If you’re getting a vague feeling these days that your Google searches are not as satisfying as they used to be, you’d be right. Google has decided you don’t know what you’re looking for.
Google, in it’s wisdom, has decided that you can just take your crummy search words and shove them.
While writing a previous post about Facebook’s own insanities, I was looking for like-minded writers on the Internet. It’s common to do this sort of search. The most famous example is to put in a company’s name and then add the word, “sucks.” (Don’t look at me like that – we all know you’ve done it).
Watch Closely – This Affects You
What Facebook did made me want to barf, but you’ll notice in the screen shot below that Google (in it’s infinite wisdom) figured I really meant “bar” – and gave me that in every single result:
The only problem? I didn’t mean “bar” – I meant “barf.” I actually had to change my search and treat my word like a phrase (by putting quotes around the word) in order to get the results I was looking for:
Notice that Google’s first idiot results numbered 767,000, compared to the correct 4,320. Isnt’ that enough to make you crazy?
The Queen of Search
I went out looking for help with this one and called on someone who knows (and I mean really knows). Tara Calishain is the author of “Google Hacks” and earlier this year she had written Google Localizes Google Suggest, “Improves” Spelling Suggestions:
Say I’m searching for Carolynn. There are plenty of people named Carolynn. However, there are more people named Carolyn and Google will a) suggest that as the correct spelling and b) put Carolyns in my search results.
Which is just completely nuts. It’s not only nuts, but other than Tara, no one is writing about this or complaining about it! Even Tara is a bit too gracious and generous, calling it Google’s “well-meaning results.”
In response to my fulminations, she wrote back:
Hi Michael. This is Google thinking it knows what you want to search for better than you do.
Yahoo and Bing and Ask, Oh My!
So, Google thinks it knows better.
There must be something in the tech water. People with lots of specialized and abstruse knowledge drink it and it makes them arrogant and stupid.
Mark Zuckerberg drinks it regularly. AOL binged on it for years and finally ended up face down in the gutter. But, you’d never think Google would succumb to the same kind of temptation. Until now.
Thank goodness Bing, Ask and Yahoo are not following Google. I’m moving my search business over to someone who cares what I’m looking for and trusts that I know what I’m doing. I’m going to bet others will be following fairly soon.
Sell your Google stock now.