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Breaking up uncommon words
santapaws




msg:3850764
 5:24 pm on Feb 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

as someone who still fondly recalls the first years of google when you could truly find obscure information by typing the text you were looking for its sad to see yet another step away from being able to choose what you know you want, not what someone thinks you want based on what most people want. More and more typing a few choice words that you expect to be find close together on most of the returned pages finds mostly pages loosely related and nothing obscure, nothing akin to the golden nugget of years gone by. Now i find i cannot even search for uncommon words that are made up of other words. For example word1word2 i used to be able to search as "word1word2" but now even quotes finds only word1 and word2, not the word i was looking for. Great shame.

 

wilderness




msg:3850816
 6:26 pm on Feb 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

The majority of visitors searching for content NEVER even learn to use quotes.
Others never learn to combine search options, while others seem accustomed to adding questions with non-pertinent words in the search (clutter).

In most instances utilizing google searches is an acquired technique, however google has NOT "flowed" with the times in expanding on their search options (perhaps there is just not enough requests for more focused searches or perhaps google views focus as loss of revenue on click thru's).

My sites offer many, many phrases (names, locations and other grouped descriptions), which are simply not available in other places of the WWW.

Google offers the following example in their help [google.com] pages for the OR operator:

San Francisco Giants 2004 OR 2005

Using their example provides far too many non-relevant results.
Using their example and replacing "San Francisco Giants" with key widget groups (i. e., "John Smith", "blue cars", green dogs") is as least-focused as their example.

Attempting to modify/expand on that with

"San Francisco Giants" + "2004 OR 2005"
does NOT result in improvement of lesser returns and more precise focus.

Some of the desktop tools and toolbars offer more depth in search options, however even these options are restricited.

"San Francisco Giants" AND "2004 OR 2005"

Perhaps google needs to allow some containers which would make these operators work together?
Possibly contianing multiple phrases and/or operations within parentheses or brackets or some other character?

("San Francisco Giants" AND "2004 OR 2005")
or
{"San Francisco Giants" AND "2004 OR 2005"}

Course there'd need to be a demand for such use first!

tedster




msg:3850852
 7:23 pm on Feb 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

I also am quite frustrated at times with the "we guessed your intention" approach. For anyone who has been using technically precise search from the early days of the web, its easy to take this as a negative evolution.

I do understand that this is essentially a business decision - trying to please the great majority. But I also wish Google would give power searchers some option to turn off their lowest common demonator approach.

wilderness




msg:3850854
 7:25 pm on Feb 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

"we guessed your intention"

Simply TURN OFF JAVA and you won't see this crap.

wilderness




msg:3850861
 7:29 pm on Feb 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

When I first started on the web the SE of choice was Yahoo, which I detested and refused to use.

I switched to Alta Vista because, at that time they offered a "search within results" option that was quite effective.

When Alta Vista stopped offering this option, I stopped using Alta Vista.

Ended up at Google, however simultaneously, I explored the search options in help.

tedster




msg:3850889
 8:07 pm on Feb 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

Simply TURN OFF JAVA and you won't see this crap.

We may be talking about different things. The actual search results I see are filled with "user intention" guesswork no matter what. Google's been at this for a couple years now.

<added>
You may be talking about the Google Suggest junk that pops in as you type a search. I turned that off a while ago and only check it once in a rare while for research purposes.
</added>

dbcooper




msg:3850895
 8:25 pm on Feb 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

wilderness, does this construct do what you want?
+"San Francisco Giants" +(2004¦2005)

>there is just not enough requests
That seems to be the case regarding the public using advanced search. An SE high muckity-muck once told me that they were greatly disappointed in the very-low-single-digit percentage of multiword searches that used advanced features.

wilderness




msg:3850917
 9:24 pm on Feb 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

wilderness, does this construct do what you want?
+"San Francisco Giants" +(20042005)

There doesn't appear to be any significant difference in results or quantity in your example and

"San Francisco Giants" + "2004 OR 2005"

Using a leading plus sign and enclosing the phrase in quotes is redundant.

Google's Help doesn't provide any mention or example of using the pipe character for anything, especially an OR.

santapaws




msg:3850967
 10:23 pm on Feb 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

but to split out words from words and not allow the exact word to be searched is not the same as searching for a phrase, for example you cant search for an email address as far as i can tell because "myemailaddess" still becomes "my email address", words seperated. Whats the point of this?

wilderness




msg:3850995
 11:34 pm on Feb 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

or example you cant search for an email address as far as i can tell because "myemailaddess" still becomes "my email address", words seperated. Whats the point of this?

Avoiding the confusion of searching for an actual email address and addressing the words used in your example?

Running the words together myemailaddess shouldn't make any difference in the results of separating the words absent of any operators (i. e., quotes or OR).

In either instance and because of your inability to provide a clear definition of what your requesting, you leave the SE with a request to fill your needs, which they do on past practices by the majority of their users, albeit dense
users ;)

callivert




msg:3850999
 11:43 pm on Feb 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

I do understand that this is essentially a business decision - trying to please the great majority. But I also wish Google would give power searchers some option to turn off their lowest common demonator approach.

It does seem like a step backwards. One of the great advantages of online technology is the new ability to harness the "long tail". This technique chops off the tail. It's 20th century thinking, when niche customer bases were considered too small and too insignificant to worry about.

On the other hand I see why they're doing it. They're trying to make Google 'smarter,' by teaching it to filter human error.

wilderness




msg:3851042
 12:37 am on Feb 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

by teaching it to filter human error.

The only problem with "human error" is that it continues to perpetuate ;)

santapaws




msg:3851328
 9:28 am on Feb 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

Running the words together myemailaddess shouldn't make any difference in the results of separating the words absent of any operators (i. e., quotes or OR).

In either instance and because of your inability to provide a clear definition of what your requesting, you leave the SE with a request to fill your needs, which they do on past practices by the majority of their users, albeit dense
users ;)

its hard to be more specific than putting a SINGLE word into quotes as to what im looking for. Pre last week for the last years of googles existence "word1word2" found all instances of the exact single word word1word2. Now it finds all instances of word1 word2.

Receptional Andy




msg:3851336
 9:39 am on Feb 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

A leading plus symbol usually fixes this problem, although Google are getting much more pushy.

See
[google.com...]

vs

[google.com...]

What you can't eliminate is the recent "Did you mean: [query] Top 2 results shown" results.

I can't say all the query expansion activities at Google are popular with me either. It makes my searches almost invariably require advanced syntax and/or more time. An option to turn it off would be greatly appreciated.

[edited by: Receptional_Andy at 9:40 am (utc) on Feb. 17, 2009]

santapaws




msg:3851535
 3:56 pm on Feb 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

your right, adding plus stops the word being disassembled. I hadn't spotted that. Cheers.

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