To add insult to injury, if you do try to make complex and slightly varying queries and exhaust its result pages in an effort to find something you know exists, very often it will think you're a robot and present you with a CAPTCHA, or just ban you completely (solving the CAPTCHA just gives you another, and no matter how many you solve it keeps refusing to search; but they probably benefit from all the AI help you just gave them, what bastards...) for a few hours.
Google had the biggest most comprehensive index for many years, which is why it was my sole search engine. Now I'm often finding better results with Bing, DuckDuckGo, Yahoo, and even Yandex, but part of me is very worried that large and extremely valuable parts of the Web are, despite still being accessible, simply "falling off the radar".
I think the biggest irony is that the web allows for more adoption of long-tail movements than ever before, and Google has gotten significantly worse at turning these up. I assume this has something to do with the fact that information from the long tail is substantially less searched for than stuff within the normal bounds.
This is a nightmare if you have any hobbies that share a common phrase with a vastly more popular hobby, and is especially common when it comes to tech-related activities. I use Linux at home, and I program VBA at work. At home Linux is crossed out of most of the first few pages, and I just get a ton of results about Windows, and at work VBA is crossed off and I get results about VB6 and .NET.
I can only imagine this has something to do with their increasing reliance on AI, and the fact that the AI is probably incentivized to give a correct response to as many people'above the fold' as is possible. If 95% of people are served by dropping the specifically-chosen search term, then the AI probably thinks it's doing a great job.
It seems like the web is being optimized for casual users, and using the internet is no longer as skill you can improve to create a path towards a more meaningful web experience.
I think what's happening here is that there's a very impressive and sophisticated heuristic for predicting the probability of what you want to type by looking at the frequency of what you have typed in similar contexts. It uses its state-of-the-art AI to evaluate the context and build an array of candidate words, along with their respective probabilities. I suspect it is very accurate as it does this. Then it sorts the array by probability and pops the top element into the predictive text input.
Alas -- per my pet theory anyways -- it sorts like this:
candidateWords.sort((a,b) => a.probability - b.probability);
candidateWords.sort((a,b) => b.probability - a.probability);
And yet, when the latter inevitably breaks on an edge case, users can try to fix it themselves. They don't hit a wall of frustrated "I can't do anything", they hit a challenge that they are empowered to try overcoming. They already know what they want and can set things that way, rather than trying vaguely to teach a system (machine learning, hardcoded heuristics engine, department of humans making seemingly unconnected changes to a GUI with each passing version and no obvious plan) to understand their desires.
I miss the days when users were seen as intelligent professionals who are willing to change settings, create and re-dock an assortment of toolbars to every edge of every screen/window to suit their daily tasks, read a manual (or at least search the integrated help entries) to overcome problems. Rather than "busy" phone users who just want to complete a task with minimal time spent learning and get back to posting on facebook or whatever, and who accept the automagical solution because adequate results instantly are somehow considered better than great results with some work.
Ugh, that whole block of text just kept growing; I had better leave and go ramble/rant at trees or clouds or something elsewhere.
This works fine for me with GBoard. Are you drawing a little circle on the o to indicate you want the double letter?
The weird thing is that if I type nothing at all, the contextual predicted "next word" on GBoard is actually very good -- I wasn't praising it for comedic effect. But it really does seem like there's a sign error in a sort function which kicks in after you start typing.
I've specifically googled for instructions on how I might be expected to use the swipe-style keyboards, and turned up nothing.
edit: Don't actually see a tutorial in the app. Maybe I'm confused with another app such as Swype, but the same technique seems to apply to all.
About it only replacing after you start writing, the probability of "son" must grow faster than the one of "soon" after you type "so". If there were such a huge bug, you would be seeing a new word every time, not always the same one.
All my devices insist on shaming me (or autocorrecting me) for one of those spellings. At this point it feels like a complete gamble which I'll get corrected on. I'm just slowly getting used to correcting the autocorrect. :(
The only thing it is confused about is the letter "i", which means "and" in Bosnian, and SwiftKey often capitalizes it where it shouldn't. Probably happens because I often mix Bosnian and English in the same message (instead of translating technical terms).
I'd love a feature to disable all that deep learning and AI and just use the algorithm they originally had (proximity of where you typed to words in the dictionary). That worked so much better.
I had a Galaxy S3 and was a heavy user of Swype. My friends marveled at how fast I could type with it. It was perfect! I recently changed my phone to an S8 and Swype became unusable. It gets almost every second word wrong, so much that I'm thinking of disabling it entirely :(
iOS keyboards have been getting worse with every update, probably as more and more engineers feel the need to make a mark, or are required to fix bugs, and they spoil it. The simple and predictable statistical model of the original iOS was better than what we have now. So much of iOS was better back then, IMHO.
Honestly it's very probable that I'll only ever keep a smart phone around as a music/podcast/audiobook device.
As the saying goes, smart phones are just pocket computers with shitty phones attached.
Once you hit space and start a new word it’s game over.
Frequently happens at the worst moment when you’re trying to mash out a complex explanation in a rushed fury.
When wages don’t grow over 10 years, what incentive is there to write the best software you can?
The majority of people don't give a shit. Correct spelling and obscure searches are not even on their radar, it's not a part of their reality. Don't let the comments here fool you -- it is a very specific, picky, technical crowd that frequents HN.
The voice of "those who care" has always been a minority, although it used to matter more, simply because people who care and worry and try to do a good job tend to have more power and money (conscientiousness is a great predictor of success), and so businesses cater to them more. Now that everything seems to be turning more uniform, more global, more binary, more equal, that voice is marginalized (good thing? bad thing?) -- you're seeing the effect of a hoi polloi stampede.
So it's not the fault of "incompetent programmers" -- it may be a trickle down effect of our social incentives and economic trade-offs.
To add to this, people who cares most powerfully had probably switched to alternative, open source, software solutions. This leaves the remaining group with less "care" on average so fewer would complain. Kinda like evaporative cooling.
I think another dimension is how deployability has changed.
Before... When you wrote and shipped software, getting your software out was a big problem, a big deal. This also meant that if you shipped a bug, shipping an update would be equally expensive (for you and your customers), and the amount of goodwill you lost would be quite tremendous.
Now everyone has a appstore, always up to date apps, and whatever else is usually "in the cloud" somewhere. The time of people installing applications in a normal desktop-context, with installers and having IT-administrators handle updates once every second year is surely long gone.
With that kind of change, and an increased focus on delivering early, doing proper QA is no longer something which is rewarded in the market.
Who cares if you made a bug-free, awesome service, when you did it 6 months after someone else shipped a similar, but buggy service which everyone is already using? They have established a user-base and as such already has social momentum and lock-in.
What do you have to offer which is not only fantastic enough to make some bother migrating, but also so amazing that these people will also go convert their friends and families? "Less bugs" alone is not going to cut it.
Basically, taking the time to deliver quality software these days is increasingly something you get punished for in the market-place.
The result? We get shit like this and we can only blame ourselves.
If enough people start suing or asking back for their money, companies will surely improve their QA.
I use Minuum - looks whacko at first but let's me use way more of the screen when replying and it is really accurate!
Unfortunately I can't remember any examples at the moment, it's just something that happens to me every so often. They're really irritating though, because they aren't well expressed in the current autocorrect UI (which works on the current word) and it doesn't seem to get the hint when you go back and correct it, so it keeps applying it over and over.
The corpora used for popular word embeddings are full of weird nonsense text (in the case of word2vec) or autogenerated awfulness like spam and the text of porn sites (in the case of fastText) or both (GloVe). And most people who implement ML don't care how their data is collected.
Or don't use a machine learning model. I honestly don't care, just don't automatically turn a correct "its" into an incorrect "it's".
Do publishers sell their published text as a mass for use in AI/ML? Like 1000 books, no images or frontispiece, etc., possibly jumbled by sentence/para/page.
They say they welcome contributions; I don't know if they just mean new sources of text, or if this includes code for filtering or fixing their existing ones.
How to I try the AOSP keyboard? I have a Google Pixel and it looks like my only built-in option is Gboard. I'm guessing they removed it.
There is SwiftKey, on the hand, that does those kind of annoying corrections a couple of times, remembers your choice, and does them no more. It's been a long time since I've seen a 'fir' with SwiftKey.
This is in the european market, though, I don't know if it's configured differently for different markets.
On google the query "samsung turn off keyboard autocorrect" provides links such as
https://www.androidcentral.com/how-turn-and-autocorrect-sams... which may or may not be relevant to you.
Someone else suggested Swift keyboard, so I'm going to give that a try.
Google wants you to be mainstream now. If everyone thinks the same and wants the same things -- even if contextually as a member of one of a couple of hundred disparate "marketing cohort" categories -- it will be far easier to target advertising to you. It's in Google's interest for you to conform now. Be easy to categorize. Be easy to predict. So think the same as the members of your peer group, so they can sell hyper-targeted advertising to other corporations. (Have you noticed that social media tends to motivate you to conform?) Google has no use for the long tail anymore -- no use for quirky and inscrutable scenes and subcultures. Instead, it now has the cultural power to transform you (the product) into an even better product.
Remember: 1. If you're not paying for the service, you are not the customer. You are the product. 2. Given sufficient quantity and concentration, Power corrupts. Always.
However, the observation of this article, and my observation as well, is that Google isn't currently capable of parsing very individual quirks. Rather, Google is able to place you into one of a number of highly conformist boxes. They don't have to understand you as an individual. They just have to 'box' you more effectively than their competitors.
There is nothing in the market or otherwise emergent in the nature of data and such categorization which fundamentally motivates Google to be able to parse anyone's quirks or understand the essence of a scene or artistic movement. If Google can gain a competitive advantage by creating a number of honeytrap doppelgangers which draw people away from the long tail and sequester them into un-creative, imitative, and highly conformist boxes, then so much the better for them.
In much the same way, I find that recommendation engines come up with annoying pale imitations of bands/musicians I like. I also wonder why authoritarianism seems to spread so effectively across social media, and why certain authoritarian movements seem to get such ready support from within Google and various social media companies. It's because, as a product, conformist/authoritarian screechers are more easily herded, replicated, categorized, and packaged than real individuals who think for themselves and apply principles.
In other words, the internet is becoming more of a collective and caters less to the individual.
If you have a special interest, then who cares? You should just adopt more normal hobbies. If you have a unique political viewpoint, then get over it and join one of the major parties. If you are oppressed, then it's fine as long as 95% of the people are content (don't worry, we'll carve out a few protected classes so that the pictures still look diverse).
No. _Google_ is being optimized for casual users, and using _Google_ is no longer a skill you can improve to create a path towards a more meaningful web experience.
BTW. this is my go-to example for the "piracy is a service problem" -- this is 100% Disney IP for the fans of two billion dollar movies and you can't buy it as a poster. https://images.moviepilot.com/image/upload/c_fill,h_470,q_au... So I went on eBay, found a custom poster printer service and got it printed and shipped for 12.48 USD: https://i.redd.it/x4mmmvayunbx.jpg I would've been glad to pay double, triple for an official version but no. You just can't buy it.
Showing results for "the force awakens"
Search instead for "the furce awakens"
It seems that context-sensitive search is a curse as well as a blessing. Wikipedia at least offers you disambiguation pages; perhaps a search engine should let you pick a "domain" to prioritise search in.
Is it this thing at the very top of the search results?
First result: https://littlefreelibrary.org
Search: Box library
I'd bet it's probably trained to maximize clicks on ads...
Just like youtubes algorithm is trained to maximize viewing time (and thus ads you see), instead of showing you videos you'd actually enjoy more.
How would youtube quantize how much enjoyment you're having, if not by tracking viewing time?
As an aside, when watching youtube on my TV, I don't think there's a way to thumbs up or down videos. Even on my PC, when the video is in fullscreen, there's no way to thumbs up or down either.
I bet long-tail queries, while capable of carrying very targeted ads with a high CTR, are just too rare and thus less profitable. Likely much more people have basically no clue and formulate queries approximately, and very few query precisely in improbable ways, so getting the majority to the results they "meant" gives better financial results.
To tell the truth, you still can enter the "verbatim mode" using a menu, and try to find that improbable cluster of words. It's an advanced feature now, requiring a bit of digging, but it's there.
Re: long-tail movements and switching contexts between work and home, I wonder if a better example isn't much better user or persona management. Every person is interested in more than just one thing, and can conceivably be looking for the same word in two contexts. Down below, a multi-lingual speaker has given up on predictive keyboards.
What if we could enable users to switch personas/contexts as intuitively and easily as people code-switch in real conversations? Setting up the profiles would be messy and cumbersome at first which probably kills the idea dead in my hands. I'm not knowledgeable enough about psychology or machine learning to figure out if that could be solved automatically.
It would be fine it was work + home persona.
I feel though that it woild end up like
work local branch + work parent company report + work programming + home family member + home personal hobbies + home grand parent’s health
For context I already have two IDs for work and private stuff, I still hit a lot of barriers on Google search and ended up in ddg, using the location switch when needed.
There has to be an additional reason though, otherwise they could've just put the AI "enhanced" above the fold, and append the actual accurate results below it, for the people doing research.
Example query: +vbs array ~loop "magic number"
If Google does not find anything it will remove some parts so that you will get any results at all
And even written "search term" doesn't work consistently anymore, Google thinks to know better and semi-randomly omit words and show results no one asked for.
They even dropped tilde :(
But you might be able to achieve the same things with their advanced search; https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/2466433?hl=en
I feel this is more a case of Google thinking it knows better.
I have a similar problem with ebay, if I'm looking for an "HP Z430" then I'll get pages of other items where Z430 isn't even in the description.
I can see some value in searching for alternative spellings and related items but there should still be the ability to be exact in your search terms.
The reliance on advertising revenue models means that all such Web properties morph into being essentially adversarial attention traps against users.
I would pay $50/month in a heartbeat for access to a no-ads, deterministic, guts-openened-with-API Google type engine (even if rate limited at that price to some high-human volume of usage).
Never. And definitely not at USD 50 per month. That is a huge amount for this, although I suspect you're a pretty rare customer and/or exaggerating. Broadband or Mobile service, Satellite TV, etc. all have packages that cost about this much. Even a magazine subscription is a fraction of this amount, Netflix is only about 5-10 dollars a month, isn't it? I could see people paying 10% of the Netflix (ad free TV) charge for an ad free search engine maybe so USD 0.50 to 1.00 per month, 1% of your suggestion...
"It never rains on a Wednesday in Rockshire"
It seems they internally switched to indexing single words only. So if you search for a phrase Google will instead return websites containing (some of) the words in your phrase in no specific order and maybe not even next to each other.
I think I understand why: Indexing / searching based on words is massively easier and massively less resource intense than a system which can search for specific phrases.
Furthermore the type of searches Google wants/expects you to do e.g. "best hairdryer" work well enough, in fact work better if you only search for single words and then filter / organize the results using AI / using information you have collected about the user.
EDIT: I was wrong. It still does work for many phrases, just not the ones I tend to search for. See below.
EDIT 2: I actually have no idea what is going on there. I know that searching for exact phrases doesn't work for me like it used to but I have no idea why..
Google tries to find your phrase, and fails, then tries to give you results with some of your words missing without telling you.
If you search for "It never rains on a" with quotes it will only show you pages with that exact phrase. If you search for that without quotes it will show you a messy group of results based on what it thought you meant.
Most of the time I get the result:
No results found for [phrase]
Results for [phrase] (without quotes)
This gets more confusing because sometimes it does work. Namely if you look for phrases which are popular search queries e.g. if you search for..
"hit me baby one more time"
But yes, my original post was wrong. It does work for a lot of phrases.. but not for others.
I guess Google's engine dynamically optimizes things, and only indexes often searched phrases.
EDIT: Okay, this assumption was wrong too. I did some experiments to confirm my theory and the results showed that it is wrong..
Probably this is because such pages do not exist, except for this page. Or at least DDG thinks so: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=%22It+never+rains+on+a+Wednesday+i...
Further, if they retain copies of the full text in their database they could do a filtered scan of the documents that hit on all subphrases to guarantee exact match. I could see that having too much of a performance impact at scale though.
In any case the dumbing down of Google search over the last few years is immensely frustrating to me.
Er, what? No search engine finds "It never rains on a Wednesday in Rockshire". Results for "It never rains on a Wednesday" with exact matches
Google - 6 pages
Bing - 3 pages
Yandex - 0 pages
Duck Duck Go - 3 pages
Lately I've also been noticing that the behaviour of some google search operators are broken. " something " "otherthing" is not considered as an AND " something " OR "otherthing" is not considered as an OR. Google shows me the results it wants. I recently tried to research FreeBSD and Meltdown (I tried many times: "FreeBSD" "Meltdown", "FreeBSD" AND "Meltdown" etc.) and almost no result involved the terms both FreeBSD and Meltdown. The interesting thing was, Google did not say there was no results matching my criteria, it kept showing me popular IT news, linux news etc. It was extremely frustrating.
The only operators that work are site, date and filetype. The logical operators do not work reliably or do not work at all.
If you're searching for something popular google finds it best, but if your search patterns are deviant google ignores you and even thinks you're a bot and refuses to service you.
The loss of '+' is annoying, particularly since quoted and non-quoted mixtures are unreliable. Searching on "freebsd" "meltdown" might have solved your problem, but it's too unpredictable to be sure. My experience suggests that Google is doing something with site-level search, such that a site with only 'freebsd' won't appear but a site with 'freebsd' and 'meltdown' on different pages still might.
'-', meanwhile, seems to simply be disabled some of the time.
Today, if I'm searching for something unpopular or specific, I usually get frustrated. You would expect the opposite to happen as the size of the web should increase over time.
You do have a point however.
If DDG was so good, people wouldn't need to use !g for tail queries so much. Too much anecdotal claims every time these issues come up and no objective quality evaluation.
Except for lyrics, DDG is quite good at that and often even presents the proper "zero click result" straight away (though usually the lyrics are cut off at a point and I still need to click).
On the other hand, the vast majority of my DDG queries are !bangs for other sites, because I know what site will have the page I'm looking for. Usually !w for Wikipedia (and the other wikipedia stuff like !wnl and !wt), after that probably one of the image searches !gi/!yi/!bi, then !imdb, !discogs and !whosampled. Oh and occasionally !hn, of course :)
I believe that DDG would have had a lot harder time getting as successful as it is today if Google had retained its old "AND" search engine behaviour (as explained above, keywords used to have an implied "AND" between them).
 I only log in to these types of big "social" things using a private tab, for GMail and to get my personal YouTube suggestions and subscriptions. It's a bit of a hassle to use the 2FA Authenticator code every time after I closed my browser, but it's worth Google not tying everything I search to my account, or getting "bubbled".
When I resort to !g Google usually returns nothing interesting either and the most promising links are usually marked as visited, since I already clicked them from DDG.
The simplest solution: eliminate SEO'd pages from the index before applying search to it.
You can make SEO-penalization as complicated as you want without affecting search. The only thing search should be able to deal with is a SEO-penalty which is just a number.
And removing/banning sites can be done by setting the SEO-penalty to infinity.
I'm not trivializing anything. All I'm saying is that the concerns can be separated.
Even then, before Google started going after them by filtering results, the SEO spam sites were pretty easily recognisable and ignorable as you scrolled through the results. Now, they still show up in droves (try searching for service manual PDFs and you'll instantly see what I mean) but you hit the end of the viewable results far too soon to find the useful stuff buried in later pages.
In other words, Google's ranking now seems to be "good SEO'd sites > spammy SEO'd sites > everything else", and cuts off results before getting to that third category, when that third category should ideally switch places with the second and maybe even the first.
Amusingly enough one of the definitions of "rank" is, according to Wiktionary, "having a very strong and bad taste or odor"... as in the smell of a decaying brain. How fitting. I almost wonder if it's deliberate. If they called it BrainRank (like PageRank), the adjectival meaning seems to be emphasised less.
No doubt there is someone in Google, however, who has a project for ranking AIs called BrainRank for their own amusement.
Anyway, your observation is also an amusing interpretation.
I've had similar experiences recently with "site:" and the other colon-operators, so not entirely unexpected, but still immensely infuriating. It's almost like any real attempt to find what you're looking for, if it's rare, will result in punishment. :-(
This has been bugging me too the last couple of years. Sometimes I would actually prefer an empty answer to one where various words are missing. Empty can mean an idea is still unexplored.
I've started sending feedback to Google every time this happen. Maybe it'll make a difference if more people do it?
What’s particularly infuriating is when searching with verbatim still ignores keywords.
I am still shocked they ever thought that was a good idea, or that surrounding quotes was an acceptable replacement.
I asked him these exact questions. He said, the last time he checked, quoting a single word to mark it mandatory worked for him and that he definitely would know if it didn't.
I didn't insist much at the time but I knew he didn't know what he was talking about, and it made me lose hope that this feature would ever come back working like it used to.
I believe you, just never seen it myself. Perhaps I switched some obscure setting on years ago.
After that it started working again for me within a couple of days and has been more or less working as expected (hmmm. That's what I thought at least) until recently.
Frustratingly they refuse to send any feedback so I just had to try again,
Yes, and I've also gotten the capchas.
They even have a patent on that: https://www.google.com/patents/US9407661
Perhaps not coincidentally, both the Yahoo Directory and DMOZ have been entirely shut down.
This is the algorithm deciding that it’s way results in more ad revenue for Google. What do you do? You repeat the query again and they show you a second lot of ads.
But let’s be honest if Google could show you as many ads without returning any search results at all, they’d do that in a heartbeat.
Oh, the nostalgia :) Actually thinking about it, I can get nostalgic and enjoy viewing certain ads sometimes, provided that they're over 10 years old. It's that whole icky feeling of being manipulated even while believing you know they do it (except they do it worse) these grabby greasy fingers reaching into my brain. After a about a decade, ads lose that power and they just become quaint. Like the "Jazz Solo Design" from the 90s (image search it and you'll recognize it immediately).
I've been lazy and so acclimatized to the UI that I haven't changed, but I plan to now. It's especially difficult finding medical information. Mind boggling how 6-7 years ago it used to be so much better.
Google by itself isn't very good, but Googling from the Google Chrome address bar these days is something else.
And you didn't even need to use +word for most words, because it would only give you results that hit all the keywords in the query. You only needed the + operator to include "stop words", a relatively short list of common words that Google would filter out.
Also, given that personal webpages are way less popular than they used to, the Internet might not even be growing that fast, at least not the parts that contain the type of random useful info that we used to be searching for. They can't index Facebook (not very deep), or most of the popular mainstream services that people write their thoughts into.
Just the amount of times where you know the most useful (and probably top) result on Google will be Wikipedia makes DDG worth it. Saves a click. But for me it saves a click very often.
If I need Google occasionally I just append !g, but it's just one of the many other places I use !bangs for finding stuff.
I've been using those kinds of keyword search shortcuts for years before switching to DDG by default.
The realisation was that having 100s (maybe 1000s already) of easily-guessable search shortcuts pre-programmed with DDG's !bang syntax is way more useful than having top configure 10-20 of them by yourself (and forgetting most of them when you reinstall a browser). Definitely worth the extra "!" keystroke and redirect :) [especially given DDG doesn't track you via that redirect].
I have the same problem.
To pass Google CAPTCHA you have to perform like an average human. This is different from getting it right. Once I started being lazier, (e.g. back of a sign isn't a sign, picture that contains a storefront but in the distance doesn't contain a storefront), I have had greater success rates.
It's like Google is training me to be dumber.
I'm not certain yet, but I think it has to do with systems relying more and more on the the system giving a high weighting on popular or frequent searches. In other words, these systems are filtering content by how frequent they are searched and annealing returns which have low frequency.
This makes sense from a machine learning perspective. If I want to build a system which returns a search quickly, then it will be biased towards pathways with strong weights. So in the end, systems would be biased against outlier searches and very specific terms which have low or weak search pathways. Effectively the system is getting really fast and good at giving you the most popular return, rather than a precise return.
The major problem there is that over time the search space will atrophy, much like memories do, and will kill off pathways which have low frequency. It's unclear if this is good or bad long term for a search engine, because it will remain popular for the majority of users, so long as their search terms and desired results live within the same space. In other words, we're creating a less diverse and more homogenous space by virtue of giving higher weights to more common thoughts/searches/desires.
When milliseconds count that's important.
The only place where every millisecond may count is the case of automated queries running into the thousands and millions. I'm not aware Google even allows something like that and it's a corner case anyway. Human typed search is the majority use case.
They don't even need to do better than the competition, only well enough to stop customers leaving despite having to do 4-5 searches.
I've always double quoted the specific term I'm looking for. That usually bypasses this, ie. searching for "foo" will look specifically for foo and not food or what have you.
I haven't done this methodically, and I can't prove that this is happening, but it's infuriating nonetheless.
I even have four photos I took at night, in burst mode, as a Bughatti Veyron zoomed passed, and yes, it can recognise those...
I guess it makes sense to do this, given that most things they do is based selling ads, I'm just surprised it is this accurate.
That's why I'm back on Firefox after quantum release. I hope mozilla never, ever, ever does something like this but I remember seeing something similar on nightly once. It gave you search suggestions first, that redirected you to google, with option to disable it in settings.
Another really interesting thing I've noticed in gmail relating to search is that the number of matches for a given search is approximate, which makes perfect sense if they're using some kind of probabilistic data structure. However, when the correct number of matching emails does become known, because you have gone to the end, the result is not cached even client side. This gives a weird effect when combined with pagination: you go back a page, and the number of matches changes to the estimate again despite the fact the actual number is now known.
Seriously, this is egregious. You rely on your email provider to accurately search your inbox - some emails are important business, tax, and legal documents that are relevant for years, even decades. Or at least be fucking transparent about the fact that you are not really searching all emails. I know Gmail is a free service and in the T&C you agreed to (figuratively) sell your soul but this has huge real-life implications.
I don't mean to pick on you but picturing the perspective behind this comment is very funny and a little sad to me.
grep is almost 40 years old. It is free software, fast, and doesn't share your data with anyone. Small knowledge of the file structure of MIME enables more advanced search. This is all without mentioning desktop-based email clients.
Shows how far we've come?
Just exclude Mail from Spotlight search in Settings.
Well... this is why you might want it. Your data under your control. Your choice of tools.
If you're using GMail and Google decides to turn GMail to crap, well, bad luck.
I'm talking about OWA Search in O365. I use mostly VDI these days, so PSTs are out. It's a frustrating issue to me because OWA search is better in many ways for more recent stuff.
Also note this is an anecdotal interpretation based on my experience.