WTF is wrong with google?

One of the reasons I haven't been as chatty as usual lately is that I'm doing a crash course in Windoze Mobile programming. Which, of course, means a lot of time googling for information on APIs, examples, etc.

But it's taking even more time than usual because google keeps getting in my way, instead of helping.

Several times per day, I discover that google isn't really searching for what I asked it to. Sometimes, it's silent: e.g., if I enter the name of an API function, say, "HandleNetworkException", I'll discover that google has split that into "Handle", "network" and "exception", then gone off and done a fuzzy search that includes "handlers", "networking", "exceptional", etc.

Sometimes, it's blatant: I came across a reference to a sample application called "wzctool". So I did a search for "windows mobile wcztool". When I hit "Enter", google announced that it was searching for "windows mobile wifi", instead. A complete waste of time that produced 25 million useless hits. Even worse, google disabled the search button and the link to the search I really wanted.

Sometimes, it's just weird: I was searching for info on some authentication protocol, and got 25,000 results with too much noise. So I added "+password" to the search, to narrow it down. Instead of narrowing the search, that widened it, and got 50,000 hits.

What has happened at Google HQ that has caused them to turn their search engine from an invaluable research aid into an obstacle that needs to be overcome in order to get the facts? Has abandoned jet fuel from Moffett Field leaked into their water supply? Or are the people they hired away from Microsoft actually moles, sabotaging the system to make Bing look good?

There are a number of similar issues I have had...

One of the most annoying things was to do with google instant. If I typed something in quickly then hit enter (to search as I normally do) - it would kinda try to search with instant - realise I'd hit enter and then break itself and ask me to press enter again.

Thankfully I stay logged in so all the computers I use have 100 hits per page and have instant off (as well as a few other changes)

Also, Google Maps has been utterly broken for me the past few weeks... zooming in and out does bad bad things

They do seem to be fiddling with the algorithms. Try putting "DoubleQuotes" around the word.

Hmm, when I search for windows mobile wcztool on google, it then searches for windows mobile wcztool, but asks me if it was windows mobile wzctool I wanted, and from the results from the two searches, it looks like it is actually called wzctool and not wcztool.

HandleNetworkException both searches for HandleNetworkException and Handle Network Exception at the same time.

Not sure what you did to "your google" mine seems to work as it always did. :)

Another issue - if I search for something on products and get say 200 results, sort from price high to low and I then only get 2 pages with items up to about £2.

Seems to happen most times I sort by price - the highest priced items will then get ignored.

bld:
Hmm, when I search for windows mobile wcztool on google

That was a typo here: I had the spelling right when I did the search. But my point is that a search engine should offer alternatives, not substitute them for what you requested. Especially when it generates broken webpages that make it difficult to get to what you wanted in the first place.

HandleNetworkException both searches for HandleNetworkException and Handle Network Exception at the same time.

And that’s fundamentally wrong: it might be different if they had an AI like IBM’s Watson making guesses about what I really want. But, instead of artificial intelligence, they have artificial stupidity that actually lowers the signal/noise ratio, and produces more useless hits instead of fewer.

Not sure what you did to “your google” mine seems to work as it always did. :slight_smile:

Perhaps it seems that way to you, but it doesn’t. The fact is that google doesn’t even serve up HTML anymore: instead, it downloads a javascript app to your browser that creates the page you see.

And it’s bad javascript, that produces links and buttons that don’t work, and fundamentally changes the way the browser works. If you hit the “back” button, you not only don’t get the page you were previously viewing, you may get something that doesn’t even resemble it, with a different search on it.

Over the past few years, google has gone from being the model of simple, elegant and efficient web design to a Microsoft-style “search experience” that offers the illusion of functionality, instead of the real thing.

I was going to say there's always m.google.com but they're being too clever with that and it works out you're not a mobile and re-directs you to google.com/mobile which is of no use whatsoever.

Simpson_Jr: Are you sure it's google ?

Searching articles on Ebay I recently got loads and loads of other articles

Well, using google to search ebay is like trying to record your kid's first carousel ride with a daguerreotype camera: you'll definitely get a "result", but it's probably not going to be anything like what you wanted. :) Pages on ebay change so rapidly that google's cached versions are practically obsolete by the time they're written to disk.

My biggest problem with google and ebay is keeping ebay out of the results: I frequently go looking for technical info on some gadget I'm thinking about hacking (often something I've actually seen offered on ebay), and find the results awash in stealth ads from ebay "affiliates", and pages from shopping sites that couldn't connect me with a real seller of the gadget if I held a gun to the CEO's head.

I was actually thinking about writing a Perl proxy to screen out that noise, but that's been made impossible by google's abandonment of simple HTML. :0

[quote author=Ran Talbott link=topic=55048.msg395122#msg395122 date=1299972237]Pages from shopping sites that couldn't connect me with a real seller of the gadget if I held a gun to the CEO's head. [/quote]

This, So Annoying.

I love it when you for example search for "Australia" and get all the sponsored adds saying

Buy Australia cheap at dickheads.com.

Another annoying thing is data sheet and code downloads. Having already clicked on a download link you get a page with a huge flashing DOWNLOAD button in the centre, but that's for something totally different, the link to download the data sheet you want is in 3 point text at the bottom left of the page.


Rob

Same thing with drivers of any sort...

Or datasheets diverting you to some alldatasheet or something rubbish that doesn't actually have what you're looking for - it just says it does and diverts you to some search that's pretty much irrelevant.

mowcius: Or datasheets diverting you to some alldatasheet or something rubbish that doesn't actually have what you're looking for - it just says it does and diverts you to some search that's pretty much irrelevant.

1) Lets say you're looking for a 555 timer datasheet. 2a) Long way: google "555 datasheet" 2b) Simple way: google "555 datasheet filetype:pdf" 3) ???? 4) PROFIT!

Yeah I try that but they’re still often random datasheets that come up - maybe that’s because they are normally unusual parts I have trouble finding datasheets for :stuck_out_tongue: