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Google search results are plain horrible of late, getting worse?
Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4181460
 9:53 pm on Aug 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

A picture is worth a thousand words, yet searching for a simple word like apples ranks Google at 2/10 fail. The picture proof... - [a.yfrog.com...]

Google's algo is trying to guess what I want to look at just a tad too hard I'd say. Apples is pretty self explanatory, to a human.

 

BillyS




msg:4185943
 1:26 pm on Aug 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think the results are pretty good. I'm not getting the same results as the OP.

People are naturally lazy typists. It appears that Google is substituting Apple's for Apples. Seems completely reasonable to me.

Who does one word queries like this anyway?

Does anyone have these results from last year or two years ago? How are you making the comparison to back up the statement the results are getting worse?

petehall




msg:4185955
 1:39 pm on Aug 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

My personal opinion is users who are switching to Bing are ones who've seen their website drop in rankings.

Not jo public, not by a long shot.

The Apple and Apples example is a bit of an odd one if you ask me.

I would say Apple the company is THE most relevant site and SHOULD be there.

I mean is there really that much competition from people selling apples on the Internet?

Have you ever bought apples from the Internet? :-)

If you'd like to know "how to grow apples" just type that in and you will notice Apple Inc vanish form the results, as expected.

Shaddows




msg:4185956
 1:45 pm on Aug 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Maybe people on Adwords aren't bidding for the plural? Maybe advetisers are missing a trick?

frontpage




msg:4185958
 1:46 pm on Aug 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

@ BillyS/Petehall - So if I am searching for information on 'apples' your position is that Google returning the wrong results is 'reasonable'?

The purpose of a search engine is to return relevant results to the users query.

Bing's results only displayed 2 out of 10 that were not directly related to the original
request.

Google on the other hand, believes the user is an idiot and returned 80% of non-desired results.

Your examples is wrong as well.

apples is plural noun for apple.
apple's is possessive noun for apple.

That means apple's refers to something that belongs to apple.

The search results simply did not return that information. Where are the results that show possessions of Apple to prove your theory?

phranque




msg:4185967
 1:51 pm on Aug 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

a couple of observations:
- the Google Search for "apples" [google.com] is exactly what you would expect.

- the "Related to apple trees:" and "Related to benefits of apples:" AdWords headings are new to me.
i wonder if those are done with AdWords keyword phrases or with ad text.

mrguy




msg:4185978
 1:57 pm on Aug 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

My personal opinion is users who are switching to Bing are ones who've seen their website drop in rankings.


LOL... Not me.. My websites were doing very well before Mayday, did well during Mayday and continue to do very well today.

In my case, I switched because I could not find what I was looking for on Google.

I still optimize for Google, you have to be a fool not to since they still hold such a large market share, but for personal use I use Bing.

I just like Bings presentation better.

And in my opinion, People who don't like Bing are the ones who can't get their sites to show up in it ;)

drall




msg:4185982
 2:09 pm on Aug 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

I dont think my daughters high school switched to Bing because their website lost rankings.

Bing is gaining marketshare, granted this market share is very small it is gaining and that has Google so scared they changed the look of their site for the first time and it exactly mirrors Bings look. They also tried to copy Bings image search.

Google did NOT do this because Bing was failing and only being used by disgruntled webmasters.

maximillianos




msg:4185991
 2:52 pm on Aug 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

This is the example you are using to discredit Google? A working example of perfectly mixed and acceptable results?

I can't believe this has made the "frontpage" of WebmasterWorld...

SteveJohnston




msg:4185993
 3:01 pm on Aug 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Is it only WebWalla and me who have noticed that the screenshot is from a signed in, therefore personalised, set of results. Perhaps Sgt Kickaxe is an Apple fan. Even if he isn't, like me, I visit more Apple web sites than apples website in a normal day... Storm in a teacup!

blend27




msg:4186003
 3:13 pm on Aug 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

I mean is there really that much competition from people selling apples on the Internet?

Why does it automagicaly has to be about selling apples?

therefore personalised, set of results


I have not sighned in to Google Account in the past year or so, don't have a G-Account of any kind for that matter. All JS pointing to adsence and tripleclick data is blocked at the firewall level. No cookies are accepted from Gorg Properties for a very long time.

When I search for Apples, I only get 3 out of 10 natural SERP related to the fruit.

[edited by: blend27 at 3:28 pm (utc) on Aug 12, 2010]

steerpikegg




msg:4186007
 3:14 pm on Aug 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

has Google so scared they changed the look of their site for the first time and it exactly mirrors Bings look


It's a pity that G don't copy B's search results - the results in Bing look (in terms of the results) just like Google's did a year ago, and IMHO much better than the bizarre jumps and irrelevance I am seeing a lot of the time now on Google.

Every time I look at my main keyword in Google, I see a site full of adsense spam, link spam, scraped content and with a design and coding standard from the 90s making a truly horrible user experience sitting exactly where my site used to be (my site is now on page 4).

On Bing, my site is sat where it always was for the last 4 years with Google, surrounded by other good quality sites on page one.

Now if Bing could only gain more than a couple of % market share in the UK...

BillyS




msg:4186009
 3:18 pm on Aug 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Your examples is wrong as well.

apples is plural noun for apple.
apple's is possessive noun for apple.

That means apple's refers to something that belongs to apple.

frontpage - you need to read my post more carefully. As mentioned in my post people are lazy typists, they will not bother with the "'" (Apples versus Apple's)

Again, I thought this thread was about:

Google search results are plain horrible of late, getting worse?


Again, does anyone have examples from last year? How is the OP making this comparison? Seems like a poor example to me.

[edited by: BillyS at 3:25 pm (utc) on Aug 12, 2010]

Hugene




msg:4186010
 3:20 pm on Aug 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

"apples" is a horrible query to give as an example. An even that I find the SERPs OK. Don't forget that G's index is computer made from the content of the web: the number of references to Apple computer probably dwarfs the references to real apples by a factor of thousands if not millions. So the SERPS look good to me.

petehall




msg:4186011
 3:22 pm on Aug 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

And in my opinion, People who don't like Bing are the ones who can't get their sites to show up in it ;)


I would say my sites rank as well if not better on Bing if that's what you are suggesting :-)

I actually think it's a pretty good search engine, but I still don't think it's a patch on Google.

Being a 'website optimiser' I know how to bring up more relevant results on Google anyway so have no need to switch to Bing for personal searches.

Why does it automagicaly has to be about selling apples?


I think most of the complaints are from webmasters who use Google as a selling tool, however...

If you were at college and had to research information about "how to grow apples" and ended your report because there was no information about this upon typing the word "apples" I wonder what they'd say :-)

Can you please explain what you would like to appear instead of the current result set?

I have some pictures of apples on the 1st page of UK results, pretty relevant if you ask me?

moTi




msg:4186012
 3:26 pm on Aug 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google on the other hand, believes the user is an idiot

and since 80% of people are idiots, google is mostly right.
the problem with that practice is a problem we find in so many occasions on the net, especially where algorithms have taken control over common sense: the "one size fits all" approach, namely that the average has to be good enough for everyone.

what is mostly swept under the table is that often enough the group of sane users is outnumbered to be sure, but naturally more sophisticated and influencial than the average joe. consequently they feel intellectually offended when they are taken for fools by an algorithm that doesn't regard their requests.

in consequence, if as a company your only focus is on pleasing the masses, you continue losing trust by the relatively small but nevertheless extremely important group of smart minds and opinion leaders, putting your business at risk. that's where google is heading more and more with their serp tuning. it's heading in the wrong direction.

bwnbwn




msg:4186016
 3:37 pm on Aug 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

cien took a look at the site and found it a joke. The article posted was about "hey we got this domain name and it don't show up the search inside google so google is hiding our site on purpose." Black box theory.

I looked at the same search well dude your now #1 and then looked at the age of the domian. They bought the domain on 3-10 so it was at the time of Caffeine. Now if the dude that wrote the article had a clue then he would have know why, but since he doesn't then the site to me is a joke and just a way I see they are trying to get info to funnel more than likely to some attorney.

I have no need for a site such as this.

To get back on topic though I can't see were Google is broke. I can find a search here and there that is kinda outta wack but for the most part their search results are on target. I can do the same thing for Bing and Yahoo. To base a search engine is broke on one search is IMO a joke as well and should not be the basis for posting the results are broke.

Take a list of say 30 terms do a search on each engine and then compare I bet your results will be different.

blend27




msg:4186017
 3:38 pm on Aug 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

@ petehall

But what If you were at college and had to research information about "how to grow apples" and ended your failing you report cause you were constanly destructed by 15% off on iGaget battetry sale when you needed to do your research? ++ sale on car insurance...

petehall




msg:4186022
 3:51 pm on Aug 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

But what If you were at college and had to research information about "how to grow apples" and ended your failing you report cause you were constanly destructed by 15% off on iGaget battetry sale when you needed to do your research? ++ sale on car insurance...


I suppose I would fail my apple growing course.

But on a positive note, I would have a surplus of lovely iGaget batteries @ low low prices :-D

On a serious note if you try that actual search Apple Inc is nowhere to be seen and there is information on the subject in question.

No sign of any commerce what so ever.

fabulousyarn




msg:4186031
 4:00 pm on Aug 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

I searched for apples - six results are totally relevant, the other are about Apple Co and NYC - currently, I'd be happy with this myself considering that I've generally found the SERPS yukky for the past two months. #3 is apples, and AT THE VERY BOTTOM are fabulous apple pictures - not exactly what I was looking for, but should have been at the top! Im hungry - going to grab an APPLE for lunch.

anand84




msg:4186058
 5:02 pm on Aug 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Is it only WebWalla and me who have noticed that the screenshot is from a signed in, therefore personalised, set of results. Perhaps Sgt Kickaxe is an Apple fan.


I do a dozen iPhone and iPod related searches every day (all while I'm signed in) and when I query APPLES from here in India - I get ALL 10 results related to the fruit...Apple.com does not exist on the front page.

Lame_Wolf




msg:4186093
 6:03 pm on Aug 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Apples is a poor example. Same for Cherokee or Polo. The words have more than one meaning, so unless you tell Google what "apples" you want, then it will give mixed results.

supafresh




msg:4186173
 9:30 pm on Aug 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

not to compare apples to oranges but...

[bing-vs-google.com...]

how do you like them apples?

tedster




msg:4186175
 9:34 pm on Aug 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Never noticed the "something different" search option before checking out the "oranges" SERPs. Wonder what types of query terms trigger that - things that are just too generic, or things that are members of a larger class?

panicbutton




msg:4186178
 9:48 pm on Aug 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Usually when webmasters whine about "poor results" it's because their site isn't ranking. This time though I have to agree that Google's results are woeful.

Robert Charlton




msg:4186187
 10:04 pm on Aug 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

"something different"

tedster - Well spotted... I've never seen it before either. May almost be worth splitting off as a discussion on its own, though it certainly relates to the very general kind of search some of us are discussing.

Wonder what types of query terms trigger that - things that are just too generic, or things that are members of a larger class?

I'm seeing both...

In the case of some single word searches (single words seem to be one of the triggers), they're often synonyms... but they can also be similar kinds of large classes....

Eg...

For [buildings]...
Something different

houses
edifices
dwellings
residences
garages

For [houses]...
Something different
mansions
dwellings
residences
apartment buildings
bungalows

For [bridges]
Something different

roads
highways
tunnels
bridge structures
viaducts

There is a hint of a kind of classification structure that might be worth pursuing.

Robert Charlton




msg:4186196
 10:36 pm on Aug 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

PS - While most "something different" terms appear to be parts of classes, I'm seeing that some return other Google queries. Also, without getting into specifics, searching some very general terms brought up associated site names (aka "brands") in the same market area... and searching specific brands brought up other brands, perhaps related to the Similar link we were discussing recently.

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4186234
 12:10 am on Aug 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

This is the example you are using to discredit Google? A working example of perfectly mixed and acceptable results?


Everyone takes different things from the same picture which is why it's linked and I'm not trying to discredit Google. It is what it is and the results for me are the same signed in or signed out. A friend in Atlanta says he sees 5/5 and a friend in Australia says he sees 7/10. Both ironically say the ads are 100% relevant. My neighbor sees the exact same thing I do. There is no "one set of results" anymore so some result sets are bound to be better than others.

I can list a few dozen other similar searches gone wrong if you think its an aberration though, since the last update the quality has gone downwards imo hence the title I gave the post. I'm not pro or anti Google (I used to be pro-Google until recently) but even they get it wrong.

edit: I have my son to thank for the "fail" message btw. I was actually more irritated with the way the best result is the bottom result, under the ads/maps etc.

[edited by: Sgt_Kickaxe at 12:14 am (utc) on Aug 13, 2010]

scottsonline




msg:4186236
 12:12 am on Aug 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Better to have what you have versus our industry where thefin* dot com and amazon dominate now. A month ago the problem was specific product searches returned garbage, now 9 out of 10 times they return shopping comparison sites.

Wow has Google become totally erratic. It's a shame really.

steveb




msg:4186242
 12:53 am on Aug 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Apples isn't a very fair test. Google "stemming" to a plural isn't nearly as bad as complete reinventing like Marie to Mariah, but one thing is for sure...
the first 100 Google image search results are entirely images of the fruit.

BillyS




msg:4186243
 1:02 am on Aug 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Again, I'm not sure what everyone else saw, but I saw references to Apple (the company), articles on apples, pictures of apples as well as places to buy apples.

With that mix, they have all the bases covered.

Lapizuli




msg:4186244
 1:20 am on Aug 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

I don't want to complain about search results, because I don't want to mess with my growing traffic, but I have to admit to getting tired of doing searches for:

pretty green widgets

and then having to redo the search as

"pretty" green widgets

to convince Google that I really do want to see "pretty" on the page somewhere.

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