracy.


Just to clarify: no, I don't attribute this to malice at all, I attribute it to simply Google trying to appeal to the unwashed masses who do not have the patience to actually formulate exactly what it is that they want. But being forced in this bubble with no way out is just aggravating and I would hope for a remedy in one form or another.

As a side-note: I happened to check the comments on Ars Technica about this same story and it seems quite a few geeks and power-users echo my sentiment. I wonder if some company sooner or later figures this would be a nice niche to step in to.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: I don't want
by gan17 on Thu 16th May 2013 03:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I don't want"
gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

Hmm, I dunno.

I'm never signed into my Google account when I do searches, nor do I have a G+ - well, technically I do, since it comes with a Google/Gmail account now, just never used it - and my search results have been the same as they always were.

I'm probably losing out on some added functionality and location based crap, but I don't think the results are any worse than before.

Perhaps "power users" just shouldn't sign in, or maybe it's got something to do with "Do Not Track" (or equivalent functionality) being enabled on my browser?

The only small Google-related annoyance that didn't exist before are those weekly "People you might know on G+" messages/emails I get, but that's not a problem pertaining to Search, at least I don't think it is.

Edited 2013-05-16 03:23 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: I don't want
by zima on Thu 16th May 2013 18:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I don't want"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

nor do I have a G+ - well, technically I do, since it comes with a Google/Gmail account now
[...]
The only small Google-related annoyance that didn't exist before are those weekly "People you might know on G+" messages/emails I get

Hm, why am I not getting such emails?... (I also don't really have a G+)

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: I don't want
by phoenix on Thu 16th May 2013 20:27 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I don't want"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

You have to login to G+ at least once. Then it pops up the "keep your G+ contacts in sync with GMail" and "Let us recommend people to you" options. From what I can tell, you won't get harassed by G+ until you login to it once.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: I don't want
by WereCatf on Thu 16th May 2013 20:46 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: I don't want"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

You have to login to G+ at least once. Then it pops up the "keep your G+ contacts in sync with GMail" and "Let us recommend people to you" options. From what I can tell, you won't get harassed by G+ until you login to it once.


I wonder what I have done differently as I do not ever get any e-mail suggestions about people or groups.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: I don't want
by zima on Thu 16th May 2013 21:31 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: I don't want"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Maybe Google just knows that no people would like us ;P

Reply Score: 4

RE: I don't want
by Alfman on Thu 16th May 2013 04:07 UTC in reply to "I don't want"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

WereCatf,

"If I could afford it I would run my own database-like search-engine and open it to the public."

I'd be very interested in working on one too. I'm pretty tired of all the emphasis google has placed on textual search. Yeah I get that's it's simple and what most people want, but it's annoying when I know what I want and I'm forced to water down my intended search criteria into a rudimentary text search.

Sometimes you want a better criteria based search engine. If I'm searching for news, I could filter down to 50 miles from my home. If I'm searching for technical support on an issue, I conduct a word-wide search and filter down to specific bugtracker criteria such as OS/hardware/versions/etc. If I'm searching for a bicycle, I can specify criteria on fields that would show up on the manufactures product page, and include all vendors who sell the product sorted by prices. In other words, something similar to SQL, but for web searches. And before anyone complains that it'd be too difficult for regular users to use - I don't really care, it would be targeted at power users who's motivation to learn it would be having access a wealth of highly structured information.

This has been in the back of my head for a while. Though it would be infeasible for a person of my resources to build a web spider with sufficiently deep indexes to be useful. It still could be possible to build a "search agent" which would conduct the searches across thousands of websites in response to user queries. So instead of conducting searches ahead of time like most search engines do, the searches could be conducted in real time (by downloading manufacturer specs/news/product pages and matching criteria on the fly). What's more, these agents could be persistent, and continue to research results over time until I desubscribe from them.

Anyone who's searched for products on ebay knows how infuriating that experience can be, having a search agent wouldn't be all that dissimilar from having a secretary doing the grunt-work and compiling results in a normalized form for easy review. It'd require elements of AI, which is why the project seems so appealing to me.

I recently invested in some colocated server capacity for clients (anyone need a US VPS?), so I'm thinking of revisiting this project and running it from my new servers.

Reply Score: 3

RE: I don't want
by Tony Swash on Thu 16th May 2013 10:14 UTC in reply to "I don't want"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

An interesting experiment is to sit down with your laptop and a friend with their laptop and without signing into a Google account both do searches using identical search terms. Almost certainly the results will be different and will be tailored to suit what Google thinks you are interested in based on each of your previous search activities. That's both (usually) very useful and (always) a bit unnerving.

Reply Score: 3

RE: I don't want
by sb56637 on Thu 16th May 2013 14:02 UTC in reply to "I don't want"
sb56637 Member since:
2006-05-11

I don't even like how Google works now as I often search for this or that computing- and/or programming-related tidbit and Google has the tendency of ignoring most of my search query and returning completely irrelevant stuff [...] I am afraid the abovementioned trend will only get worse, that Google's search will even more strongly dumb down its results and aim for pleasing the general populace at the expense of real accuracy.


Yep, I've noticed the same thing recently. It's really irritating, it's like Google treats half my search terms as a typo, or as if the cat walked over the keyboard while I was searching. If I put four terms in my search query, I want ALL FOUR of them to be present in the results. I've found that it seems to work to enclose the "ignored" "terms" in "quotes" even if they are single words.

Come on Google. I know how to use a search engine. Don't try to second guess me every time, please.

Edited 2013-05-16 14:04 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: I don't want
by Alfman on Thu 16th May 2013 16:30 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't want"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

sb56637,

"Yep, I've noticed the same thing recently. It's really irritating, it's like Google treats half my search terms as a typo, or as if the cat walked over the keyboard while I was searching. If I put four terms in my search query, I want ALL FOUR of them to be present in the results. I've found that it seems to work to enclose the 'ignored' 'terms' in 'quotes' even if they are single words."

^ yes, this ^

I hate when results don't even include all my search terms; I put them in there for a reason. Sheesh!

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: I don't want
by hackbod on Fri 17th May 2013 17:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I don't want"
hackbod Member since:
2006-02-15

Have you tried putting + in front of the words you want to always include? Plus there are a number of other operators you can use to control the search: https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/136861

There is also this: https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/1734130

And of course there is the advanced search form: https://www.google.com/advanced_search

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: I don't want
by WereCatf on Fri 17th May 2013 17:31 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I don't want"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Have you tried putting + in front of the words you want to always include?


That doesn't work anymore, the +-sign has been re-assigned to work in conjunction with Google+.

Reply Score: 2

Evasive
by orfanum on Thu 16th May 2013 21:00 UTC
orfanum
Member since:
2006-06-02

Yep, Google Search for certain users is getting really bad. The UK authorities are using the terms +taxes +owed but the returned results set appears to be nil, no matter how often they try it...

Edited 2013-05-16 21:01 UTC

Reply Score: 2