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posted by hubie on Wednesday June 22, @12:20PM   Printer-friendly
from the I've-got-a-secret dept.

Over at The Atlantic, Charlie Warzel wonders if Google Search is becoming a victim of its own success:

In February, an engineer named Dmitri Brereton wrote a blog post about Google's search-engine decay, rounding up leading theories for why the product's "results have gone to shit." The post quickly shot to the top of tech forums such as Hacker News and was widely shared on Twitter and even prompted a PR response from Google's Search liaison, Danny Sullivan, refuting one of Brereton's claims. "You said in the post that quotes don't give exact matches. They really do. Honest," Sullivan wrote in a series of tweets.

Brereton's most intriguing argument for the demise of Google Search was that savvy users of the platform no longer type instinctive keywords into the search bar and hit "Enter." The best Googlers—the ones looking for actionable or niche information, product reviews, and interesting discussions—know a cheat code to bypass the sea of corporate search results clogging the top third of the screen. "Most of the web has become too inauthentic to trust," Brereton argued, therefore "we resort to using Google, and appending the word 'reddit' to the end of our queries." Brereton cited Google Trends data that show that people are searching the word reddit on Google more than ever before.

[...] Google has built wildly successful mobile operating systems, mapped the world, changed how we email and store photos, and tried, with varying success, to build cars that drive themselves. [...] Most of the tech company's products—Maps, Gmail—are Trojan horses for a gargantuan personalized-advertising business, and Search is the one that started it all. It is the modern template for what the technology critic Shoshana Zuboff termed "surveillance capitalism."

The article goes on at length about ruthless commercialism via ever-intrusive ads, constant tweaks to the search algorithm, and how different generations use the ubiquitous search engine.

Previously:
Google's Ad Business Could Finally Crack Open
Google Allegedly Hid Documents From Search Monopoly Lawsuit, DOJ Claims
EU and UK Open Antitrust Probe Into Google and Meta Over Online Ads


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24, @03:23PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24, @03:23PM (#1255828)

    The sad thing is practically everyone's search is bad nowadays.
    1) Because they want to give you results that OTHER people want you to get. Not the stuff you searched for.
    2) Because the people with any semblance of competence cached out their options and retired in 2005 or similar.

    Heck just look at Outlook search for instance. In 1992 Eudora had a far better search (GUI driven, discoverable, etc) than Outlook in 2022. It actually found stuff you were searching for. Not something else some idiot thought you might be interested in.

    Then there's MS Team's "search". Which just finds you the message but you can't go to the actual context - as fucked up as a search engine that shows you the summary results but doesn't let you go to the actual webpage! How can you even get search that wrong? For personal usage nowadays computers can be so fast that even doing search in the brute force naive way would get you better results and fast enough. And I'd rather wait a minute and get what I searched for than get the wrong results in seconds (I suspect they purposely delay stuff too just for "psychological" reasons[1] ).

    [1] https://www.fastcompany.com/3061519/the-ux-secret-that-will-ruin-apps-for-you [fastcompany.com]
    https://90percentofeverything.com/2010/12/16/adding-delays-to-increase-perceived-value-does-it-work/index.html [90percentofeverything.com]