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Did you mean.gibberish

     
9:21 pm on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Lets assume my site is WORDabbr.com

While word is a real word, the abbr part is a well introduced abbreviation that almost always goes together with WORD.

When searching in G for worldabbr or wordabbrev.com G suggests "Did you mean: wordabr?" - whereas word is equal to "my" WORD and abr is a misspelled version of "my" abbr.

There is a site called "wordabr" but no title, descr. in G, just whacky pages (a few) and no PR.

There is NO logical word or conclusion to wordabr whatsoever.

Why does G keep suggesting such garbage?

7:10 am on Oct 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I've seen this kind of semantic questioning at the top of search results, even for rather high profile businesses whose names are a bit "off" from common English. The suggestion is generated by algorithm, and that's just what we live with when we have machine "intelligence", I guess.
2:22 pm on Oct 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yea, I've seen some really funny "did you mean." I sent Google an e-mail on one and said that it was really goofy, next day it didn't come up again...so I guess they DO listen sometimes, LOL.
3:16 pm on Oct 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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what about when you searched for something that brought up some results and it says did you mean blahblah...and if you click blahblah there are no results....

how do they come to suggest something that has no results?

4:44 pm on Oct 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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how do they come to suggest something that has no results?

I've only seen that happen with multiple-word searches in exact quotes. It seems clear they're parsing the query word by word and not taking the time to do a whole second search in order to see if the phrase makes sense.

Personally I find it to be quite accurate and quite useful. It's getting to the point where I don't double-check the spelling of my searches that closely any more, because I'm confident I'll be able to correct them with a single click.

It's a lot better than on eBay, where they guess what you meant to type, give you a page of search results about that instead, and even default the search box to match their assumption.

9:36 pm on Oct 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Thanks guys, maybe this is just one of the features that works great with "straight" language and thus serves millions well while oddity (like in my domain) just falls through the cracks.

Life's a bitch...

10:02 pm on Oct 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I don't pay much attention to that feature, although I do sometimes glance at it, just in case it's right. Other people I know - more 'regular internet users' - claim that the "did-you-mean" suggestions are uncannily correct.
I guess if you have poor spelling or search for stuff you don't know much about, it's often on the mark.