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Does anyone here still use Google to actually "search"?

     

internetheaven

10:36 am on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It took quite a while for me, I kept saying "I'll never use Google again" because the search results were just so bad. But every time I was in a hurry I would always end up using them as their search engine was the fastest, best laid out etc.

But for a few months now I've been Google-free. The time I waste desparately hacking at the Advanced Search options on Google to try and get some sort of answer to my query is just too much and I'd rather wait the extra milliseconds for Yahoo/MSN pages to load.

I don't even use Google for commercial searches anymore as Adwords now only consists of ebay and PPC search engine ads. i.e. "Searching for kidufeiso? Find kidufeiso here!" - all the decent merchants seem to have gone elsewhere. (No big surprise with Google's ridiculous fraud problems!)

Just wondered if I was the last one to leave Google? I certainly am amongst the people I know. My wife left Google over a year ago, she's now a big Ask Jeeves user because it tends to deal with the sort of things she searches for better than most. Me, I tend to use both Yahoo and MSN depending on what I'm looking for. But everyone else (including my grandmother) has moved away from Google because they "just couldn't find anything, every page they got sent to was just a bunch of advertisements".

Is Google now just for the non-savvy web user and spammers clicking on their own links?

goubarev

6:43 pm on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I use google for regular search because I have a toolbar installed and it's faster. Like this: Ctrl + N > Ctrl + D > Tab > type your search > in 1/2 second I get my answer... they've got me hooked on their toolbar - smart move, I must say.

oaktown

6:45 pm on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I still use G, bad as it is, for searches generally, but I find that for "News" and "Images", Y is way better.

steveb

6:57 pm on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member steveb is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Savvy people continue to use Google. Normal people continue to use Google. Until something comes along that is either better, or at least half as good with far better marketing, that's the way it will stay.

Google screws up more every day, but its so far ahead of the competition that its scary.

In the entire galaxy nothing compares to Search. It is still the business area where all the money is made by companies who do a poor job. No Babe Ruths around here... barely even one Kurt Bevacqua.

BigDave

6:57 pm on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bigdave is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Google is my default search engine, and it is only rarely that I go to others.

The majority of my searches are the sort that any search engine will do a good job on. No need to switch the default when they all work well.

The next biggest group of searches are the obscure terms where google is the only one that even crawls those deep pages. I don't shop a lot, I don't buy real estate, and I prefer wandering in the woods to going to resorts, so I just don't care who does the best in those areas.

For a lot of my research I do switch search engines, I head on over to google scholar. I have access to a lot of journal databases through my schools, but the database search engines suck. I use scholar to find the abstracts and can use that information to find the articles in the school databases.

As someone else said, I go to Ask when I am having trouble defining what I am searching for.

I only hit MSN and Yahoo when I am specifically trying to see if they are improving (yahoo is, MSN seems to only care about fresh)

Beachboy

7:17 pm on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I use Google exclusively, even though it's getting increasingly sucky. I rarely use Yahoo and MSN is laughably bad.

piatkow

8:14 pm on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I keep going to Google from force of habit but if the first page of results looks spammy I go to Ask rather than paging down.

MrStitch

8:47 pm on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I primarily use google, and use the other engines just to check ranking for my sites.

I was just on Yahoo, and the results page was just terrible.
I was getting geocity sites that ranked better than mine. #*$!?!?

Also, Yahoo is allowing so many ad's to come up with your results, that it's like looking through a small window to see what Yahoo found for you 'naturally'.

Also, seeing that Google is taking away users from Yahoo is no suprise... but taking them from MSN? Thats insane! Think about it.. When someone buys a new pc, what do they do? They click on IE.. which by default brings them to MSN. So this brings up the question... Exactly how many people would REALLY be using MSN if it wasn't set as the default in every computer across the planet?

My guess is, people are using Google, and switching to Google, because it's the best, using Yahoo only because they're so popular with that handy messenger program, and finally.... using MSN because they don't know any better.

randle

9:47 pm on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Google screws up more every day, but its so far ahead of the competition that its scary.

Technically they are a good three years ahead of the others. On all fronts; crawling, caching, indexing and relevancy of results. Its easy to get a little too focused on your own niche, step back and judge things based on the larger picture.

I wish this wasn’t the case, but it is what it is.

vite_rts

10:05 pm on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I've been using MSN deliberately now for the 3 months that i've been introduced to the webmasterworld and SEO,

Previously, it was 70% google 20% msn an 10% yahoo, no ask or anything else

Now tis 50:50 Google : Msn and you know what, for me the results are on par, most of the time

I suspect google has more in its databases, but methinks msn is catching up fast.

Actually, i think Yahoo is pretty good too,

I don't want to be dependent on Google

toothake

10:07 pm on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"I was getting geocity sites that ranked better than mine. #*$!?!?"
Maybe the geocity site is better than yours (design ,content ,backlinks ,age PR ech.);)

egurr

10:41 pm on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I'm with Stuartc. I use MSN for anything local, Google for most everything else. I don't see the spam people complain about in Google, just too many directories and not enough actual sites on local search and some business searches.
It seems to me most search engines are fine at things like biographies, academic research, etc. It's the competitive fields where you see one SE with a big advantage over the other.

stajer

12:11 am on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I use google for regular search because I have a toolbar installed and it's faster. Like this: Ctrl + N > Ctrl + D > Tab > type your search > in 1/2 second I get my answer... they've got me hooked on their toolbar - smart move, I must say.

Save a step with Firefox (no toolbar required): Ctrl + t > Ctrl + k > type your search

Rob_Cook

12:45 am on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Nope - I don't use Google any more. The results are just plain awful. Yahoo always seems to deliver for me so I use Yahoo.

I actively encourage other people to use MSN or Yahoo. Many of them had never used (or even heard of!) a non-Google s/e and couldn't quite believe the improvement until they tried it.

ltedesco

12:56 am on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I am still using Google.
I don't know for how long though. I am getting frustrated with Google's latest results.

RandomOne

1:16 am on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I find myself using Yahoo more and more!

Right Reading

2:36 am on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I got frustrated and annoyed with Google. I tried the other SEs and found they did a pretty good job -- in fact in terms of quality of results some studies have found that G ranks behind both Y and MSN. I use them sometimes. But -- and this isn't the result I was hoping for -- I've come back to Google because I have to concede that, balancing all factors, they are the best. At the same time, I don't think it's good having one search engine dominate the industry, so I continue to root for Y and MSN (I'm afraid Ask has fallen out of the race). It's scary to have access to so much of the world's information controlled by a single corporation.

goubarev

2:38 am on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Cool, Stajer, thx!

> Ctrl + k > good one! I didn't know about this short cut. But I don't use Firefox for my regular browsing. I'm on IE 6.0, same as ~80% of visitors to my sites - want to see my sites as most of them would.

As for relevancy among SE's - in my industry - entertainment - I find google leading the way for general searches. Yahoo and MSN both are ok on local searches (city + key phrase) - google is bad at that. Ask is the greatest on the natural searches - that's when I type the actual question as I would say it to the person (something similar to google's quotations search, but way better...)

Yeah, I have love/hate relationship with google. They are still the most convenient and fast and I use them, but hate myself and them for it...

StickNoBills

5:11 am on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



No denying that google returns healthy results but that, in my opinion, is not without some keyword-tweaking.

internetheaven is partly right in saying that, many a time, the results returned are that of adwords. I have experienced this a quite a few times for some searches where I was just hopping and looping from one page with adwords (and hardly any content) to the other agian with adwords and no content.

Whatever the case may be, Google still rules! :)

vincevincevince

5:52 am on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I went off google searches a long time ago. I am absolutely sick of the adverts everywhere. I'd not mind if the adverts were at related but searching from Malaysia the adverts are either spam or poorly targetted. There are so many big name companies (especially US and UK based ones) losing a bomb by targetting adwords worldwide despite only shipping to their own country.

I now tend to use wikipedia now as my default 'search engine'. I don't want commerical results at all. I don't care how relevant your site is I am more than happy to get the basics of the topic from wikipedia. Sure it's not 100% accurate but neither are most websites.

toothake

6:04 am on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



"I am absolutely sick of the adverts everywhere."
Can someone tell me if there is out there a dedicated SE without adverts everywhere? and if there are no more adverts what is the point in our days to make a living from the net (question how many of you are adsense and YPN publishers? answer I bet 100%) so don't moan about the adds ,thats the revenue part of a SE today.If someone does not like adds can search with BBC (in fact they have the best results for the UK)

toothake

6:08 am on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



"I am more than happy to get the basics of the topic from wikipedia."
Another good reason that sooner or later google and Yahoo they should drop wikipedia to page 5 of results (Googlers and Yahooers wake up wikipedia fruit drops your revenues and our revenues as publishers)

Sweet Cognac

2:40 pm on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I use firefox, and google is the default, but I like the drop down with the other searches engines in it. So if I can't find it on google I just change it to another.

For instance when my blender broke I did a search on google on How to fix a hamilton beach blender, and all I got was pages and pages of repair stores and parts stores.

Switching to MSN I found places to buy, because I changed the search to just "Fix Hamilton Beach Blender".

But when I used the phrase in Yahoo "How to fix a Hamilton Beach Blender" was site #5, because Yahoo found the phrase in a website.

Seems to me google used to return exact match phrases years ago, and that's why I liked google, (whoever remembers to use the quotes?) But generally when I use the quotes, google never finds the phrase anywhere in 20 billion pages. amazing

Why they changed that way of searching I do not know.

tgrahl

8:39 pm on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



For my searches, I have given up on Google. I look at it this way.

Google is really hung up on how many quality links are pointing to a specific site. Putting strong emphasis on incoming links, sometimes more emphasis than on content, is not reliable enough for my searches.

It is similar to the "old fashioned" research at a libray. When I am looking for a reference book, I don't care how many people have checked out the books, I want the one that is relevant to my search even if I am the first one to check it out.

When I search for information, I want the results that are going to contain the information, not Google opinion on what they believe is the best results based on incoming links.

I have done some extensive searches on "odd" topics only to find that Yahoo and MSN still deliver more relevant results, especially if the site(s) contain exclusive information that no one else would need to link to.

So the short answer is NO, I no longer use Google.

gregbo

10:19 pm on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I use Wikipedia primarily for non-commercial, information-based searches. Otherwise, I use Yahoo, MSN, Ask, and Google in about that order of frequency.

europeforvisitors

10:37 pm on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)



It is similar to the "old fashioned" research at a libray. When I am looking for a reference book, I don't care how many people have checked out the books....

Maybe, but you probably do care whether the reference librarians are buying books that are considered reliable and authoritative--meaning books that are cited by other books, by reviewers, etc.

To Google, an inbound link from a third-party site is the equivalent of an academic citation. It means (at least in theory) that someone at another Web site has said, "That's a useful page, and it's worth linking to."

Of course, we all know that linking can be corrupted by commercial considerations, and that SEO has made PageRank less useful than it was before Google was a well-established search engine and its PageRank system was common knowledge. But Google knows that too, and PageRank is now only one factor in determining search rankings--which is why we see threads on Webmaster World by members who have XX,000 inbound links and can't figure out why they no longer rank #2 for "widgets."

aleksl

11:06 pm on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)



I use Google, but on occasion I can't find what I need in piles of junky or irrelevant content. This hasn't happened this much 2 years back. Now I made a habit of checking things at MSN, and using site: command and few searches on Yahoo!

Now, if Yahoo! would remove clutter of useless info from its search page...or MSN would come up with a clean, easy to type URL...then I would be much less on Google. How much more annoying it is to type
s e a r c h . m s n . c o m vs. google

whoisgregg

11:29 pm on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whoisgregg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



"Research" type query: Google. But I will add "wikipedia" to the beginning of the query so that if there is a relevant wikipedia article it will be near the top and I'll still get 9 other choices.

"Dictionary/Thesaurus" type query: Answers.com.

"Consumer Shopping" type query: Google first, but I almost always end up abandoning the quest and just go direct to a known seller's site. (Sure, I search for a book title on google but then I remember "Hey monkey, the banana is always at amazon for that type of thing." Then I direct type in amazon and use their navigation/search.)

"Business Purchase" type query: Google, and I am 90% likely to click on an Adwords ad and, may my "PPC Buyer" soul burn forever, I typically click the first ad automatically and only go back to look at the other ads if the first site is horrible.

"Local" type query: No clear winner. I am always disappointed by results on any search engine and often have to take circuitous routes via newspaper, chamber of commerce, or yellow page type websites to find some speck of useful local information.

"Maps/Directions" type query: Google, hands down.

Why not MSN and/or Yahoo? I do try them out every so often (at least a few times each week for personal searches) to check if they are better but it seems that I see an incredibly obvious, super spammy result in around a third of searches. When I see a super spammy result in Google I am reminded of how rare it is and typically take the 5 minutes it takes to send them a "Disappointed?" feedback report. If I was going to do the same thing for MSN/Yahoo I wouldn't have any time left in the day.

I'd rather not be so dependent on one search engine, but I won't shoot myself in the foot just to diversify.

SuddenlySara

11:43 pm on Aug 2, 2006 (gmt 0)



I kinda like Ask.com now for relevant searches even though they are not able to refresh all of the new sites.

Yahoo to me is better than Google right now. Show me a search otherwise?

mattg3

2:11 pm on Aug 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



I've given up searching for anything commercial on Google. Like Camcorder reviews or so. Either I use the forums I know or when that fails, maybe Amazon. For general knowledge stuff it's still acceptable besides the Wikipedia default .. . Soon one can go there by default anyway.

europeforvisitors

2:53 pm on Aug 3, 2006 (gmt 0)



I've given up searching for anything commercial on Google. Like Camcorder reviews or so.

Dunno about camcorders, but I searched Google for two specific digital-camera models just now, and most of the results on the first page were reviews at highly respected camera-review sites. That's in line with my other Google experiences on "commercial searches" in the past year or so, although manufacturer pages seem to be doing less well today than they were the last time I conducted a digital-camera search.

I just got similar results when searching for a specific (and fairly new) ThinkPad model.

A dealer might not be happy to see reviews and manufacturer pages ranked ahead of sell pages, but as a user, I think that's just fine.

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