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Winty
Sep 22, 2007


I almost posted this in the tech remembrances thread, but I think a further discussion could be had about this.
I feel like there was a time when if you searched for something slightly obscure on google, you would actually find a blog or paper talking about it. Now it just returns the nearest point in machine learning space that is kind of sort of related to your query. It will even change your search terms to return pages with high page rank!
A few possibilities:
- They had to do this to keep up with spam and the changing internet
- They had to do this to serve a growing internet base that is a little less tech savvy
- They broke it on purpose on the request of the CIA or other nefarious parties
- The algorithm is the same as ever and the content of the internet has changed
- The algorithm is the same as ever, the content is the same, and I'm only noticing my own declining cognitive function

Thoughts? Has this really happened or am I imagining it?

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Suspicious
Apr 30, 2005
You know he's the villain, because he's got shifty eyes.


google was a search engine company when it started. now it's an advertisement company

r u ready to WALK
Sep 29, 2001



google search is probably the same as ever but the internet is an ever expanding lake of poo poo so the signal to noise ratio get exponentially worse over time

like 90% of modern internet sites only exist to scam people

pointsofdata
Apr 25, 2011



i think that there's just more spammy content site and the spammers are smarter than googles engineers so they can't keep up

pram
Jun 10, 2001




lol

my stepdads beer
Feb 24, 2001




"idk" "what" "are" "you" "talking" "about"

my stepdads beer
Feb 24, 2001




every other search engine is far worse though

Cybernetic Vermin
Apr 18, 2005



a pretty clear sign that it is worse is that i am back to using domain-specific search engines for a lot of things. e.g. actually search on youtube for youtube stuff, scholar or even local library for academic papers, a few select sites i like for recipes, etc. used to be that google just did everything better for everything.

Animal Friend
Sep 7, 2011



Google seems to rely on using your key words as they relate to trending searches and favoured (paid or expected based on history or hits) results. Key words as search terms no longer seem to exist objectively.

The old web stuff that up until even 3 years ago was easily traversed through google is gone. We're all dinosaurs here so I guess we notice it more than most.

Like others have said, its now much easier to go to specific domains to use internal searches (even including Google/Alphabet owed stuff) to find stuff rather than rely on the goog.

Its a popular search engine with a market monopoly. Its no longer designed for data retrieval, just generating hits.

pram
Jun 10, 2001


remember when the forums search was broken for like 10 years

akadajet
Sep 14, 2003



pram posted:

remember when the forums search was broken for like 10 years

i remember for awhile it had this absolutely insane ui

then i remember when it was rewritten by some guy and he didn't escape the html on the results screen

pram
Jun 10, 2001


akadajet posted:

i remember for awhile it had this absolutely insane ui

then i remember when it was rewritten by some guy and he didn't escape the html on the results screen

oh yeeeaaaah the pre-elasticsearch one had that incomprehensible set of buttons for every subforum or something lol

SO DEMANDING
Dec 27, 2003



agreed, op. it's fuckin dogshit.

Animal Friend posted:

Its a popular search engine with a market monopoly. Its no longer designed for data retrieval, just generating hits.

and i think this it what it comes down to. specifically, generating hits which lead to advertising revenue.


also i've got this pet theory that one of the reasons forums have dwindled in popularity is google just flat-out doesn't index them anymore.

A Wheezy Steampunk
Jul 16, 2006

High School Grads Eligible!


Cybernetic Vermin posted:

a pretty clear sign that it is worse is that i am back to using domain-specific search engines for a lot of things. e.g. actually search on youtube for youtube stuff, scholar or even local library for academic papers, a few select sites i like for recipes, etc. used to be that google just did everything better for everything.

this is why i really like duckduckgo, i can tab over to the search box and type !yt to search youtube directly, or !wiki, or !ebay, or almost anything else

Truman Peyote
Oct 11, 2006



the machine learning part is the most noticeable way it's gotten worse for me. it never used to arbitrarily decide that actually I'm searching for this different, more general thing

CyberPingu
Sep 15, 2013


Youtubes algorithm has gotten progressively worse too


Everything Google touches turns to poo poo eventually

Ansible Adams
Mar 21, 2011


Cybernetic Vermin posted:

a pretty clear sign that it is worse is that i am back to using domain-specific search engines for a lot of things. e.g. actually search on youtube for youtube stuff, scholar or even local library for academic papers, a few select sites i like for recipes, etc. used to be that google just did everything better for everything.

I'm kind of doing the same but in reverse, and it sucks because it just further silos my internet usage into specific platforms. A lot of how I search now is doing a google search for `site:reddit.com what im looking for` and it is miles better than using reddit's native search to look for things.

Ansible Adams fucked around with this message at 18:03 on Mar 7, 2021

Ansible Adams
Mar 21, 2011


SO DEMANDING posted:

also i've got this pet theory that one of the reasons forums have dwindled in popularity is google just flat-out doesn't index them anymore.

although the decline in general popularity of forums is bad, forums are still the best form of social interaction on the internet, and this is one of the things that makes forums good.

A Wheezy Steampunk
Jul 16, 2006

High School Grads Eligible!


my bitter bi rival posted:

I'm kind of doing the same but in reverse, and it sucks because it just further silos my internet usage into specific platforms. A lot of how I search now is doing a google search for `site:reddit.com what im looking for` and it is miles better than using reddit's native search to look for things.

this is how i search for tweets because twitter search is worse than google search. duckduckgo has the same syntax and it works sometimes but not all the time for finding tweets, it works great for most other sites

Ansible Adams
Mar 21, 2011


A Wheezy Steampunk posted:

this is how i search for tweets because twitter search is worse than google search. duckduckgo has the same syntax and it works sometimes but not all the time for finding tweets, it works great for most other sites

yeah Twitter is another one that holds true for. stack overflow too.

SO DEMANDING
Dec 27, 2003



my bitter bi rival posted:

it just further silos my internet usage into specific platforms.

this is very bad and we're watching the internet as we knew it die very slowly

Asleep Style
Oct 20, 2010



SEO has made the internet and the google experience in particular way worse

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


jeffrey needs to make the forums search work for the entire internet imo. googles time is running out, something awful's day has come

Sweevo
Nov 8, 2007




search engines should be banned from returning anything that doesn't contain the specific words you searched for

LastInLine
Mar 15, 2006

Why stay in the Cape when you can be in the WAVE?




weird that this thread is here as google just suggested this article to me in my discover feed three days ago

its not even that recent of an article

Ansible Adams
Mar 21, 2011


big scary monsters posted:

jeffrey needs to make the forums search work for the entire internet imo. googles time is running out, something awful's day has come

low tax not selling for millions in the early aughts, having to give the site away due to domestic violence rebellion, and then watching as Mr Yospos makes this site worth millions again.... hell, I'm lollin just thinkin about it

MrMoo
Sep 14, 2000



Winty posted:

- They had to do this to serve a growing internet base that is a little less tech savvy

It is nice that some technology is actually making things easier rather than harder, like ok, I cannot spell "Gqeberha", or even pronounce it, but I can find the right result on Google soon enough.

Chumbawumba4ever97
Dec 31, 2000



I noticed a long time ago that searching "verbatim" is loving worthless.

when i was in college from like 2006 to 2010 i would google an entire sentence from my textbook and i would put quotation marks around them so i only get results that were identical to what i typed in

in the past 3 or 4 years, verbatim will give me bullshit hits that don't even have the exact loving phrase i typed in. even if i used quotation marks and/or clicked "verbatim".

H.P. Hovercraft
Jan 12, 2004

I'm brOKedn


Slippery Tilde

the most annoying verbatim being purposefully broken thing i've run across is if you include "positive" or "negative" in the query it'll swap in "yes" or "no" instead

a few DRUNK BONERS
Mar 25, 2016



check out google's reverse image search and compare it to the results you can get from bing

it is intentionally broken

mediaphage
Mar 22, 2007

Excuse me, pardon me, sheer perfection coming through


H.P. Hovercraft posted:

the most annoying verbatim being purposefully broken thing i've run across is if you include "positive" or "negative" in the query it'll swap in "yes" or "no" instead

the term replacement drives me batty. an annoying one for me is that sometimes it switches median for average and vice versa. i understand most people don't care but that one in particular really bugs me.

i'm also sort of surprised at how much they've just let pinterest take their image results. i hate pinterest and find it clunky to use, mostly because of the obfuscation of sources that goes on; like it's fine to use as a visual bookmarking site or whatever but it's really hard to just click through to poo poo sometimes

El Mero Mero
Oct 13, 2001



It's insanely good if you know exactly what you're looking for but not the URL or name. It also still works okay for searching other conversations on forums.

For anything else discovery related or more interesting it's mostly garbage now because of ads and because google's been aggressively trying to refine the platform around the first three results and customized results for your profile for like a decade.

SEO placement agencies work to fill the top three-five and buy the top and side ads along those results, meaning they sometimes get listed 5 times on one page. If it's a result that cross-posts youtube or google store content you might even get lucky and get 10 ad slots in above the results!

I've often found page two-three google to be generally a better quality set of results because there's so much less fucky-wucky bullshit being applied to those results and their order.

Sweevo
Nov 8, 2007




there are ads on the internet?

Displeased Moo Cow
Jun 15, 2009

The Journey BeginsTM


my bitter bi rival posted:

low tax not selling for millions in the early aughts, having to give the site away due to domestic violence rebellion, and then watching as Mr Yospos makes this site worth millions again.... hell, I'm lollin just thinkin about it

lol

Sweevo
Nov 8, 2007




lowtax isn't even banned yet

pram
Jun 10, 2001


because he still owns the site

Poopernickel
Oct 28, 2005

electricity bad

Fun Shoe

I love how search for
code:
butts +poo poo
doesn't mandate that poo poo will be in the search results any more, but
code:
butts "poo poo"
somehow does.

Like who thought that was more intuitive? now how the gently caress am I supposed to add a search term with a space in it, unless I also want the term to be mandatory?

Google can eat my balls, let's bring back gopher

Sagebrush
Feb 26, 2012


"Why does that Subaru break down every time you look at it, Travis", Punchy said. I nearly fell out of the jump seat in my Brat, aghast. "That thing a princess?" I coughed and gulped. "Hahahaha, nice one, Punchy", I said

while we're on the subject, why does the search here use different syntax from the URL parameters?

if i wanna search a specific thread i should be able to just copy the threadid=3961364 from the URL and paste that into the search field rather than having to replace the equals with a colon.

sheesh. think about ux a bit why don't you

Archduke Frantz Fanon
Sep 7, 2004



have you considered binging up your are rear end op?

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Ansible Adams
Mar 21, 2011


Archduke Frantz Fanon posted:

have you considered binging up your are rear end op?

ive considered all sorts of things up my rear end

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