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Joe Surfer Speaks: I Love Google

Google Rocks - "Google is a Cultural Icon"

     
7:28 am on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Found this article over at PC Magazine. Came out in the middle of Update Florida.

Peek into the mind of... Joe Surfer:

Google is the first place I go when I want to find something on the Web or figure out virtually anything. I not only type search terms into Google, I regularly ask it questions—and it nearly always has the answers.

Google Watch and other search watchdog sites also worry about how easily others can manipulate Google's algorithms... I can't say I've seen evidence of this manipulation, however.

...odd how in technology, whenever one brand or product becomes dominant, fearful libertarians come out of the woodwork decrying anticompetitive practices, privacy invasion, and technical malice... But Google? This company won a brand name that became a verb the old fashioned way- by earning it.

7:59 am on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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<<Found this article over at PC Magazine. Came out in the middle of Update Florida.>>

But written when?

8:10 am on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Unless it was written for the website only, magazine articles have to be written months in advance.
8:11 am on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Adding to Joe Surfer's mind: ;)

Seems like Google can read my mind. When I type in google.com it takes me to Google's homepage and when I type in amazon.com it takes me to Amazon's homepage. It just knows. In fact, I don't even have to type in amazon.com - more than half the top results for any search term are from Amazon!

I think that it is trying to promote book reading and therefore, improve our minds. Not surprising since Google was founded by two graduate students from Stanford.

8:42 am on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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When I type in google.com it takes me to Google's homepage

Isn't that just brilliant!

...and when I type in amazon.com it takes me to Amazon's homepage..

Typing just about anything will take to Amazon right now.

So to sum up this article, Google is a good place to go if you want to find Google or Amazon ;)

[edited by: Goanna1 at 8:58 am (utc) on Dec. 2, 2003]

8:48 am on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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most of my family members are "joe surfer".
I was suprised recently when i asked some of them if they had noticed anything different about the google results lately. I was just curious to hear some "uninformed" opinions. Last time i check, about 6 months ago most of my family used google.
So anyway... i was suprised when i asked if any of them were having problems finding info on google, none of them use google anymore. Most of them are using dogpile, they have no idea where dogpile gets it's results from, and they don't care.
Personally, i still like google. I'm not saying it is'nt still full of spam though.
And as far as im concerned, the recent changes have only made things more interesting and fun.

BTW martinibuster, why don't you throw a little gas on the fire.

8:53 am on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>> magazine articles have to be written months in advance. <<

Absolutely.

Unfortunately, that won't stop the dwindling Google fan club from seizing on it as though it was actually post-Florida. Never let the facts get in the way of biased opinion, eh?

9:29 am on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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You have a good point there Powdork unless of course the guy did some research on the topic first.

Either way I was surprised to see my Mother actually praise Google recently. She actually had a go at my sister for not finding something on MSN saying she should have used Google instead!

I think the comment is fair most things can easily be found on Google unless you are looking for extreme cases of problems in which case it is difficult to find it anywhere.

As you say how would the average user know that X site is above B site for a reason.

I still think from the small amount of searches I do that the G gives good results although I am sure from a webmaster's perspective they could always be better!

10:07 am on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>> Are you seriously saying all the opnions here are unbiased? LOL! <<

Dave: In the last three threads I have read, I have seen a post in each by you extolling the virtues of Google and telling us the SERPS are fine.

Seriously, try looking beyond your love affair with Google at reality. Try using objective criteria (yes, many people on this board DO have before/after data).

10:34 am on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Dave: In the last three threads I have read, I have seen a post in each by you extolling the virtues of Google and telling us the SERPS are fine.

What a load of rubbish. What you have seen from me is my stating that Google "still returns the best results of any of the search engines". You can try to twist that however you like but you really need to climb off your 'I hate Google' high horse to be able to read that in context.

Also, in these threads, I have freely offered my advise on how to keep ranking well in Google. Yourself and others though consider yourselves too aloof to take any advice and would rather waste time moaning.

You can carry on moaning and whining if you like, but then don't blame anyone but yourself for the lack of content pages for Google to swallow.

Try using objective criteria

I do this every single day and as I KEEP saying I still find Google the best.

Whether you want to hear the cold hard truth or not is up to you. But crying and moaning never solved anything.

Dave

10:40 am on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>> I do this every single day and as I KEEP saying I still find Google the best. <<

Keep saying it Dave. It won't actually make Google the best again though... only THEY can do that.

By the way, I don't moan, and neither do I need to. That line is simply a smoke screen used by members of the Google fan club to try to hide reality.

Wriggle as you will, that reality will eventually emerge. The emperor has no clothes!

12:16 pm on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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my 2 cents worth
As a webmaster i lost about 10% traffic and bought it back via adwords

as a joe user about 7 out of 10 searches ok , but and here is the biggy when not happy with results typed search into browser toolbar for msn results and not a lot better slightly but not enough to move me as joe surfer from google.

so untill another se can provide 100% relevent results goolge will rule with 7 out of 10 good searches .

12:18 pm on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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IITian that was a good one ;)
12:38 pm on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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...Google "still returns the best results of any of the search engines".

Not as good as AlltheWeb at the moment imo but as we know joe surfer is more fashion conscious than discriminating. Like all fashions it will blow over and a new one will replace it.

1:44 pm on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I think google still offers a valuable service to the academic and research communities, but the consumer will quickly move on to other engines that offer not only relevant advertising but relevant search results as well.

The consumer justs wants a good selection, they aren't in love with google.

Shoppers get what they want [story.news.yahoo.com]. Google won't stop them.

2:10 pm on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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My boss told me yesterday he couldn't find anything in Google so he went to Dogpile. He even gave me the search term he was using.
He also said he was deeply annoyed that when he'd go search for something in Google, if he found what he was looking for, and then came back ten minutes later to do the search again, it wouldn't be there. (I don't know when this was; he didn't say.)

My mom asked me over Thanksgiving what was "up with Google", as well-- she was having trouble finding things.

It's not that the average surfer is in love with Google or not. The average surfer cares little. On any given day if Google is unsatisfactory the savvy will use another search engine, and the unsavvy will go offline to look at the Yellow Pages. They don't care.
I have the feeling a lot of them are going to other search engines just now, but I don't know that many have made a habit of trying other ones first yet. if I could predict which one they were all switching to, I'd be rich. ;)

I just find it worrisome that my boss actually came to me to tell me Google was broken. (His words.)

2:17 pm on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Neglected to post the link to PC Magazine,

Dateline November 26, 2003
I Search, Therefore I Google [pcmag.com]

[edited by: martinibuster at 2:38 pm (utc) on Dec. 2, 2003]

2:18 pm on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>I just find it worrisome that my boss actually came to me to tell me Google was broken.

Don't forget to remind him that google is interested in his feedback, have him send an email to:

search-quality@google.com

2:37 pm on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I'm convinced. Google post-Florida is far and away better than pre-Florida.

I thought otherwise, but that article convinced me.

MQ

[edited by: mquarles at 5:17 pm (utc) on Dec. 2, 2003]

2:50 pm on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Interesting. Anybody look at the PC Magazine Forum response has been to the article?

... I use google most of the time for basic searches but for difficult searches I use www.alltheweb.com.

...(Google) will provide page links for a cost. This means that anything is for sale to me.... I don't know if Google has rigged the odds for their supporters but that does seem to be the next step.

And famous last words, written on November 27:

I've gotten some of my free listings to the number 1, 2 & 3 positions for my keywords simply by...

I wonder where his listings are now?

[edited by: martinibuster at 2:59 pm (utc) on Dec. 2, 2003]

2:58 pm on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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From the article:

one day we awoke to find that we couldn't use the Web without Google

One in a series of ridiculous statements.

3:08 pm on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I'm convinced. Google post-Florida is far and away better than pre-Florida.

I agree

4:17 pm on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Here's what I like about Google: crawling speed, frequency, and depth. Google is the only engine I know of (aside from Fast) that deepcrawls effectively. It's also generally the freshest by far.

I go to Google when I want to find something obscure, and I trust that if it's not on Google, it's probably not on the Web.

Even for my own sites, I rely on the more obscure searches to generate hits for my deep pages, rather than worry about how well my home page ranks.

4:31 pm on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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We can speculate on the mind of "Joe/Jane User" all day long. We can also say that Google is the best or worst (I'm sure this is directly related to how the person speaking is currently ranked)all day long.

The simple fact is that Google is currently the #1 search engine. If "Joe/Jane" no longer finds Google relevant, "Joe/Jane" will simply move on. No fan fare no muss... or fuss.

I KNOW Google is returning less relevant serps as I have looked far and wide in both the commercial and the non-commercial areas. You have probably done the same. That and some ready cash will buy us a cup of coffee....

The fact is that we are completely focused on Google and Google serps. "Joe/Jane" simply aren't.

4:34 pm on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hi, my name's Joe, and I was just surfing for a professional service. In Google I could not find any site in the top50 results offering this service. Among nearly a million results, mind you!
I first thought there is nobody offering this service on the web, but then I saw the colored listings on the right: bingo! I love Google.

Papadooloo

4:47 pm on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>>I'm convinced. Google post-Florida is far and away better than pre-Florida.

>>I agree

In the name of full disclosure, I will say that now that all has settled, it appears that I have lost about 10% of my Google traffic. Not a big deal and not at all the center of my disappointment.

But from the perspective of someone who does nothing but searches all day long for his "other job," the new Google results are disastrously worse across the board.

I have increasingly had to go to the other search engines to find the info to get my work done. This has been really annoying in that it has slowed me down considerably.

When I search for BLUE WIDGETS ITALY I am looking for:

>>Something to do with blue widgets in/and Italy.

I think most surfers are. And that's the results I used to get.

Now I get a list of sites that:

1) Have something to do with blue or simply contain the word somewhere

and

2) Have something to do with widgets or simply contain the word somewhere

and

3) Have something to do with Italy or simply contain the word some where.

This is not progress.

This "update" has been very bad for my workday. And I know Google doesn't owe me anything, but I had come to rely on it as a very valuable tool, and now it is no more than a decent enough resource among many.

4:51 pm on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Heini:

Hello Joe! What if I could show you a place where you could find what you're looking for without resorting to what are obviously ads? What if you could find that professional service right in the listings? By the way.... how long did all that searching take you before you noticed the ads on the right?

Seriously... Adword bids get more expensive as webmasters scamper to reclaim lost revenue. At some point Adwords simply will not be profitable. When that occurs "Joe/Jane" will have slim pickings....

4:57 pm on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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> a place where you could find what you're looking
> for without resorting to what are obviously ads?

Would that special place be the occasionally less
obvious, unpaid ads over on the left side of the
page? 8^)

5:05 pm on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Kevinpate:

Apparantly not for the "Joe" who posted.

5:25 pm on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The fact is that we are completely focused on Google and Google serps. "Joe/Jane" simply aren't.

What would Sergey think? Is it outside of probability that he would think: "Joe Surfer is satisfied, and those who would try to manipulate Google are not. Where's the problem?"

If that's the mindset at Google, the implications of it, well you can draw your own picture.

My view?
My AdWords spend has shot up since this update and I think the serps have a great deal to do with it.

[edited by: martinibuster at 5:28 pm (utc) on Dec. 2, 2003]

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