At long last
...and more of this please.
(and pretty please, and option to only return pages that contain my bloody search terms!)
Google has made a major change to its search algorithms in order to try to scrub more link farm results from appearing near the top of search results. The search and advertising giant tweaks results all the time, but said these changes would hit 11.8 per cent of results, and so it wanted people to know what is going on. The …
I know it may not seem like much, but when you're trying to dig out some obscure data this can be the most annoying message on the internet. Sort it out, Google. If the words only appear in a link to a page and not on it, especially when the page has a LOT of text, 99.5% of the time the page isn't relevant. Just sayin'.
This is good; Linkfarns and scrapers are just SRO cockroaches and I will really enjoy readign their howls of rage and big long wonky explanations of how this is somehow not 'fair'.
But it's only a partial solution to only one of the problems.
What I needed a few days ago was an exact match; but instead Google (and Bing etc) seem to think that a decimal, a hyphen and a underscore are equivalent. Big Fail.. For non technical casual search this is a valid, probably even a desirable assumption. But with the syntax of the error message I was searching for it was just a feckin nuisance. There was a more common phrase that was swamping the results I was after. And the 'exact phrase' box in the advanced search options is not really 'exact' for whitespace etc..Basically this turned what should have been a simple search for a simple explanation into a 10 minute exercise in result refinement.
Yes if I want reviews of the website ink.co.uk I search for it but get thousands of sites that just have "ink" mentioned in their name? How can I make google look for just ink with .co.uk stuck on it? I've tried inverted commas but no luck. Grr..
Thanks for trying but site:ink.co.uk just searches the ink.co.uk website. I'm trying to search other websites/message boards for mentions for ink.co.uk. So far I can't do it. All I get it thousands of sites called things like best-ink.co.uk or great-ink.co.uk. When I just want ink.co.uk on its own.
I would love Google to block or demote experts-exchange.com as the key part of any page found in the results is behind a paywall - and a genuine answer is always to be found in a different search result anyway.
Also could Google at last find a way to deal with 'generated' web pages, that seem to be a faux custom result page just based on search keywords?
..it will be quite a long time before the people who created the link farms work out how to finagle Google's new algorithm.
I get really pissed off when I find stuff that I've written showing up on screen-scraped pages of "related" content (especially when that theoretically related content is explicitly pornographic - has been a little embarrassing on one or two occasions)
Now all they need is a natural language parser that's capable of weeding out search results that are gibberish, like "side effect of nike air with polyamory remote controlled helicopter Britney Spears on free live sex Ugg boots accutane casino lottery."
Once they get that bit worked out, the next step is a natural language parser connected to a strong AI that can weed out sites that don't offer useful information.
From there, it's just a short hop to Skynet. Let me be the first to welcome our search engine overlords, etc.
I call this 'the Guthram Gowt effect'. It is a perfect test case: a bend in the river that goes back to the domesday book but which currently consists of 3 scattered houses, a bus stop, and a rain gauge.
So you can guarantee that any promise of 'Florists in Guthram Gowt' or 'Jobs in Guthram Gowt' is worthless. And, by simple deduction, the same site's results for any other location will be just as worthless.
I just ran the test again. Only two of the results on the first page were useful, and then not incredibly so. One from Geograph and one synthetic bus table lookup. All the others are made up nonsense. Sites that have carpet-bombed the world with the name of every place-name possible.
The first really sensible hit was "boar.org.uk/abiwxe1BournePlaces(home.htm" on page 2. Then it went downhill again. with more non-existant jobs, dates, used cars and empty 'community ' pages. The real bus timetable was on page 5.
You don't need an AI. You just need voting buttons. Ones that agregate every vote for a site, so that downvotes or upvotes for 'Guthram Gowt' hits count against hits for 'Snittlegarth' or 'High Bewaldeth'
(I'm looking at you AllTheTopBananas.com ; www.primelocation.com ; www.qype.co.uk : "User recommendations and reviews of the best things in Graby. Find the best shops, restaurants, bars, nightlife, gigs, services and more." Even Paris could not find a night club in Graby)
If someone can cure the Guthram Gowt Effect it will be a great thing.
I hope to hell (but know that its not the case) that someone from Google actually reads these comments. Because I whole heartedly agree with the most thumbed up ones -
- Only show me the results I searched for!
- Ban Experts Exchange!
- Stop interpreting what I search for with your stupid and crap grammar auto-correctors. If I make a mistake whilst spelling a word, I will read a fucking dictionary and then re-search for it. Otherwise, just do what you claim you do, and find me what Im looking for.
Oh and just incase google doesnt index this comment properly -
"Live sex asian register google search michael jackson wikileaks bieber is a bell end"
"This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites – sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful."
Does this mean that Wikipedia will no longer be in the top 3 search results of everything that I search for? Awesome..
A high enough percentage of my searches have been returning non-results that I've been ready to switch to a different search engine.
There are still many, many areas that they have not fixed.
For instance almost every search for an electronic component datasheet has been blanketed with "buyers" pages. They claim to have the datasheet pdf in the page synopsis, some even have ".pdf" in the URL, but when you go there it's just a generated list of distributors and links to do a search for the datasheet.
The results have gotten a bit better in the past few days, but Google still far to go. They ignored search result quality long enough that SEO grew into a big business. Now there are tens of thousands of people that spend all of their time trying to game the system. It might already be an entrenched industry that forever degrades search results.
Curious that it's taken so long. Google already has a perfect database of link aggregator sites - all the sites that adwords customers have to manually block to stop click-through scams. Of course, Google gets paid for click-throughs, so perhaps it's not so surprising that it's taken them years to do something about this.
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