Google problems

Slate has an amusing article about how and why Google is beginning to suck as a reference tool. In my frecent freelance tech-data work, I’ve run into just about every one of these problems.

I read that article the other day. They’ve definitely got a point.

I’ve found that with all modern search engines you have to have a bit of a knack for getting what you want out of the search engine.

I don’t think they do have a point. If you do a search for “apple”, how is it supposed to know what you mean? I can find just about anything using Google, but I never find it by putting in just one word.

If you want reviews for a Banana PX-2150, don’t search for “Banana PX-2150”, search for “Banana PX-2150 review” and maybe add a couple of words that would be used, like “value” or “quality”.

Finding things with Google is easy, you just have to have a somewhat specific idea of what you’re looking for.

I think it’s a well-written article, that makes some cogent points. But it is definitely not about

It just points out some weaknesses in the current way it works. It ends quite positively:

It’s still the connected world’s most dazzling place to visit, a perfect condensation of the Web’s wider anarchy. Just don’t call it an oracle.

You’re right when you say that you have to know that you have to type in a little extra, that’s precisely what I just said. The point I think they’re trying to make is that probably most people won’t necessarily know how to do this successfully.

One of their main points was that the system tends to be weighted towards shopping and sales sites. This is often a hassle.

Google is in something like the 2nd or 3rd generation of internet search engines. At some point we’re going to have to make a leap towards more intelligent categorization of search results into meta-categories. This will be hard.

So for “apple” you’d put Apple Fruit in the search field? Maybe “apple fruit review”? But for Apple Computers you’d just put Apple.
Gotcha. His point is that you’d expect the fruit to be in the top listings. Or at least some variety in the top listings. Anyway, I think that’s a great point for a non-techie aimed article to make.

I know you’ve got to play around with google to get what you want Gallant, but sometimes after the 20th guess you get a little peaved. This isn’t the Babel Fish puzzle. My biggest peeve is searching for product info. It lists hundreds of sales sites all of which eventually link to the info at Amazon. ;-)

Someday they’ll improve Google or the search engine to use a little AI here. If I saw Banana DX… the first link should be the manufacturer/homepage, then retail links, product reviews, etc.,

You’re like the Roberta Williams of search engines.

apple -computer -mac


All these damn lower class bozos don’t know how to use search engines!

Is that my fault? Was it Roberta’s fault when all the poor white trash started buying computers and her and Ken couldn’t create their masterpieces anymore?

Well, actually that was her fault.