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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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 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: I don't want
by ilovebeer on Thu 16th May 2013 04:51 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 Parent Score: 2

RE: I don't want
by WorknMan on Thu 16th May 2013 02:04 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: I don't want
by WereCatf on Thu 16th May 2013 02:42 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 Parent Score: 5

RE: I don't want
by Alfman on Thu 16th May 2013 04:07 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 Parent Score: 3

RE: I don't want
by Tony Swash on Thu 16th May 2013 10:14 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 Parent Score: 3

RE: I don't want
by sb56637 on Thu 16th May 2013 14:02 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 Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: I don't want
by Alfman on Thu 16th May 2013 16:30 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 Parent Score: 2