...StartPage a try out. So far, it's pleasantly clear of unwanted crap. Hopefully, it will stay that way.
Google is under fire this week for rolling out a new design for its desktop web search results in which advertisements and normal links look almost the same. It's another example of the internet kingpin seemingly putting its profitability over its usefulness to the rest of us. About an hour or two ago, a spokesperson for …
Yup, me too. Does DDG issue ads? I've forgotten what internet ads look like since I've been using multiple layers of blocking. If I use the web in, say, the library, I often briefly wonder what the hell is going on, then remember that's what the internet always looks like to other people...
We are past that date. Google no longer even accepts urls into the index if they dont have an advertising profile on you personally when you try to add a link. So they can sell you adwords, even if you never once use their search yourself.
Google index is all google ads, or leads to google ads.
There may be some exceptions to this for sites first indexed before google openly became evil.
Here's what google can do...
You can have an ad-free experience when searching, but you must be signed in to google.
Google can harvest what you search (as they do today) but instead of directly placing ads in the results, they can sell those results to the other ad-flingers who paste every other page you visit with adverts (see <-- left and --> right)
In the IT industry, the difficulty non-technical folk have in searching Google for help with computer issues is well-known, with a myriad of useless paid-for utilities, ad-laden “driver updaters,” or technical help sites of dubious value competing with genuinely useful information.
There's nothing unique about IT, computer issues, driver updates or "technical help sites". Search as a whole seems to be a thoroughly poisoned well by now. Paid for ads are only part of the problem. Commercial sites in general have so much material on them that the plain search hits on those can also swamp the factual material being searched for. There needs to be an option to conduct a search that excludes e-commerce sites, estate agents*, etc.
* Estate agents are a particular problem when searching for anything historical/geographical. For the last few decades builders have been naming developments after any well-known local figure and the resulting property sales have the same effect on search results as over-enthusiastic stree-lighting does on astronomy.
"an option to conduct a search that excludes e-commerce sites, estate agents*, etc."
Don't forget that huge quantities of websites and web traffic are now centred around "influencers" and other similar low-grade bloggists.
Some (many? most? almost all?) of them may be adverts in some form of disguise.
How did we get here?
And all you're after is a link to a TNC 620 control version 23111445(which is on their website, but you cant remember the website name..or where they hid it on their website)
The manual thing's a ballache but I gave up on google pretty early on for the abject uselessness of pagerank for anything technical. A search involving, "polyester capacitor," would throw up 400 links to,"xboxtards are loserheads becus the playstation 7 has 3 polystar capacitors in it's hard drive and xbox 867's only have 2,"-type screeds and maybe the odd potentially relevant thrown in there somewhere.
Maybe it's got better but between that and apparently .75 of the plebs finding they're *regularly* getting duff results, and the, well, evil... why the fuck are people using this utter pile of shite?
Google has far bigger problems that just sneaking in the ads. For a while now, their results have been truly gamed by those high-paid SEO types, and fake sites republishing things like Wikipedia, that Google fails to detect as fake. Often the text presented in the search result has nothing to do with what you get when you go to the site.
I do have some sympathy for Google here, since they are the prime target for SEO, and accept that them only showing me a handful of pages of the alleged 76,234,456 results is part of their attempt to curb the fake sites, but they need to do a better job in distinguishing the difference between the fake sites and the other genuine ones in those 76 million.
When I heard people complaining they couldn't tell the ads from the links on Google yesterday I thought "I didn't have that problem earlier" so I searched something to see what they were complaining about. I realised I did have that problem earlier but had subconciously assumed all the links were ads, ignored them and tried other search engines. Funny.
It is going downhill, but all the other searches seem to have issues too. I always scroll past the adds anyway, so my biggest complaint is AMP which destroys the whole search experience on mobile phones.
If only Alta Vista had carried on and developed as a feasible alternative. I may switch to DockDuckGo, but its algorithms can be flakey...
It's the ones that don't complain that are suspect here and I'm not sure that the terms "trust" or "stupid" are relevant to the users who are complaining. I think they use Google in an attempt to find something. Whether or not they "trust" that all the results will lead to the best choice is another matter. Most of us are quite capable of judging for ourselves and class the problem as a nuisance. We don't expect better from Google.
oh, I' pretty sure the key issue here is "trust". Do I trust google to be and do what they claim to be and do? Fuck no, and it's not because I'm being paranoid, it's because I have learnt through experience and observation. So yes, if you've been around for a few years at least, and still believe that google are here to help you, and expect them to help you, and are shocked, shocked I tell you, when they help themselves instead, you're just stupid.
Like many Reg readers I spend more time than is good for me sitting in front of a screen, and a non-negligible minority of that doing (mostly technical) searches. I use DDG*, only resorting to Google when I suspect I'm missing something (and, of course, never Bing) and I want to ask: doesn't everyone now have a completely automatic mental reflex that hides adverts? I probably "saw" an ad sometime in the past 10 minutes and couldn't tell you what it was trying to advertise. I cannot even remember what colours it used. Isn't the truth that ads are so common, so boring, so poorly made, that the eye and brain almost literally don't even see them?
I suspect that an independent study of online advertising—one which somehow manages to verify which links are genuinely clicked on, and determines reliably whether a purchase followed—would find that contrary to what vested interests claim (Google, to start with), its effectiveness is pitifully poor; that almost all online advertising spend is wasted.
As with radio advertising, which is the only thing more vacuously awful than internet ads, the cheapness, abysmal quality and sheer volume of adverts works constantly against their effectiveness.
Perhaps this multi-multi-billion-dollar industry is based on a vast deception.
*DuckDuckGo: Why don't they do themselves a huge favour and change the name? It's meaningless, clunky, ugly and sounds like something for children—who knows how many potential users don't even try it, because of its trivially silly monicker? Heck, they could have competition to see who can come up with a better name—maybe based on guessing what the initials stand for ... Diligently Depriving Google?
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