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March 8, 2005

Google Increasingly Irrelevant

I suppose I've noticed for a while now, that Google's searches have been returning more and more irrelevant search pages and links. (by the way, I'm writing this on the back of a Burger King tray liner - damn this dagger pen is useful)

I mean obviously I can't offer more than anecdotal evidence, but it's noticeable and I'm sticking with that. The wonder then turns to why. Maybe it's the product of google indexing *everything*, that now their previous strength, breadth, is now coming to bite the thing that's handed to them. And especially with idiots like me entering as much text as I do - and not just in easily closeted off domains like blogspot or livejournal or typepad, I wouldn't wonder if they're starting to get a bit swamped.

The other problem is no doubt the fact that they are still the market leader in online search, or since I lack figures to back me up, they at least have the largest mind-share. That would mean that most sites would be trying their darndest to optimise/fineagle their way into an improved google ranking. Personally I just skew my site to cater to the traffic they were sending my way anyway.

For better or worse, the fact that *I* get as many referrals as I do do off of google searches can't be the best thing yes/no?

I can't wait for it: "we're the market leader, so of course we'd be the most open to exploitation etc. etc.". Let the Microsoft schadenfreude begin.

Now this isn't to say that google sucks at everything - Google News is still by far the better new search service (compared to Yahoo news at least) - and honestly until MSN gets the stick out of its ass and starts being more standards compliant, it knows where the sun doesn't shine.

But all in all, my personal endorsement (as I've stated before), goes to Yahoo search. The only reason why I don't put that as my default search in my customised search.ini is that google pays me. The searches have been more consistently relevant, especially in certain instances. That and I find the interface fresher.

MSN search is the worst, cluttered interface, ugly and annoying - espcially compared to Yahoo after proxo has done its work. In terms of search relevance I'd have to get over a couple of bumps before I even find that out. You have to admire Google for making it profitable to have their search boxes and branding all over the fuck-shop, though it might get hairy eventually. I have to mention that MSN only recently began crawling my site (I didn't submit it I suppose) so I might check in and see if that leads to a rise in their referrals.

In many ways, the various blog search engines are the ones most likely to send me traffic - there are a bunch.

Oh, and Opera, as of 8 beta 2, now supports multiple ed2k links on the page being passed directly to eMule. Happened at the same time the started fully supporting Movable Type.

Posted by subtitles at March 8, 2005 3:05 AM | Articles , Computer Stuff

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Comments

I haven't been shy about criticizing Google in the past. Frankly, "relevance" is a mirage, and their success has more to do with aggressive PR and the ceding of the search space by Yahoo and others back at the turn of the century (remember the rush to "portals"?).

I always preferred HotBot, before it hooked up Google as one of it's engines (and now that it's the only engine on it, it's gone). One of Google's dirty little secrets is that it doesn't handle search phrases in quotemarks particularly well, which grownups use for more targeted searching; HotBot did, and would usually return better results.

I'm similarly bemused that I'm getting so much traffic at my little old blog thanks to high Google placement. On the one hand, I shouldn't complain -- I love getting loads of visitors as much as the next guy. But should I be attracting all that, despite my prodigous output (average of 3-4 posts per day, 365/7)? No.

Posted by: CT at March 8, 2005 4:32 PM