We're bombarding ourselves with walls of human-unreadable English that we're supposed to ignore. It's like something from a stupid old sci-fi story.
Exactly why I stick to cookbooks in the past year or so. More and more, "fuck the internet", long live murdering trees.
The internet is full of garbage recipes that either just don't work, inauthentic, and uncreative, all at the same time.
As far as murdering trees go -- let's not forget that libraries and e-books exist.
The best cooking tutorials are barely translated Youtube videos. Or even better, recipes going through Google Translate.
(Or get a multi-lingual friend... :) )
Cook's Illustrated also does some 100% legit international recipes, they are smart enough to A/B test against the country of origin and try to match up the flavor profile with ingredients that are available in America, which can be more work than just directly translating to "closest cultivar of a plant".
I've also enjoyed the organic explosion of low carb cooking that has happened online. I have been witness to the community growing from its very beginnings less than a decade ago when it was just some people trying to make weight loss taste good, to professional level chefs jumping in with their recipes. It is now possible to source low-carb recipes online that can go toe to toe with any other genre of food (e.g. https://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/chocolate-hazelnut-sandwic...).
Of course there is also an explosion of low-carb blog spam. Ugh. I do sometimes miss when everyone in the community was there because they loved just trying new things out and sharing their experiences. The same SEO problems exist...
Honestly, I miss absolutely nothing from the internet when it comes to cooking. But I also wanted to be a chef. So I studied how to properly cook long ago and I cook almost every day... so I'll admit in already an outlier. Still, the way the internet treats cooking is retarded. It doesn't surprise me that people don't like to cook if they grew up with the internet as a learning resource. All these people overcomplicate easy recipes and substitute anything because it makes them feel like pretty snowflakes.
Does that still work? Most people's grandmas today where very much alive and cooking in both the 70s, 80s and even 90s and thus as steeped as anybody in all the international influences and 'foreign' ingredients that those decades brought.
the way the internet treats cooking is retarded.
And here you and I disagree. I like the way that 'modern' cooking is willing to revisit well established and 'sacred' truths about food and put them to the test. Perhaps a housewife in the 1920s isn't the authoritative source on the best way to prepare a dish, and even if she is there is no way to know without someone actually testing that hypothesis. Sites like Serious Eats and all the sites they begat bring both rigor and the joy of experimentation back into cooking. I mean why not substitute one thing for another just to see what happens or apply the 'wrong' technique to a standard dish? Many a dish that is considered a 'classic' today no doubt got their start that way.
Yeah I love those. The "random grandma with a gopro" tutorials always work, modulo language barrier. The video editing is crap and you sometimes have to keep fast forwarding while stuff is cooking but the recipes are good.
I have been to what I thought was deep in the Internet recipe mines and never saw this.
It's good to slow down and enjoy those fairly simple things.
This is way older than a decade. I knew people getting into it and sharing recipes on Usenet. The current boom is new, but online low carb communities are ancient in internet terms.
It wasn't very palatable back then, but people sure did try.
There was already an active Usenet community for lowcarb diets in the late 1990s (alt.support.diet.low-carb).
Yeah library, to check if you want to buy it or just write down a handful of recipes.
In my experience, these sites tend to be less spammy too, but there's certainly variation there too.
There seems to be two distinct 'genres' of cookbooks. One written by people who have studied cooking, and one written by people that have studied marketing.
Although, I will admit, my youngest daughter and I get a kick out of the stories. We even try to predict which theme the writer will go with. Some are like Christmas Hallmark movies. lol.
I switched over to duck duck go several months ago. it's just as good as google for almost everything.
> 17 U.S.C. 102(b): In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.
So it's been a tradition in the recipe space for decades to include lots of descriptive "filler" text when you're writing your recipe book/blog. That filler text is copyrightable, which gives you legal recourse against people who might try to wholesale copy your work.
Of course, in the modern world, it's definitely true that they can also help with SEO. And honestly I wouldn't completely discount the idea of people actually reading them -- I know my wife has gone through phases where she has a couple different blogs bookmarked and will read through them to get ideas, but also because she liked the writing of the author.
Maybe they're right and some people do love the stories, but they're definitely not just there for SEO anymore. At the very most cynical interpretation, scrolling through the story is the "cost" of the recipe - the blogger gets an ego boost thinking thousands of people want to read all about their life, and the readers get a recipe.
Look, I have the very sad allergy to hazelnuts... I love hazelnuts... but they don't love me. Also soy. Soy is borderline deadly to me even in small amounts. So, I can't have asian food without cooking it myself. Fish sauce sans soy fermentation is my substitute. I do get the allergy issue and being left out in many foods. But I find it so damn hard to believe that all these people are allergic to everything but these "healthy alternatives" that end up being nutritionally empty. Then they wonder why they're suddenly anemic. Then they don't get enough sun because their skin "suddenly" became sensitive. Then they have depression issues. Then they can't shit straight. Then they start cutting back on other foods. Then they have to live on horse pills.
Sorry, rant. Got angry.
Fun argument to have with the next anti-vaxxer you meet. If they argue about mercury or lead being in vaccines, agree with them. Just flat out agree with how terrible it is. Then ask if they like Himalayan sea salt. There's like a 99.9% chance they love it, along with essential oils. "You do know there are more trace amounts of mercury and lead in Himalayan sea salt than in vaccines?" You will then agree with me that mental gymnastics needs to be in the next Olympics. It's amazing how they'll talk around it. Make some popcorn, open a beer and watch the show.
The infrastructure of web navigation and search is foundationally built on textual, first party published content that enjoys some presumptions of good faith authorship: that it was written to be read, by a reader, and meant to be informative, persuasive/argumentative, or recreational/entertaining.
Think: journal articles, Usenet debates, faq compilations, RFCs, product spec sheets, forum postings, IRC logs, ur-blogs, even the original social media content types (tweets, wall posts, comments).
The cycles and epicycles of architecting atop this “real” content gives us mechanisms that reward and incentivize content produced neither for the ends of the writer writing nor any reader reading, but rather in service of manipulating search and driving ux patterns of various darkness.
All the good stuff on the internet is reborn in a spasm of returning to people creating content they care about for other people who care. Then eventually with success it gets polluted into shit with bots, seo, mass media and agencies, influencers, etc.
One silly rubric I use is: could this page / app / venue have been there in 1999? If so it’s probably worth reading. If not, who knows.
(Of course there are cesspools that qualify too, like the chan world and certain subreddits, but there were cesspools in the early days of the web as well.)
It used to show its best guess, then branch off from it with less specificity and more variety and, in general, a result reflecting what I meant within a few pages. Now Google is so desperate to get it right on result #1 that it never admits failure no matter how many pages you go.
You have to crawl through piles of garbage like a racoon to find the one-liner you were looking for.
but they are not doing that anymore, it is really hard to find a not spammy (what you described) result on Google these days.
and other search engines are only copying the Google algorithm we need to get back to judging a web page by its content, AI should be able to help now or soon.
Nobody would start using Google Search in its current format.
Ads are Google's bread and butter, and has been for the entirety of its existence as a public company.
I just Googled Peking duck to try something at random. Of the links on the front page, one was to wikipedia, one was to an article about Peking duck, and the rest where recipe sites (BBC Food, Allrecipes, Serious Eats etc.) or serious looking/sounding food blogs that had the recipe front and center. I don't know if it's a geographic thing (I'm in Europe) or if Google has learnt my preferences, but finding 5 reasonable sounding recipes for Peking duck with Google was trivial.
Edit: Played around some more and spotted an interesting pattern. If a look up typical US dishes, like Key lime pie or BBQ brisket, then I got results more like the ones you describe. But looking up more 'international' dishes like Peking duck or coq au vin then the results where almost all good quality recipes.
And here I just thought people were basically self-absorbed wankers.
My most recent impression:
"I first learned about this recipe from my dog's aunt who was a lenape indian during the pre-cambrian era and she something something memories of childhood blah blah dinosaur steaks yap yap tedious digression on gritty herbs fluff fluff and so I was talking to my local grocer who put me onto an organic vegan gluten free biomagnetic interspordidial hyperflorpic gmo-free meg-free bpa-free taste-free free-free that reminded me of the time that..."
JUST FUCKING TELL ME HOW TO COOK THE BEANS JANET
It takes a very unique kind of person to write those things. And those are the ones Google is giving all the voice, while taking it away from normal people.
On the other hand, if you Google "How to do X" you will often find a youtube video in the top results. But it will skip the intro and jump right to the important part.
Sure there is a lot of garbage out there (e.g. everyone uploading 10 minute videos to hit the YouTube optimzation algorithm) but it does seem like Google does try to cut through some of the SEO garbage to get you the useful info faster.
When people find out the metrics to getting more views, they become meaningless.
Because Google doesn't have a financial incentive to show you quick, quality answers to you questions.
Google makes more money from you flailing around and fruitlessly searching over and over than giving you the right answer the first time.
That will work right up until the time somebody comes along and build a search engine (or other app) that will just "give you the right answer the first time."
For all their size and power, there's really nothing - in principle - stopping somebody from coming along and doing to Google, what Google did to Altavista. Yes it would be hard to execute, which may be why it hasn't happened... yet.
Worse, almost every site has a cookie “preference” popup (when everyone knows the preference is just the minimum necessary cookies), a newsletter signup popup, and a browser notification request popup.
Add to that the autoplaying videos that will pop out into their own overlay if you scroll away plus the rotating ads of different sizes which cause the page content to shift up and down... oh and the fancy morphing page headers that hang down over the content you’re trying to read if you don’t scroll enough at first.
The web is currently a shitshow of comic proportions, the likes of which not even the most cynical comedians accurately predicted.
The desktop app situation isn’t as bad, but it follows a similar trend of demanding more from the hardware and user (and network) while providing less.
It might actually be better overall if mobile and desktop performance had not increased in the last decade. I swear the end user experience hasn’t on average improved even a fraction as much as the hardware capability has.
What a dismal road we are on.
Same with web. Search for something, get 7 useful results on the first page, get your work done in minutes. No banners, no ads, no consent popups, no constant nagging for signups. Just content and some personal expression -- which, while comical at places, is still vastly preferable to the crap show we are enduring today.
Fast forward 12-15 years forward and I am absolutely amazed how awful the state of the desktop and the web is. Things are only getting worse with time.
I also vividly remember banner ads at that time, there were a few popular sizes. Some of the first ad-filtering proxies based their blocking algorithms on the sizes.
When AdWords came it felt almost beneficial, because connections were slow and often metered.
SEO tricks proliferated at the time (say, 2000), too, of more stupid sorts because search engines were not that sophisticated yet, including Google.
Most of the times I Google something I get content farm rubbish.
Know also that low paid "freelance writers" are often writing a lot of this information that so many people rely on.
I use reddit queries for things that aren't really critical, say a video game recommendation (try Googling that and see how many "top 17 adventure games" you get)
For more serious things like "do I have lactose intolerance?", I google something like [wiki lactose intolerance]
I do wonder why one of the world's most advanced intelligent systems built by thousands of the world's most intelligent people employed by a company which pretty much explodes in a burst of millions of dollar bills when you tap it lightly can't seem to show us results that aren't full of rubbish.
It's like Google's "discover" feed - it shows me trash news from a tabloid.
Google knows _A LOT_ about me, don't they know I despise tabloid news? Gossip about Kylie's breast cancer? No.
You can opt-out of the redesign in your settings so www.reddit.com and old.reddit.com both show the old reddit, and you can use new.reddit.com to view new-only pages.
I mean, that's Reddit though? No one's making you look there first, it's not "The Internet's" fault that forums are unreliable.
It's a cesspool of kiddie memes, shock, ill informed opinion and political posturing.
Besides, if I wanted to search Reddit I'd go to Reddit. It being front page for _everything_ I search for now is so annoying.
But it is maybe the only major site online where you can at least get a real person's opinion on common questions, like recipes and cooking methods, without the fluff of the productized, Adsense-driven sites that exist only to make money.
Case in point: r/gifrecipes. Recipes shown in gif form, so 60 seconds or less. Discussion can happen in the comments, but there won't be any inane babble about how the recipe has been passed down their family for generations. The lengthy pre-ambles on recipe blogs exist only to circumvent Google's penalties for "thin content", i.e. pages with less than 500 words.
Content is being written to serve Google's requirements, not the users.
I tried helping in some subs but was met with hostility. Tried directing someone to the proper channels (mailing lists) to search for help with a openbsd hardware issue and I get insulted in return because they didn't like my answer. And it wasn't a rude "RTFM" reply but an honest helpful post explaining the mailing lists and how to search and ask. Fuck that noise. I got better shit to do.
The real purpose of reddit is to aggregate people around faux community to sell ads. You have nothing but circle jerks and fanboyism but no actual meat and potatoes. Even after deleting every single worthless default main sub the subs I try to watch are all "look what I did!". Actual questions are never answered. It's all about showcasing to get circle jerks going so people can live vicariously through the achievements of others. That keeps the eyeballs on the ads.
I find myself going back to IRC where the barrier of entry is much higher so you wind up with people who know a thing or two.
You could make the same generalization about the internet as a whole. Reddit has so many communities and there is a lot of variety. r/fountainpens for example has none of the ills you describe.
Reddit is simply the largest site that disincentivises content-for-contents sake. When you find someone asking a complex question, the person answering it does it because they have a real answer- not because they can make some money by googling the answer and rewording it. That's what the rest of Google's content often devolves to. For certain topics.
Really it's worse off for not having the occasional meme.
Protagonist is trying to make money selling email marketing services. It isn't working. He wants to make money (it's not a charity)
There are millions of dollars per month to be made in ranking #1 for Mortgages. Protagonist says it is easy. Protagonist isn't making the money that would bring in. But it's easy. That it takes no skill. But he can't make the monies.
Why this article is upvoted is very odd. The article does bring up an interesting topic, there are issues with the incentives SEO places. Just like the incentives that directories placed, anyone remember AAAA Plumbing Services? Or before that, with paying writers per word/line (I'm looking at you books from the 1800s)
Aligning incentives is hard. And it's interesting. But the arrogance of the person who wrote the article is amazing, not to mention the cognitive dissonance he must experience. I personally couldn't get over that to really appreciate the larger topic being covered.
Related, I'd find an attempt to measure the amount of waste in SEO blogspam and email spam/ham very interesting. I.e. who gets the real landfill designation.
> Protagonist’s product offers ‘marketing emails’ service
Would you be happier if the protagonist was an entomologist or truck driver?
As a marketer, when I search for marketing information on Google 70%-90% of the time all of the stuff on the 1st page generally isn't teaching me anything I didn't already know.
But as someone who does this exact thing, I know how expensive good content is - hiring an author to write 3,000 words of valuable information for a reader can cost $500 - $1000 per page. Add another $400 - $1,000 for the consultants time on that page.
Or you can hire writers that produce lower value information for $30 - $120 per 3,000 words that ranks just as well as high quality content.
The first thing I thought when I saw Elon Musk's writing AI was how powerful of a search marketing tool this is.
Reducing your content cost to effectively zero gives you a HUGE competitive advantage.
I know a publisher programmatically generating content and generating millions of organic search visits a month for marginal costs reaching 0 - they pivoted to a tech company after identifying their #1 problem was content costs were too high and ad revenue was too low. Now they're selling this technology to other publishers.
Knowledge should be free at our point in time and supposed evolutional stage. But it's not.
I'd gladly donate some local lectures on the stuff I know if I had the time. But I wouldn't charge money for it.
Knowledge should be free. And internet should have become mega yellow pages on steroids like a decade ago.
It sounds like your time is a limited resource and you choose to allocate it to other areas of your life instead of for the good of spreading knowledge. Why then, do you think others should give their time away for free?
Not trying to be hostile, just a thought for you.
There are a lot of very greedy people with a lot of time on their hands but they choose to try and strangle the internet instead of bettering it. And I am left saddened that I have a family to support, health to improve, and work on having my own retirement fund. Maybe start a business or two as well.
Trust me I get it. But currently I have to think of the future and there are only 14-15 active hours a day.
Yours remains a valid remark. If we want to have useful internet then maybe a lot of personal lives have to be sacrificed.
In such a landscape, how do we incentivize the proliferation of actually useful content and knowledge? It's not so easy as to just putting words out there most of the time is it? The content we consider valuable have significant amounts of time, research, and thought behind them I would assume. Time is a limited resource, and it is often that the people who have the most valuable knowledge to offer have less of it while those who post meaningless crap have the most.
We only evolved technologically. Our economic systems are still stuck in the 19th century. The planet's cultures are still recovering from a string of empires that valued domination and assimilation over cooperation.
For now, I have to charge for my skills to live. Some day I hope to be able to have hobbies and share their output without having to monetize them to fund the efforts.
I don't want to charge for programming either but yeah, this is the era we're living in.
But we forget that few people even had the Internet back then, and it wasn't commerce-oriented in the way it is now. And back then, those with the capability to put websites online, without things like Blogspot, Wordpress, and the like, were a pretty select minority who had the technical chops and a desire to spread information without expecting any compensation.
"Search marketing" is the current euphemism for spamming?
It's happened over and over and over.
I know it's fashionable to hate Google nowadays but come on.
On top of that, without the web becoming popular, there wouldn’t have been the investment in fast home internet or fast cellular data.
Of course, the past is always rosy, especially when you were young, and new things are always exciting and lose their novelty when you get used to them, but I found the internet much more interesting back then.
It took literally hours to download a five minute QuickTime video clip. Streaming audio kind of worked but streaming video with RealVideo was painful.
Surprisingly enough, graphical remote access to a remote Windows computer actually worked decently well over dialup with PCAnywhere.
I think I first had high speed internet around 2002 via FreeDSL and when that went kaput, DirecTV owned a company called Telestream that offered DSL service.
Sadly, just turning down the bandwidth doesn't turn back time - I've experienced that first hand when somebody killed the box connecting the building to the ISP and I had to fall back on mobile... it was like playing Tetris on level 99 and then being thrown back to level 01.
A pretty good web directory at the time was cheap, about $12 million a year for editors, but Google had 10+ years where it did better with unsupervised algorithms, so nobody spent any time on integrating human curators.
Too bad search engines aren't using this to improve search results.
Here's what a Google search returns:
* Vue and Svelte — A Lot Alike, But Some Important Differences
* Why SvelteJS may be the best framework for new web devs - Dev.to
* Svelte vs Vue.js | What are the differences? - StackShare
* Svelte.js — First impressions? (vs. React and Vue) – Milosh N. – Medium
* Top 5 Reasons You Should Use Svelte on Your Current Project Right
* Vue and Svelte · Issue #4491 · vuejs/vue · GitHub
If this happens to all sites, wouldn't only the poorer sites stand out? I don't see why one strand of politics would be significantly more likely to downvote.
(Also it’s pretty harsh to say that it takes “little talent” to become an SEO expert. Like all industries, there are charlatans selling snake oil, but there are experts who have invested a lot of time in developing their skill sets, and it’s not nice to be so dismissive.)
There isn't. It is another article that will end up in the SEO landfill the author is complaining about along with other "spammy" articles that already exist in the landfill.
In essence, this is another "spammy" article to promote his product cleverly disguised as an anti-spam/anti-SEO article.
I suspect an SEO agency actually told him to write this article to generate conversation (people who resonate with the intro will share it on all social circles and cause it to go "organically" viral). As they say, all publicity is good publicity.
This is as meta as it gets!
some examples is why do sites still misuse H tags or have problems like creating a simple xml site map that handles escaping characters when required
SEO is still a long term investment that every company needs to make for the benefit of their users, helping people find you and your information on search engines is a good thing (assuming you’re providing real value).
The only problem are the spam sites who still succeed occasionally on the fringes. Which was why we were motivated to get SEO (and SEM) help in the first place - as one of our biggest competitors is a shameless gray/black hat spammer that their poor customers keep finding on Google.
I try searching for anything remotely bike related, bike community, mechanical information, or just general cool bike stuff and I can't find the human community underneath all the fluff articles trying to sell me shit. The internet, as free as it is, has been overflowed with commercial activity. Which pretty closely reflects the real world, but damn that's a shame.
It's ironic that, in trying to make search "human friendly", Google has also succeeded in giving it all the negative traits of a human --- the "human" that is more like a commissioned salesperson.
I know the argument is that humans frequently make mistakes so "we should just show them what we think they wanted", but that's just opening the door for manipulation.
Search was much better when it was closer to a "grep the Internet". IMHO machines should remain "dumb" (for lack of a better adjective) and leave the important decisions to the users, keeping the latter in control.
Curation-as-a-service could even become a viable market. It's arguably already happening to a certain extent through various platforms, creators, and aggregators; but it's not really split off as its own service yet.
The dumber search is, the easier it is for the bad actors to game it and drown out the legit sources.
Maybe page rank (mentioned in a sibling response) helped address this, but then it’s really no longer just a dumb grep.
A simple "-site:somesite.com" removes those, or just scroll past them. Keyword spam is easy to ignore because the title of the page, the domain, or the path often has nothing to do with what you're searching for, and the preview text is nonsensical.
The dumber search is, the easier it is for users to ignore the crap and find what they're looking for, even if it's not the first result. The "smart" omission of results has the effect of removing a lot of useful ones too. Google's claims that they have X number of results for a search is essentially meaningless if you can't actually see them all.
If you really believe that, maybe it is a nice startup opportunity for you :)
So to share some of the challenges with that (if anyone out there wants to try again) they are as follows:
* 'Search' means different things to different people, and we've been trained that a 'search engine' finds anything on the web (for the most part). The product Blekko built could more accurately be called a 'reference' engine which was used successfully by people trying to find facts or data and were not generally trying to find things to buy.
* Have your own advertising system, all in house, where you don't have to "revenue share" with anyone if you don't want to. At its peak Blekko was serving over 10M queries per day which, if we had owned all the advertising revenue on those searches would have kept us going and growing. That said, building an advertising system is both difficult and fraught with patent risk / bad-actor risk.
* Don't let anonymous users use the service. This is perhaps the hardest thing, most people won't give up an email address for even the most useful of services, however since you're spending money serving up search queries you don't want to waste that money serving up queries to bots and other bad actors. At any given time when I went through the logs there were between 5% up to nearly 18% of the queries were 'suspicious' or likely bots. That is 18% of your capacity you can't give to "real" humans if you can't control that traffic.
* Build a relevancy ranking system rather than a popularity ranking system. Search results have two metrics of interest, precision and recall. For a reference engine you want to focus on precision over recall. And while existing search engines use the "virtuous cycle" of search & click to track popularity (which can be an indicator of precision but is better at indicating click-baityness) build your ranking engine using NLP based evaluations.
* Your document index size should target 5 billion documents with a goal of 10 billion documents. Scale your cluster and algorithms to process a query to that index in 100mS or less.
Do that and win :-) Or find the next barrier to creating a useful way to search the web for information.
Similar to your biking anecdote, I was trying to find any simple trouble shooting help for a home coffee brewer that suddenly stopped working. I couldn't find any results in the first 4-5 pages that weren't trying to sell me a new machine.
The manufacturer is also partly to blame, because I couldn't find anything remotely relevant either on the product page or in the PDF owner's manual.
It's a shame what these tools have become when they could be so much more.
I think one of the reasons is that I do not get a bunch of the ‘smart’ stuff that Google tries to do for me. In a way it’s like using a search engine from 10 years ago ... and it’s better.
There are things that I do miss — quick cards for things like currency conversion, flight details, that sort of thing - but the mighty Duck is getting better at those, and if I need to reach in to Google I can always just !g it.
The other infuriating thing that's related is if you're trying to find a schematic or service manual, Google thinks you're just looking for the (often useless) user manual. Searching for the user manual does not make it think you're looking for the service manual... it's absolutely idiotic, because who would search for "service manual" but actually want a user manual? Beyond some weird conspiracy theory involving anti-right-to-repair, I can't explain why.
I never, ever, for any reason, want to see results from the Daily Mail. I don’t even care if it’s the most relevant content: I just never want to see that site in my results. I know I can block it in hosts or whatever, but that’s not what I want. I don’t even want to see the link.
I wish DDG would give me this option.
And if you think the answer is to create and host a new, independent engine, you will be hard pressed to develop a good one, and to find the money to keep it running.
>Wikipedia is basically an information search engine without commerce or social media.
The problem is that your results page is the article itself, and you need to scroll to the bottom to get to an external site.
>It's theoretically possible to change the UI or analyze Wikipedia to make a pretty solid search engine powered by millions of person-years of curation.
Using wikipedia as a data source for a "search engine" does not fulfill gp's (jacquesm) request of "One nice solution would be a search engine that throws out anything related to commerce or linking to commerce."
For example, go to the wikipedia page for the film "Groundhog Day" and look at the external links: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groundhog_Day#External_links
- one of the external links points to IMDB.com -- a commercial website owned by Amazon.
- another link points to Punxsatawney Groundhog Club website that's advertising a $30 beer tasting event (Hogtoberfest).
- another link points to a souvenir shop
To continue the example of commercial links, a lot of math articles on wikipedia point to MathWorld which has advertising for the commercial Wolfram Mathematica software package.
IMO, I don't believe a search engine based on wikipedia's list of external sites (even with ignoring the commercial links) is going to be useful for the mainstream audience. I probably do 50+ searches on google every single day and maybe 1% might be answerable from a "wikipedia search". For example, I needed a DIY answer to disassemble a Moen faucet and Wikipedia has zero articles with those instructions. In contrast, the Google (and Youtube) search results has the information I was looking for even though it has the unwanted ads and "content marketing" blogs from plumbing brands.
One can't really build a robust and comprehensive (server-side) search engine on top of Google's search API. In other words, Google Inc isn't going to provide an API so powerful that one can build an "alternative to Google" with it.
On the other hand, if you're talking about a "client-side" filter instead of a new search engine, (e.g. a client-side webscraper that flips through the Google results pages), you'd run into multiple problems. E.g. random CAPTCHAS screwing up the automation script, and the difficulty of creating a "rules engine" (e.g. machine learning) on your local computer that recognizes blog articles with a commercial slant.
Google has created a disavow tool for this but for someone who runs a blog and not super tech savvy may not know about it and regardless it is still a burden for anyone to keep up with all this.
Again, I'm not an expert at this and I'm doubtful that a billion dollar search engine can be tricked by such shenanigans but it may be something worth looking into. if your site traffic drops
Edit: I'm often surprised how search engines fail to exclude obvious SEO farms. Especially looking at articles about stock, you frequently just find a ocean of what send to be clearly autogenerated articles.
Same tactic to find genuine content, but I find Google’s results to be better than Reddit’s own search.
Of course paid search introduces class issues. I think we should view search like a public utility because it’s absolutely necessary for surviving the world.
We missed out on like 90% of what the information revolution was supposed to bring to users, and instead the data giants have captured all the value.
Why do people prefer free over paid? I think people underestimate the influence of advertisers and underestimate the value of their own time spent researching and dealing with crappy products. It’s almost like a psychological bias.
I like the idea of a better user agent but would I pay for one? Judging by my refusal to pay for quality journalism I’m guessing it’d be a hard sell. That’s another thing I should be willing to pay for but don’t for some weird reason.
Plus the knowledge you can, and non-trivial technical expertise like: registering a domain, DNS configuration, setting up web software (even if "one click"), and maintaining it over time.
Do you have a link to this? I've tried googling "splicing a 500kW cable" (and variants) and haven't found much relevant.
I don't think this was an accident. Back in the 90's I paid for Netscape Navigator and for email. People used to even pay money to indexed by search engines (like paying to be in the Yellow Pages). Companies started "giving these things away" in a calculated move that I guess the nascent web population was just not cynical enough to reject.
Yeah but what does that even mean. How do you define commercial? Who is going to go through all of the pages and categorizing them into commercial and non-commercial? And how do you keep shills and “influencers” from littering your results with seemingly innocent but actually commercial content?
Keep in mind there is incentive to have a commercial meta tag so that when I’m actually looking for a good or service I’d be able to easily find it (or see the lack of it). The other 99% of the time ads and products are just an annoying distraction and a waste of money to serve.
TBH google kind of sucks for looking for stuff, amazon + reddit recommendations are my main source of surfacing things I want to buy.
Anything else seems to be served by the other providers just as well/poorly, and occasionally better.
Both were very precious and both are gone.
There was no money in them I guess.
This needs to be fixed.
And not just the "shopping" tab but a fundamentally different set of algorithms for page ranking.
This sums it up nicely haha
Why shouldn’t the internet imitate actual life?
The frog can still sorta function. Wiggle in little circles. It ain't pretty or healthy or free. No hopping.
I wonder what it would be like to not have that nail through us.
No commerce -> no jobs -> unrest -> violence and wars (citation: centuries of human history).
Maybe, commerce is the nail which constrains humanity both in a good and a bad sense - by providing a peaceful alternative to violent lifestyles and by creating a consumerist culture?
When marketing convinces someone to buy something that ends up being a bad trade (i.e. the person that buys it is not made better off) then there is no such improvement and the world is not made better off.
Have you considered that maybe the majority of successful companies in the world are fulfilling customer wants and needs and thus making what you call Pareto improvements? And maybe it's just that the other "dumb people" derive joy from different stuff?
The market sorts these things out. It is mostly efficient. Not perfectly. But mostly. A company that is providing net-negative value to the world is a short-lived company.
Given that hucksters have existed for as long as markets have, I don't have your touching faith in the power of markets to eliminate them.
That’s not a citation. And given your thesis is a sprawling abstract claim, it really needs some real citations.
The likelihood for an individual to die by violence has been much greater for most of human history and prosperity and peace typically go hand in hand. I could provide references for these claims, but I think they are well known and references for the counter claim haven't been provided.
And evidence aside, your analysis is so coarse it’s basically impossible it could be true. Nothing that coarse is true.
And one last point: I have no doubt your head is filled with examples from history that back up your claim. What you almost certainly don’t have is evidence that there isn’t an equal raft of examples that contradict it.
Something like 'Save Money on Food', I am positive I am best-in-class, but I am only front page google, on occasion. Without a doubt, I should be the number 1 result, and instead, well SEO'd mom-science wins.
Btw, does this mean google should be looking for crappy code/design=genuine website?
Come to think of it, that might be kind of funny for a day or two.