_ __ | |__ | | ___ __ _
| '_ \| '_ \| |/ _ \ / _` |
| |_) | | | | | (_) | (_| |
| .__/|_| |_|_|\___/ \__, |
|_| ...2020-01-20 |___/
Search engines are getting worse
In the ever increasing effort to "improve the experience", search engines
have now become "optimized" to the degree where searching for something
specific has become next to impossible. I understand why this is happening,
but that does not make it rational or right. The idea is to get as many
many people as possible to their desired search results, I get that!
We all love when we can search for something we don't quite know how to
spell, and father google auto-corrects us. This started out well,
what would happen is, that you type in something which is a bit off, then
google would do a search for that, present any results on your exact query,
but it would also do some fuzzy search, and suggest a different spelling.
I don't know the algorithm behind this, but I guess it's something like..
"If there are more results with some other, but somewhat close-looking word,
then that word is probably the right one, so we suggest that, too."
Yes, nice, really. Then at some point, they changed it around, so that you
would get the results google felt was right first, but it'd tell you that
there were some results on your original query and allow you to change back
to that. Alright, that's neat, gets people to the right place most of the
time, and when they actually knew better, they were only one click away.
This superficially sounds great enough, but it's wrong.
The first scenario was fine: Human queries, computer answers query, and also
notifies human about alternative query which may be relevant. That's what
makes computers great, they do _EXACTLY_ what you tell them, and if the
result is wrong, it's your fault and you get the chance to fix it.
Most importantly, it means that if you actually know what you're doing,
you can achieve your goal (in this case, of searching for something).
The problem with the reverse is the principle:
Human does something right, computer thinks it knows better and does
something other than instructed, because, silly humans. Computer looks
around a bit, just in case silly human want to have their _WRONG_ results
anyway, even though computer knows those are the wrong results.
Next step makes it worse, today I searched for "Tetrix C64", google took me
for an idiot (I might still be, but not on grounds of searching for that) and
instead searched for "Tetris C64" with no suggestions to change it back.
Okay then, I'll put a quote around it: "Tetrix" C64, no luck, no suggestion.
Okay then, I'll put everything in quotes, but then the results are narrowed
down so much that there is only a single page, not even the one that I had
originally read about Tetrix for C64 on, even though THAT page was also found
via google. Now, Tetrix was obviously indexed, but ignored, perhaps it is
considered too similar to Tetrix, or have too (relative to tetris) few results
for google to consider it a valid term, but this time, without any way to force
a query for it anyway.
Let's stop taking people for idiots, and let's stop designing software that's
so "smart" it breaks.