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|I Want a New Search Engine|
The Current Crop is Tired and Obsolete
So, we are in the middle of a building project and I am currently doing the most indepth searching I have ever done. Hundreds - if not thousands - of searches per week, looking for products and services. The search engines are failing me. I spend more time trying to push the search engines out of the way than finding stuff.
I most often search in groups of searches. So I need utils that work over an entire search session involving dozens of searches.
I want a search service that:
A) Remembers my queries.
- It can automatically remove those URL's that I have seen from the current SERP's
- Filter out sites I flag or rate as seen, don't show, ok, marginal, appropriate, in-approprite, offensive...etc
B) Open each result in a a new browser tab or SERP Free searching.
- I want to ignore the spam filled SERP's entirely - they are a 100% annoyance anymore.
- I don't want to see snippets - they are of no value. zero - nada - waste of screen space - visual noise.
- For that matter - lets skip the serp entirely and just open tabs with your results. (I want a modern I'm Feeling Lucky, in Ten tabs) - I search, and 10-20 tabs open with the results. I'm tired of clicking.
C) I want to select a "search engine mode" to trigger:
- 'commercial mode', I'm searching for products, so give me adds and shopping sites.
- 'research mode', looking for info, so please don't localize the results, and make it dot EDU top heavy.
- 'fun mode', not sure what I want, so give me a mix to pass the time and address general boredom.
- 'group mode', looking for general info on the subjects, so give me broad big sites in the category. eg: Give me bleacherreport.com and not NFL.com or Broncos.com
- 'big sites suck mode', eliminate any site listed in a 'top 1000 traffic' list.
Any programs, services, or utils out there like that?
You must be looking for Alta Vista 3.6
On July 8, 2013, the service was shut down by Yahoo!
I sympathize, I get very frustrated with the way G will put directories ahead of the real site in the entertainment and leisure sectors. For business reasons I want the site, not a review from 1998.
I agree. I think the results are as bad as they have been for several years. This is despite all of Google's posturing and faff about providing better results. Have you tried DuckDuckGo? It won't do all you want but there is no search engine around that will.
The problem is that search is in commercial hands. It has to be put in the hands of people whose mission is to generate the best results as opposed to profit.
I wouldn't call you the average searcher, Brett. ;)
I don't think the knowledge graph is working as it was envisaged. It does work for certain searches, but those are pretty limited. Searching for movie stars is better because there's so much more out there and the search services can connect the dots. It doesn't work when you're looking for something that might be described as long tail.
I'm not sure about opening all the pages as i'd find that a little concerning, however, I can see why you're asking.
I do agree that better human control is what's missing from search, whichever search service you choose. The trend is for search to become "more intelligent" and "more anticipatory." That works, as I said, if you looking for a movie star's bio and latest exploits.
Bring back greater human control.
Unfortunately human control does not help Google's bottom line so it's not going to happen. Google must always place lucrative ads in front of people using search. That will always be a conflict.
I think if someone came up with a decent search engine for research that used operators to filter results it could be a big success. Google has proven conclusively that with the best will in the world search that is totally dependent on profit does not work well for the user.
Honestly, Brett, how little is your time worth? You don't want a search engine. You want a contractor. Or, in the broader sense: You want a human who already knows the subject and knows where to look and what names to ask for.
Even in the age of the internet there is such a thing as acquired knowledge.
Its simple, he want google from 2010. I also recommend duckduckgo.com, i use it alot, I also have trouble finding unique things on google.
|It has to be put in the hands of people whose mission is to generate the best results as opposed to profit. |
Right, like DMOZ. (Irony intended.)
Hire a programmer to build a mask between you and Google and to program the mask to return your favorite Google results the way like them :) Super easy.
|- Filter out sites I flag or rate as seen, don't show, ok, marginal, appropriate, in-approprite, offensive...etc |
This, so much.
I think there's a fundamental difference between searchers who want to make their own filters, and those who don't. I want the tools to filter my results, but Google is too fixated on doing all the thinking for everyone. This is one of the reasons Twitter is so popular with a subset of people: your feed is what you make it, and you have to put the work in to craft your own filters.
I'm not too keen on the idea of having results open automatically. Apart from the performance impact on websites, there are security implications; I don't rely on Google's warnings to inform me which sites to avoid.
sometimes i think it would be great if we could just return everything to the way it was in the old days -- ranking pages by the words written on them.
you want a page about red widgets? just show us all the pages with red widgets in the title and red widgets in the text, that's got images called red widgets. forget about all the backlinks. who cares where it came from... i don't care whether its a big "trusted" company or a little mom-and-pop site. if its got the words that i searched for then i want to see it.
i'm sure that technology has moved on far enough now to distinguish between real information and gibberish spam stuff, and spun text. if search engines would just focus all their efforts on sifting out pages with gibberish and spun stuff, instead of wasting all their processing power tracing back and forth ten million levels of interconnecting backlinks, then what's left will probably be decent stuff.
and i know that they can recognise what's in a picture, because google images can do that even now. if you stick a picture in the search box then it will tell you what it is. so any search engine should be able to tell whether the images on a page are relevant.
when i look at the results these days, i sometimes wonder whether they take into account the on-page stuff at all. it seems that a "trusted brand" gets shoved up the serps even when the page content is non-existent.
here is a good example. if i search for "president obama school", what i get back is the wikipedia page about... "president obama". i dont want that. i want a page that focuses on his school. if search engines went back to weighting the actual text on the page, then they would never return that "president obama" page -- because 95% of it is irrelevant to my search
Google scrapes the content from our sites now and displays it with ads since 2010. They're infallible though and will do no evil. Google is that anal retentive eccentric in the corner espousing what is good and what is not - unfortunately they also have a Cosmic Cube so we all have no choice in the matter.
|and i know that they can recognise what's in a picture, because google images can do that even now. if you stick a picture in the search box then it will tell you what it is. so any search engine should be able to tell whether the images on a page are relevant. |
The conclusion doesn't necessarily follow from the premises. What they recognize may be "line drawing" or "something bright red in the top right". Not everything is as unambiguous as a picture of the Eiffel tower.
I once experimented by dragging in a photo of one of my pet rats hiding in a small paper bag. Some results were other people's rats. Others were pictures that had a dark thing in the middle (my rat) surrounded by a white or light-colored thing (the bag).
Now, if you could do a combined search for "looks like this" (your dragged-in image) and "is a picture of" (page text, especially the alt) ...
|sometimes i think it would be great if we could just return everything to the way it was in the old days -- ranking pages by the words written on them. |
That approach worked adequately when the Web was a lot smaller than it is now. Today, it's likely to be impractical. You'd just end up with a long list of results that you'd have to vet on your own.
Being able to filter out certain types of results ("commercial" or "information") would certainly help, though. And wouldn't it be nice if Google Search let us turn off "universal search" when we simply wanted to look for Web pages from the Web at large instead of videos, images, news stories, local businesses, etc.?
|'big sites suck mode', eliminate any site listed in a 'top 1000 traffic' list. |
AMEN! I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to shout at Google and say 'If I wanted Amazon, eBay or Wikipedia I'd have gone there directly, 43 results in top 50 are you kidding me!?!'. Thankfully it's not 43 of 50 anymore but still... BEGONE BIG BRAND, I ALREADY KNOW YOU!
I miss the days when Google brought me to little sites that there is no way I'd have found on my own, I miss them dearly.
I think if a site makes the top 1000 traffic list it should lose some pull with Google since Google is supposed to help us find content, not find big brand almost exclusively. Researchers regularly 'chop off' the top 10% and bottom 10% of results when presenting data, Google should too.
|It can automatically remove those URL's that I have seen from the current SERP's |
Google does the opposite of this it seems. You click on something and it seems to be sticky... you start seeing it more etc.
I went through a similar process a year ago for building a home. Found it really hard to find what I was looking for in a lot of cases and kept seeing the same sites over and over.
Have been leaning more on bing and duckduckgo.
I like many of your ideas.
I like duckduckgo.com as well. It's the default search engine in the excellent browser Midori.
|Being able to filter out certain types of results ("commercial" or "information") would certainly help, though. |
This would be great obviously but the problem here is that information based results are not generally selling anything so they are no good to Google.
A: bad idea. I often want the same results again.
B: too annoying to then close all those tabs if you only wanted one.
C: Yahoo had an experimental search engine with a products vs info slider, very good, but never rolled out to the main Yahoo search. I suspect it was too complicated for the average user.
What you really want are better SERPS and "geek options" for people who hae a basic grasp of how a search engine works.
>>I suspect it was too complicated for the average user.
... and therein lies the ultimate problem, everything gets dumbed down once it gets popular.
Lack of human control is the problem, as far as I see it. Humans are intelligent, but a search that tries to be too clever for its own good is only going to anger the sophisticated power user.
Why can we not have a search engine that offers the following options:
1. Potentially, will display every single piece of data it has indexed.
2. Has a series of check boxes for the user to select, or deselect to search options, such as video, social, news, etc.
3. Better still, includes a slider or control knob that allows users to scroll through educational sites, commercial sites, brand names, etc., all the way up to position 11 for the whole data set. A bit like tuning an old radio.
4. Add additional sliders to refine the search.
To satisfy the demand for money, every position on the slider refreshes the ads, allowing more ads to be displayed.
Display a cloud of linked search options users may wish to follow, again, helping refine the search.
Oh, and also show a simple search box that does it all for those that prefer.
|This would be great obviously but the problem here is that information based results are not generally selling anything so they are no good to Google. |
Studies have shown that consumers typically research purchases over a period of time (anywhere up to several months) before actually buying, so focusing exclusively on "transactional" SERP ads is leaving money on the table. (That's probably one of the reasons why Google introduced AdSense.)
If searchers were able to express their "informational" or "transactional" intent (as opposed to Google's trying to divine it), Google would be able to do an even better job of matching ad messages to its search results. The SERPs would be better, and the ads would be more effective. Searchers would benefit, and so would Google and its advertisers.
tabbed search, thats what they should do.
you still search for whatever words you want, and submit like before. but the results come up in a few different tabs -- informational, transactional, images -- and you can flit between them. fifty results on each tab, because no one searches beyond that anyway.
[edited by: londrum at 6:37 pm (utc) on Sep 24, 2013]
|Its simple, he want google from 2010. |
Zeus, you are 100% correct. Google was so good just a few years ago, but nowadays, I have to view the cache of the page to make sure it really contains the terms I searched for (remember when Google showed pages that were actually about the intended search query, not all this partial match nonsense?).
|'research mode', looking for info, so please don't localize the results, and make it EDU top heavy. |
Brett, I performed a Google search from my mobile yesterday and saw a link at the top of the serps that asked if I wanted to view scholarly results. This was something I've never seen before, and certainly a step in the right direction. I use Google Scholar often, for research on scientific queries. It's nice to see it integrated somewhat into organic search. If it has been there for a while, I just didn't notice until now.
So instead of spammers just forcing their way into the SERPS undeservedly, you actually want to give them traffic. Directly. Twenty tabs opening up on a potentially security-lax computer, pop ups, redirects, etc, etc.
Yep, sounds a winner.
Londrom: I like your "tabbed search" idea. Of course, Google would have to figure out what to put on the default tab. If they used "universal search" as the default tab and put the filtered results on the click-to-view tabs, the SERPs wouldn't be any different than they are now for people who found the tabs confusing.
Brett needs the old Northern Light search engine.
|he wants google from 2010 |
YES please-please bring it back.
|It has to be put in the hands of people whose mission is to generate the best results as opposed to profit. |
Right, like DMOZ. (Irony intended.)
Hahah-aaha almost pe---- in my pants - still LOL
This is exactly what I've been saying for a while now, Brett. I may not have exactly the same preferences as you, but I want all those things as OPTIONS.
No search engine functioning like they do now and did 10 years ago can parse the sheer volume of webpages out there meaningfully. Right now, everyone I know just keeps going back and adding more "tail" to filter search results, but this doesn't work like it once did, either.
Someone needs to reinvent the whole concept of search in the ways Brett's talking about. The engine simply needs more input from you than a few words. Somebody needs to create an engine that asks you to give more input and rewards you with more refined results. Maybe the current search engines don't see any profit in that, but there is such a big niche that would try an alternative if it was properly marketed as a whole new way of searching the net.
I find myself searching less and less than I used to. There's not a great alternative, but I actually end up doing shoutouts on Facebook ("Does anybody know a good [whatever]?") and it often works better.
Two years ago, I could find anything I wanted via search. I knew all the filter commands - which are mostly disabled now - and I knew how to add "tail" the right way because I'm a webmaster. Now even with that webmaster insider info, I just get lost.
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