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? What does that even mean? It sounds like the most popular websites, or something like that. At the top it shows the category in the Directory that gets you what you want-- "Category:
Computers > Internet > Protocols > HTTP" and that gives you www.w3.org/Protocols/ and the like.
He's baffled and I really don't have an answer for him.
So, anyone have any idea what that's all about? He's righteously indignant at such a totally out-of-whack result.
He points out that in the past, he's typed in HTTP and has gotten the HTTP spec, which is what he wanted in the first place, so it's not that Google has always done this.
He now is convinced that Google is broken...
No idea what Google returned for this query in the past, but sometimes being more specific or clicking into the ODP category will help narrow a search.
Men huh! If he wants to find the HTTP spec tell him to search for HTTP spec ;)
>No idea what Google returned for this query in the past
Always been like that, very close to the www search. Might be worth looking at, I'm sure people typing http aren't looking for Y!
I don't understand why searching for HTTP would simply bring those up, as they do not contain HTTP anywhere in them except the URL-- and as every webpage on the Web has HTTP in the URL, it seems that Google should know not to search there. Unless HTTP is supposed to be one of those things you search to find out how many pages are in the index. It just doesn't seem to make sense to me, and definitely doesn't to my boyfriend who is still indignant. I guess he feels that Google failed him, personally. I don't really know what goes on in his mind sometimes.
Which is what personally offended him.
Why would Google return totally irrelevant results? It's not like it couldn't figure out that the HTTP in the URL wasn't what the searcher would be looking for.
Actually, the HTTP query gives an excellent ODP category link at the very top of the SERP. Also adding "spec" to the query does the job too. I'm sure they could hand-tweak the HTTP query to make it return HTTP spec higher, but are they going to hand-tweak every possible single-word search? And how are they supposed to know which direction to tweak the SERPS for every one-word query? That energy would be better spent in educating surfers on how to make better queries.
Anyway, I expect G to read my mind pretty frequently myself! Maybe Google is the victim of its own success.
Your exact words were that he was looking for the HTTP spec. Well, type in "http spec" and W3.org comes up #1. Perfect. Getting bent out of shape because one particular search term doesn't bring up exactly what you secretly hoped to find just seems like a huge waste of mental energy.
[edit/Oops, Googleguy already made the same point about "http spec".]
Your boyfriend is simply wrong. It is not "totally irrelevant" it is only irrelevant in relation to the result that he wanted. It is in fact incredibly relevant in that hose are some incredibly popular pages that contain the word "http".
I'm afraid so! I agree with y'all that he'll just have to accept that searching for what he's actually looking for is probably the best response.
I don't really know why he was so offended, but I must admit it makes far more sense that someone searching for HTTP would be looking for information about the HyperText Transfer Protocol, instead of looking for the website that's most often linked to with the "word" HTTP. So in a way, he's right, but in another way it doesn't freaking matter because anyone looking for information about HTTP would probably understand search engines well enough to either refine the search or look in the ODP category.
It's a bit like expecting a search for road to bring up products that are delieverd by trucks.
If this is what google is doing, I'd consider a bug and fix it. I mean this list looks almost like a PR ranked list of all sites (which in itself is really interesting and usefull)
A search for ftp should bring up things related to and about ftp, protocol specs, client software, server software, forum discussions and the like, NOT a PR ordered list of ftp sites about any old topic.
I don't understand how everybody can beat on this like that. I agree one word queries won't find specifics, a search for "widgets" won't find only "widget info" or "widget sales", because that's just not what the query specified. BUT it should, and I hope we all agree on that, bring up SOMETHING/ANYTHING related to widgets, after all that's what the query said. And here the "HTTP" search simply failed, because of a bug that included the protocol specifier in the searchable words database.
A simple fix I'd say (hehe besides of course rebuilding a 4 billion index) and end of story. Let's not excuse SE failure in such blatant manner please.
LOL. Should I pat him on the head too? He'd probably bite my hand off. He gets mad when his Google doesn't work like he thought it should.
>the "HTTP" search simply failed, because of a bug that included the protocol specifier in the searchable words database. >
Which is, I believe, whence came his indignation-- he was just offended that Google would have such a simple, fundamental mistake. Especially when it didn't used to! It worked before! So, he was adamant that I should somehow leverage my tremendous influence over Google to make them fix it so it was *right*.
As I was posting this, he emailed me to clarify his position:
"Do _you_ at least see what I'm getting at? It doesn't make sense to ask 'which websites are served with http?' because the answer, no matter who you ask, is always going to be 'all of them.' It's like asking 'which FTP sites use FTP?'
If I search Google for HTTP, I'm not interested in seeing a list of all websites. I _am_ interested in HTTP, which is why I typed it in in the first place. What else could I possibly expect to see, if not items about HTTP?
Other search engines seem to understand this. When I type 'http' into Sherlock [which does not use Google] I get ... definitions of HTTP, books about HTTP, reference on HTTP, HTTP servers, HTTP tutorials, and — gasp! — the HTTP specification!
[It wouldn't bother me so much if only people would concede that what I'm saying makes some sort of sense. I can find the spec myself, and I know perfectly well why Google's doing what it's doing, but I also strongly feel that it doesn't make sense for it to do what it's doing ... especially when it didn't used to.]"
By the way, "ftp" brings up mostly homepages for FTP clients from what I can see, which seems substantially correct. Certainly few people will be looking for tech specs for the File Transfer protocol.
. These SERPS are identical:
It's a G bug allright. Or feature if you please. Certain special characters are simply ignored (wrongfully), and there's apparently a huge amount of sites linking to a certain software company using http://www.microsoft.com as anchor text.
[edited by: claus at 6:41 pm (utc) on Sep. 3, 2003]
I think you make perfect sense and I agree with ya. It's just that we have to choose how to allocate engineers on the things that we think will help the most for the most searchers. My hunch is that we'd worry more about other types of searches because http is a bit of a corner case, but I do agree with you. :)
this list looks almost like a PR ranked list of all sites
About the best you can get for the top sites. Has been used extensively on WW.
Other search engines seem to understand this
Sure do. There have been some rumors amongst searchers on WW that there are other SEs out there that at times return much more relevant results than the big G (gasp!).
I guess HTTP is a neat trick, now-- it's just that he's a software engineer and has no need of such neat tricks.
GG's right, Google's engineers are probably busy enough. But what's plaguing me is-- why did it change? If that search used to return relevant results, why doesn't it now? Why the wawould Google get rid of the workaround they had in place? Did it just get swept away in the recent updates? (By the way, my office decided I controlled Google, just like our dour support guy accidentally controls the weather, and our other tech writer caused the NYC blackout by making microwave popcorn. I was hearing a lot about how Google wasn't giving them the results they wanted anymore. I did the best I could to soothe them and assure them things would be better, so you guys had better follow through and make things relevant or they might stop believing me.)
So, that's what I'm wondering about.
If that search used to return relevant results, why doesn't it now?
Not sure if it ever did return relevant results.
our other tech writer caused the NYC blackout
Pass along a thank your from me. Got to be away from this infernal machine for 24 hours, got some exercise going up and down the stairs and got to hang out with some neighbors. Have 'em throw popcorn in the old microwave every so often.
That's my boyfriend's conclusion of the issue. I guess his pride is satisfied.
>Not sure if it ever did return relevant results.
Well, he says it did.
> the NYC blackout
I thoroughly enjoyed it as well but my building was only 2 floors up, and the emergency lights in the stairwell worked, and the local bar didn't run out of ice. So, I enjoyed it and would do it again, but feel bad for all those who were less fortunate. So, we're discouraging her from making microwave popcorn unless absolutely necessary.
I think our support guy has been in a particularly foul mood all summer, because it hasn't stopped raining here in months.