Still the largest database of indexed pages. Recently I encountered a few more 404 errors, but then there is usually still the cache. So as a user no big problem: 8/10
I'd disagree just a bit. My webmastering is purely hobby. Professionally, I'm turning to ATW more and more. The same is true of some personal searches recently. I've gone 3 pages deep for a couple of searches and not found what I was after. Then on ATW I found what I was looking for on page 2.
It really depends on what you are searching but right now I don't think I'd give G any higher marks than ATW or Looksmart. For a number of searches I routinely do, I get nearly identical serps on page 1 on all three.
It really isn't just the number of pages you have in your index. Others have proven that. It's partly how good your first page of serps is and thereafter what matters is your ability to serve up the arcane sites/pages well. IMHO G is falling down on this more and more of late.
In my area, which is dominated by hobby sites and hence essentially spam-free, I have seen no meaningful changes to the SERPS in either the Sept '02 or dominic updates. When I search I find what I want, and the best pages tend to be at the top of the SERPs.
In this day and age of grade inflation I cannot see anything less than 10/10 being appropriate.
As a user I dont notice any problem. As a webmaster, I liked the analogy one of the "dave" posters made here that it is at the moment a "construction zone". To make a significant change, they need to rip up the old to some extent before replacing it with the new. In the meatime there are detours and relatively messy road works. In a few weeks we will have something to work with, but at the moment its not broken so much as being "under construction".
Only my opinion
I am with Chiyo on this one. wasnt aware it WAS broken.
I think however it was an excellent wake-up call round here that webmasters should NOT rely solely on Google for their traffic.
But there again a lot of the senior members have been saying this for a long long time.
|It really isn't just the number of pages you have in your index. |
True for a search that results in 100+ relevant pages. I don't care if there are 10,000 or 5,000,000 pages found for my search. But sometimes for a multiple keyword search one SE gives 25 pages and another 8. *Then* it is usually Google that is doing better. Maybe a non-English search is more likely to have few results.
Google is currently serving an old index with some freshbot listings added in.
Many quality sites that should be there are missing.
Therefore it's not a good index by normal Google standards. AllTheWeb for example, are showing far more relevant results.
I use google everyday & am finding that I'm starting to check out other search engines. Most are not significantly better - but I've found Teoma to be greatly superior to google
|So AS USERS, how do other people rate Google? Forget dance issues, page-rank, etc. can you as a user find the information you want? |
I too believe google is seriously broken. I'd give it a 6/10, and ATW a 7/10(last month google was a 10!)
I am an amateur webmaster. At the moment, I'd give Google a 7/10, which is a substantial drop from before, where I would have given them a 9/10. As for what this means for the average user, at the moment I don't suspect any large scale defections to other SEs. Biggest problem I see for Google is that ATW and Teoma are doing about as well as Google at the moment. Search engine users aren't known for their unfailing loyalty. Anyone remember when Altavista used to be the #1 SE? Who uses Altavista now? And, Inktomi isn't much worse than Google. When Yahoo drops Google and switches to Ink SERPs, the way Google is now I wouldn't expect many Yahoo users to switch to Google. If Google stays at this lower quality level, I would expect their market share to drop.
As for the size of the index, for almost all users, ATW, Teoma and Ink have a large enough index to be satisfactory. For a SE, it is far more important to get the most relevant sites on page 1. Typically people are looking for the most authoratative sites on a topic. Not the most minor and obscure. These big sites, because they have so many inbound links, are spidered by any SE worth mentioning.
As a user, I don't consider google to be broken. But I rarely do e-commerce searching anyway so what I look at may just happen to be outside highly competitive areas.
As a still fairly novice webmaster for an NFP org, I don't consider google to be broken. Indeed, I'm far happier with Goggle this month than I was back in April when our main page, and only the main page, took a holiday from the index.
Ohw ell, freshbot fixed that for the most part anyway, so pretty much same old, same old from my lil' corner of the prairie.
I wouldn't expect soo much real user opinions. The majority of us here are webmasters and therefor not qualified as "real life users" / "joe and jane surfer".
Asking here for people's google rating is somehow ... strange.
>How badly broken is Google?
This is a manipulative question based on *ones* opinion that google *is* broken. Who said it really is? Bah, i don't like this noisy / flaming / conspiracy / monopoly talks. Sorry.
Hypothetically speaking, if Google decided to randomly delete half of the pages in the index and also use 6 month old backlinks in their algorithm then I believe the typical user would NOT notice much of a difference as their search would most likely be satisfied.
However, there is quite a difference between being not-broken and being a well oiled machine. I believe Google is currently being given oil change . . . and a tune up.
"I wouldn't expect soo much real user opinions. The majority of us here are webmasters and therefor not qualified as "real life users" / "joe and jane surfer".
Asking here for people's google rating is somehow ... strange."
I strongly disagree with this statement! While I am an amateur webmaster, aside from my business web site, (which generates leads, not ecommerce type sales) I am 'Joe Surfer' as well, since 75% of my 'surfing' is not related to my business or web site. I believe the people here surf the net and utilze SEs for non-business use as much and probably more than the public as a whole.
I would have given Google 10/10 a month ago, but now I have to go several pages deep. What irritates me isn't my own site placement but the cr@p served up as results. While looking for 'widgets in anytown', #3 is a forum thread where one of the signatures has 'widgets in anytown' as the anchor text.
I am seeing completely irrelevant results more and more frequently. As a user I dont care if the site is spam laden as long as it has what I am looking for. In this context, Google is fustrating to me as the surfer. After 20 years in various businesses, I know one thing for sure - a frustrated customer will not stay a customer for long.
>While I am an amateur webmaster, aside from my business web site
Oohps, contradiction!? Do you really think you are still qualified as joe? Na, i don't think so!
I'm constantly asking new clients and friends/family which search engine they prefer to use and why.
I consider these folks the "real-life users".
Virtually no one has noticed any sort of change or difference in Google. They type in search terms and click around until they find what they are looking for. Just like they did last month and the month before that.
They also don't concern themselves with Google toolbars, Pagerank, backlinks, caches, anchor text, www2, -sj and everything else that the majority of WebmasterWorld members observe.
|I think however it was an excellent wake-up call round here that webmasters should NOT rely solely on Google for their traffic. |
>I'm constantly asking new clients and friends/family which search engine they prefer to use and why.
>I consider these folks the "real-life users".
>Virtually no one has noticed any sort of change or difference in Google.
Yep, that's it! In germany they call this housewife test. Ask you ma or your pa - unless they are not web pro's you'll get real world answers.
I am in an industry where most of the websites are owner operated and don't know jack about seo. 98% don't know forums like this even exist. But I hear contantly from them now that searches are different than they used to be. People who use the web will see a difference over time.
|if Google decided to randomly delete half of the pages in the index and also use 6 month old backlinks in their algorithm then I believe the typical user would NOT notice much of a difference |
nicely said gmoney, but one change.
"Realistically speaking the typical user would NOT notice ANYTHING"
I use my neighbours, they are low level users, know nothing about search engines or computers. They search and I watch. I don't help them search because it would remove any value for me. They dont care and wouldn't notice.
The people at work, cpu power users, never heard of the toolbar, do hardcore/frequent searches. They dont care and wouldn't notice.
My family, mid to high level users, they all spend a lot of time searching. They dont care and wouldn't notice.
get my drift?
You said real life user. just because I know just enough code to make changes to my site, I am not objective? That is absurd! By that standard, if I could cook it would mean I couldn't tell if someone else served me a bad tasting meal.
I am not complaining about site placement or spam like many. I am complaining because when I search for a toy for my child, the #4 result is an earthlink page about an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf. How objective do I need to be?
fair enough Kirby,
wrong results are wrong results but I don't see them as being rampant and I know most people just skip over them. They don't see them as any type of problem because they don't see those things like we do.
Probably all right-to-left content in Google is badly broken.
I have written about it here some time ago but no one followed:
Does anyone has a clue on the source of the problems with right-to-left content in the Google indices?
[edited by: Marcia at 10:39 pm (utc) on June 1, 2003]
[edit reason] No URLs per TOS, please. [/edit]
Porno spam appears to rule google today.
I have submitted a "Quality feedback" report today.
Is that enough or should I send a spam report as well.
>By that standard, if I could cook it would mean I couldn't tell if someone else served me a bad tasting meal.
LOL! May be ... :P
>How objective do I need to be?
Honestly? Too late! You're allready a WebmasterWorld member and you're writing like a pro - don't make me believe you are joe/jane! ;)
|How badly broken is Google? |
:) :) :) Well, I gotta admit, you had me going for a minute. ;)
Do you still beat your wife? Do you still get drunk every night? :)
Some webmasters may be displeased with the present results Google returns, but every recent search I've done returns useful results. If users are getting useful results, it ain't broke!
The biggest problem for me is that I am an avid Google user and fan. I never went beyond the first page because I never needed to. I stopped using any other se. Now I find myself cross checking on other SEs. That is what has changed and why I responded to the initial question.
>> that webmasters should NOT rely solely on Google for their traffic <<
Oh Please! Not down that ally again.... we'll all use the other engine that monopolizes 80% of searches then!
>> How badly broken is Google?<<
We will learn whether it is at all, or by how much, as soon as they bring all the data up to date.
Yes, there's stuff missing alright, and there are sites ranked that haven't existed for yonks, but these things may well be set right with the next proper update.
We are supposed to see some update in the next couple of weeks, but assuming we ever see a full crawl again (hmmm), that may well be 6-7 weeks.
The sooner the better really, as some people outside the webmaster communities are indeed starting to notice (only a few though to be fair). The problem for Google may be more that the webmaster influence in this industry (search) extends well beyond its numbers. Perception is important, and the perception of Google's quality isn't what it was at present.
However... the new updated data may (or may not) address most issues. I personally expect it to on past performance, and Google deserves the benefit of the doubt, but we'll just have to wait and see.
When I use google to do my "normal user" type of searching, I'm having a much harder time finding what I'm looking for. Takes me about twice as long as it used to. My searches are both in the non-commercial and e-commerce areas, ie, both research and looking for products to buy.
I've tried Allthweb and, these days, find it to be producing about the same quality results as google. Sometimes a little better.
Very frustrating. I guess this will make me appreciate google more when it gets back to normal - assuming that it will.
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