I think any other connotations you're associating with the word are probably down to you, not the word.
Yeah, but what if stupid people search for the wrong thing, find the wrong website and get infected with Wrongthink? Have you thought about that? Crushing amateur content creators and betraying all the ideals of the early Web is small price to pay for preventing that intolerable scenario.
It's like the Russians won.
Ironically, the same people who insist that terms like "racist", "white supremacist," "hate speech," etc. are arbitrary and can only lead down the slippery slope towards a fascist Orwellian dystopia never seem to believe that an Orwellian metaphor can be incorrectly applied.
So, here's hoping Google succeeds in setting thing slightly straighter.
No, quite the opposite.
The original PageRank was defined by what other internet publishers considered to be a relevant and informative webpage. Specifically, the original PageRank was weighting content by the links (and content around the links) it was getting. The trust was placed on the internet publishers linking to it. The trust was distributed and also transitive to a degree.
Which, if you think about it, is pretty close to what journalists do - they prop up the good ones in various ways. And also reasonably close to the peer review process popular in sciences - equal peers judging relevant materials and marking / linking the ones they approve.
All in all, the original algorithm was effectively a "wall" between Google engineering and the actual content, as ranked & searched. It was clear delineation that "we don't editorialize search results".
Granted, the later incarnations of Google Search take into account much more than just the original PageRank, and thus stray away from the idealized original formulation - and also get much closer to editorial decisions.
> The biggest problem facing users of web search engines today is the quality of the results they get back. While the results are often amusing and expand users' horizons, they are often frustrating and consume precious time. For example, the top result for a search for "Bill Clinton" on one of the most popular commercial search engines was the Bill Clinton Joke of the Day: April 14, 1997. Google is designed to provide higher quality search so as the Web continues to grow rapidly, information can be found easily.
(Yes, the opinion that a "bill clinton" query should probably return official/biographical pages before "Joke of the Day" is a pretty obvious and uncontroversial one)
There are two decision spaces here. One is the selection of search ranking algorithm (whether to use PageRank or any other), and that decision was taken by Google.
The second decision space is the decision whether to link (or not) to any given document, and what content to put around it. That is a long lasting iterative process rather than any singular decision. Arguably it's geared towards approximating the distributed consensus - which is a global mutable state; expressed with edges the graph rather than any singular node.
Can the process be gamed, perverted, or corrupted randomly or maliciously? Sure. Do we know any better one? Not yet, at least not in the public.
 practically speaking we all selected PageRank, by preferring Google's over multiple competing engines.
Which fell apart badly when:
1. Personal web sites (and, later, even personal blogs) fell out of favor, reducing the quantity of both independent web sites to surface in search, and the number of available signals of page value
2. The migration of users to social media silos reduced the visibility of genuine personal recommendations, especially as those sites often applied "nofollow" to links in user-generated content
3. Search engine optimization became a thing, leading to a glut of low-quality pages (even from previously reputable publishers!) and massive abuse of the remaining signals of page quality
I don't see the connection between the peer review process and PageRank. Peer review consists of educated experts explicitly making a value determination on the quality of the work before it is published and publicly available. Citations can be useful for judging impact, but this happens after the peer review process has been completed.
Most signals of trust/quality come via backlink profiles, which may be a poor proxy but are still the best that Google has been able to come up with.
With that shaping now irreversible, and with shutting down being the only way to stop it from continuing, it certainly seems like the right thing for Google to think seriously about the rewards their engine offers. While Google is definitely prone to abusing their influence, this move seems very reasonable.
(joking - we don't need another DMOZ)
“How do we appear at the top of the results?”
“We’ll call our website ‘AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA - Wikipedia’”
A while ago, I had google forget about all the things I had searched for. I then wanted to look up some features of C++17, but google kept coming up with info about the C-17 Globemaster instead. Rather than just searching for my terms explicitly, it tried to interpret what I wanted, and failed miserably without knowing I had previously been interested in programming.
This doesn't explain Google groups searches, though, where zero results come up even though you copied/pasted the title from an old post.
I did the search just now and every single result on the first page was about C++17. (I am logged-out with Noscript, Ghostery, adblock enabled). They might have fixed it?
Google tends to ignore what I actually type in, and tries to search according to some weird NLP machine learning inference on what it thinks I'm actually trying to ask.
Top results will include maybe 50-75% of the words I actually typed in, and it will treat the rest as mere hints or related words.
My queries end up looking like this after several tries and fails:
"something" "another phrase" "also" "this"
If I type the whole phrase without quotes I just get a bunch of ads, blog spam, and irrelevant stuff that is pretending to be useful.
Hell, most dev-related queries will return shallow medium-style blog articles instead of SO / Github.
Google has obviously decided that anyone searching for a medical term should only be shown pages that are equivalent to what a doctor would tell a scared patient in the first three minutes after delivering a diagnosis. Sure, those WebMD pages are probably going to be a bit more accurate than the wikipedia article, but largely because they're saying much less and have fewer opportunities to be mistaken. It feels rather condescending and patronizing.
There are >10k of these bangs, so I'm pretty sure you can even use this tool to directly search at other medicine related sites and portals (check here https://duckduckgo.com/bang) if necessary .
Instructions for setting up wikipedia's :
Those pages are littered with Google ads. It's no wonder that they're prioritized over relevant and information rich results like Wikipedia.
Not necessarily: https://www.vox.com/2016/4/5/11358268/webmd-accuracy-trustwo...
It's difficult to imagine that most of the people haven't seen this a bunch of times as well.
And while I agree with this, I'd love to know why people keep asking and/or upvoting this same question over and over. Is it for the sole purpose of bashing Google or what is it? Honest question.
Candidly, I'm mystified by the complaints. Google's search works great, and has for years for myself and everyone I know IRL.
Any post about any product that isn't brand new on HN is going to get comments along the line of "Company X? Their product is garbage, it used to be great! I've been using <alternative that requires a ton of extra effort to setup> and once I got it going it was amazing!"
I think a few years ago this was somewhat reasonable but in my opinion DDG has not only matched but surpassed Google for most searches. As an example (to not make this as if I'm only asking you to do the lifting) a random search that's relevant for me would be 'spacex rocket thrust.' Since Google's results are based on arbitrary tracking and whatever per user magic marketing metrics they decide to apply, it's not repeatable but I imagine you'll probably get at least something similar. We should get identical results for DDG:
- 4 redundant wiki pages (all link to each other)
- 2 redundant links to spacex.com site (all link to each other)
- 1 irrelevant theverge article on an arbitrary launch
- 1 space.com link with some relevant information
- 1 relevant wiki page
- 2 redundant links to spacex.com site
- 1 tangential article from space.com
- 1 spaceflight101.com link with extremely relevant information
- 1 irrelevant link from teslarati talking about a 'spacex rocket package' for a roadster
- 1 cnn article comparing rocket thrusts
- 1 redundant wiki page
That was literally the first thing I searched for and I think DDG is clearly better there, though both overall results are quite poor. One big thing is a much better diversity of sources with much less redundancy. But the thing that really pushes this example over the edge is the spaceflight101. It not only provides the most relevant information by a rather wide margin, but is also a critical source for a wide array of related news, specs, and other information.
The reason I think both searches are quite poor is because of how much all search engines today lack any notion of context whatsoever. When I search for 'spacex engine thrust' am I searching for technical information, or am I searching for media information relating to recent launches or developments? That's something that ought be able derived from a contextual analysis of my query, yet nonetheless it quite obviously is not!
Google took us that big leap from 'Abraham Lincoln' not returning hardcore porn, but it feels like the progress we've made since then has been pretty.. meh. And I feel the last few years have seen an overall decline in search quality, but a relative increase in quality for the formerly secondary players such as DDG. In other words it "feels" as though Google of ~4 years ago > DDG today > Google Today. But of course this is, in some ways, going to come down to the person.
The trend is entirely clear for my search usage though - I just don't find what I'm looking for much of the time with DDG, so end up g!'ing. When that usage reaches a certain subjective redundancy threshhold I switch back to google.
To be clear, I don't like Google any more, and I'd be happy if more and more people stopped liking them too. An advertising/data-mining/surveillance company controlling access to information in a digital age is about as dangerous as you can get. Even so, I can still objectively praise some interesting cool tech that they produce...
>Don't introduce flamewar topics unless you have something genuinely new to say. Avoid unrelated controversies and generic tangents.
Hence I believe repeating the same comment (or should be called rhetorical question) in almost every Google Search (or related e.g. DDG) thread isn't only repetitive but IMHO also goes against the quoted guideline.
Apparently, Google's search algorithm is one of the most hidden secret in the world, and has insanely complex evaluation mechanism in place, any anecdote feedback is not going to cause a ripple in shaping this algorithm.
2. Google hasn't changed - so until they do, I suspect they will continue to be criticized.
People generally will continuously criticize things that continuously screw them over.
I miss the early 2000s when I'd do a search for things and get information heavy, presentation light content made by non-commercial enthusiasts.
Though in my case I mostly don't blame Google as much as the commercialization of the internet and the short attention spans of the majority of its current inhabitants (who are a lot less bright and technical than the ones from the late 90s and early 2000s). What I do blame them for a bit is catering to those masses and their commercial focus rather than trying to improve the quality and depth of information we are exposed to. (I can probably also blame them for some of the censorship they seem to do based on these guidelines)
Yet today it's become the same thing with Google. They had a phenomenal search engine, but it's gradually gotten worse while other engines have taken some big strides forward. Its marketshare is just completely out of wack with its capability, and so I think that motivates people pretty strongly since it indicates a knowledge gap in the market. This is also a pretty new thing which further adds motivation - a few years ago Google search was, without doubt, king. Now, it's not. And, again similar to Microsoft, Google is increasingly destroying its reputation so it feels good to swap, let alone when other services are now also arguably superior!
To see some degree of evidence of this look at posts related to Google, but not their search. Posted just today (so there's going to be a large overlap in users) was this  post where a sunken car (found to contain a corpse) was visible via Google Maps. Nobody decrying Google Maps because it's still the clearly best service for satellite/street imagery. Gotta give the devil his due.
> Has anyone found that recently Google search
> is becoming more and more useless?
This 'search disease' seems to be spreading, too. Retailers like Amazon, NewEgg, Ebay, and others happily insert results that they want the user to buy, instead of putting the user in control. On Ebay, half the time they remove filters I want to use. Amazon haphazardly injects their off-brand products into my results, even if I sort by price. NewEgg and Walmart show me results of partner retailers whom I don't know whether to trust.
Maybe this state of affairs works for the average user. It doesn't work for me. It mainly causes me to wade through pages of useless results, trying to filtering them out by eye.
These days, if I have success with even a mildly technical Google search, it’s because I’ve enclosed every single term in quotation marks and/or turned on verbatim search, which doesn’t even work that well.
Google is trying so hard to think for you that they’re ruining their core product.
Further, I see there's now an option to disable "relevant" (personalized) searches.
Private results help find more relevant content for you, including content and connections that only you can see."
Followed by checkbox.
The linked explainer suggests the "relevant" (personalized) search is informed by your activity with other Google products. Skeptical me thinks that's hardly the whole story.
"Search results from your Google products"
Either way, I may try google search for a while, see if there's any benefit over DDG.
Furthermore, if they show you spam sites, which also have google ads on them, then you're more likely to click on an ad and give google money than if they show you wikipedia, which doesn't have ads.
They don't want you to go to wikipedia, because it won't make them any money.
They are sacrificing their product quality for profit. This is the general trend in corporations with a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders, rather than their customers.
In this case, the customer is the ad buyer, not the searcher, so those of us looking for things are actually 4th in line for prioritization, as it's like this:
Shareholders come first
Ad buyers come second
Ad real estate providers third
So, say I search for corn, but Google thinks corn is bad for me, cause I've been eating too much of it, and potatoes are better, so they just go ahead and substitute corn with potatoes to help me out.
On one hand it's nice, they think they understand what I really need. On the other hand, it's very bit creepy when it goes overboard.
Can we create a github repo with examples? I believe dev experience using Google is going really downhill.
Github's search is, in general, very good at finding what you searched for, all of what you searched for, and nothing but what you searched for. The one thing I want, and it's vague and complex, is a way to filter out the several hundred or thousand very very similar repositories that come into being due to a popular tutorial, school lab assignment, or frequently forked and slightly modified repository using the rare function I'm looking into.
I heard from Bing engineers (circa '09-10) that every time Bing would release a relevance improvement, Google would increase their relevance metrics shortly thereafter, suggesting that their relevance is being artificially held back. It makes economic sense, and it'd be super easy to implement, so I believe it.
Often, I have to rephrase my search 5-10 times before I see a result worth clicking on.
"Saerang story lord of the rings"
The most important term got dropped and needed to be quoted to actually find what I wanted.
A separate and more concerning problem with Search is the emphasis on shallow information without outgoing links for more depth. The majority of searches on many topics (medical topics for example) will have the top results be "terminal" webpages that offer only a very shallow look at a topic without any way of finding more detailed information.
For example, when I attempted to look for a comprehensive breakdown of biodegredation of plastics (e.g. what kinds of environments reduce/increase biodegrading time, what types of plastics have longer times and why) I just kept finding pages by various advocacy groups that talked in vague generalities and offered no opportunities for further research.
"techniques for interpreting statically typed languages" - gives a bunch of super basic articles/questions about statically vs dynamically typed and compiled vs interpreted languages. DuckDuckGo actually gave better results for this.
I feel what's happening is that google is looking at what people are clicking during searches and then using that data to calculate absolute ranks for pages and websites. Those ranks are then not necessarily appropriate for different, less common queries or searching behaviors. However, this algorithm probably performs better in 99% of cases for some internal metrics, so Google ends up keeping it.
But is there any good result that includes all those words and which Google failed to find?
To answer your exact question: I don't know, perhaps not.
typical tcp packet size
Between google, bing and duckduckgo, only duckduckgo presented this above the fold: https://etherealmind.com/average-ip-packet-size/
Seems ok to me.
It should also be noted that the etherealmind.com link doesn't actually contain the word "typical", so if you think Google should try to outsmart users less, it's not reasonable to blame it for not showing that link.
Not sure if DDG is really that much better than Google here.
also top results tend to be from sites trying to sell something.
which makes sense because businesses can hire SEO consultants and spend their resources getting google to show them in the top results.
however people who just put stuff up and leave up for free don't hire SEO consultants.
Thanks for the info!
It forced them to be original.
I believe elevating original reports is the incentive google gonna bring sites who follow their guidelines
news.google.com -> Democratic debate
BBC, Vox, Guardian, NYT, WaPo, CNN, Slate (wow), The New Yorker, USA Today
National Review, Fox News, Wall Street Journal, reason, Forbes, RT
So basically the news algorithm considers these kinds of stories high quality:
1) Stephen Colbert plays Democrat Drinking Game (NYT)
No Greg Gutfeld sketch ?
2) Funniest one-liners at the Democratic Debate (CNN)
3) Where was Mayor Pete Buttgeig at the Debate? (NYT)
4) OPINION: Winners and Losers of the Democratic Debate (NYT)
actually has the word opinion in the title
5) Who won the Democratic Debate? Texas. (NYT)
I think there ought to be more representation from right-leaning organizations
See this article on how Google traffic to far-left sites dramatically dropped in 2017, due to Google deciding to promote "authoritative" content ahead of "alternative viewpoints":
"Authoritative content" seems correlated with center-left in the US context, though the US center-left may be considered centrist or even center-right in some other countries.
You can just go to foxnews.com. It may be low-brow journalism that doesn't carry itself with the same gravity as NYT or WaPO, but none of the stuff on there seems very extreme to me. No white nationalism, for instance, which is I think is basically the right wing equivalent of the socialism (as in, actual socialism, not social democracy) and communism you see on the far left.
In terms of what the blog actually talks about, "Democratic debate" is a terrible example. This seems to focus on boosting older articles that break the news and down rank low effort follow up stories. I don't think a consistent topic like "Democractic debate" is a good test bed.
Maybe search for a scandal?
Every ranking boost for one result is a ranking decrease for all other results.
A plain text reading of the transcript and a fair viewing of the press conference has the President saying that he was not talking about neo Nazis should be condemned totally, and that there were also very fine people on both sides of the statue debate.
Jake Tapper of CNN has clarified this multiple times on air.
As for agenda, I'm an Indian citizen with no business or personal interests in the USA other than following the news as a hobby and enjoying the reality TV aspect of it.
Googling it gives you essentially fake news. Try it out.
Vote the man out of office but don't destroy your society and potentially others by looking the other way and allowing a company like Google to do this.
> I think there ought to be more representation from right-leaning organizations
For a search specifically about a left-leaning organization?
> National Review, Fox News, Wall Street Journal, reason, Forbes, RT
Two of those publications have much stricter paywalls/adwalls than any of the other publications you mentioned. One is a foreign outlet that's decidedly not known for quality international reporting. One is downright obscure compared to all the others. One is actually present in the Google News results for this topic.
> Slate (wow)
Do you have something substantive to say about Slate or its inclusion in the news results?
I feel like you aren't trying to make the fairest or strongest arguments. I'm sure you could find some more valid ways to try to make a case for google news results being politically biased.
And that's all ignoring the fact that Gutfeld's show has not yet aired an episode since the last debate, so it's quite impossible for a sketch from his show to be ranking in the news about that debate.
That's an outcome.
By explaining why that outcome is reasonable and giving a list of valid claims to support it, it does not address the stated problem which is the fact that this search engine presents a slanted view of American politics.
Why is it ok to have this kind of search result? We all don't owe our media corporations any kind of loyalty, and we all know that they have an interest in a particular point of view.
I'd think that in this kind of situation we are all best served by knowing what the folks at CNN are saying and also what the folks at Fox are saying (not those two specifically, but as stand-ins for multiple points of view).
Yeah, you were. Your overall point wasn't about him specifically, but you most certainly did attempt to use him as a (completely invalid) supporting argument. You're generally doing a very bad job of supporting your position. That's understandable to an extent because showing convincing evidence of systematic bias requires gathering a non-trivial amount of data, but you could at least do us the favor of not bashing Google for suppressing stories that don't exist.
And there's still the issue that you chose a partisan search term as your example. Given that, it seems very reasonable that Google's news results would include more results from left-leaning sources, because they have more to say on that particular subject. It almost seems like you're arguing that Google News should be biased toward equal time/prominence for different factions even if that's not accurately representative of what news and commentary is out there.
You can read as much meaning and intent into it and in that sense it would be very difficult, if not impossible, for me to do a good job to counteract the manifestation of unintended meaning or intent into what I say, so going forward I will limit any facetious remarks.
Regardless, the data here was that I typed a search query and the outcome was from sources that lean left of center. I think people are best served when there is a diversity of views since we can potentially benefit from the lived experience of everyone, all of whom have something valuable to contribute to our discourse. In a political sense voters are not served well when the news organizations that are shown to them on a search result page are either pro or anti ruling party.
In my country most television news is pro-government, with the exception of one channel. This government frequently misrepresents data and it's helpful to us as citizens when our media organizations can hold them accountable. If Google were to favor some media corporations over others, it can potentially prevent the media from doing this.
Fundamentally I think a better news product is one that provides diverse points of view to the reader to help inform them of the diverse perspectives on a particular topic. By boosting some corporations over others, in a world where bias is fairly well established, I think the product does readers a disservice.
Are you getting different results?
- NY Times
- AP News
All neutral sources except for the NY Times and CNN on a bad day.
Of your list there: Nation Review, Reason, and Forbes are not journalism outlets. RT doesn't have editorial independence like other state backed media. Without getting into debate, maybe Fox News should be on my page before wikipedia and a second CNN link. But I don't see a reason for those others.
Full disclosure: I am one of the techies who built it.
NYT, NYT, NYT, NYT, Vox, NYT, WaPo, NPR, CBS, LA Times
They certainly seem to like New York Times
Anyone quoting sources and showing their work (published data) is reporting.
Even if you disagree with the interpretation, conclusions. Especially if you disagree.
Sadly, I continue to be embarrassed, surprised when geeks proclaim it's all just opinion. This anti-intellectualism is how cults and hoaxes fester and grow.
It's not helping.
Is it too much to ask that the primary beneficiaries of our modern, technical, scientifically advanced society also defend the foundations of our society?
How about just part time? A few hours per week. Take a breather from the cynicism. Just pretend the world is knowable and that we can work to improve stuff. Think of it as a new hobby.
Every time you read a report on a topic, mountains of facts are omitted for the sake of disseminating the points the authors and editors thought you should know to build your opinion. It is thus vital that you trust their judgment to do so in a way that's beneficial to you.
Knowing things is just really hard and we tend to fool ourselves into believing we know more than we do and that we can know more than is reasonable (yours truly included).
"any story you read is editorialized to some degree"
The opinion is the value add.
I used to read The Economist, because they challenged my views. I read Tyler Cowen today because I disagree with him and because he argues his case.
The rut we find popular discourse in today is caused by two things. The New Deal consensus we once had has not been replaced with a new consensus. The reluctance to distinguish between blather and discourse (debate).
Interpretations are commentary, not reporting. Reporting is strictly facts. Even opinion pieces contain some reporting ("X did Y, and here's what you should think about it"). I don't believe it's "anti-intellectualism" to ask for more reporting and less commentary.
Maybe take a look at some search alternatives like DuckDuckGo or YaCy.
For example, check out page 26 for their grid of "Examples of Highest Quality Pages"
Algorithmic and signal-wise, there are common conventions in English-language journalism that signal "original reporting", or rather, not original reporting. Such as, "...as reported by" or "...', Rep. Smith told the Washington Post". Of course, not every publication uses those, so I'm guessing the trustiness of a site/source will come into play.
A recurring theme with Google is that they always want to solve problems algorithmically.
It's more of a check step. So, for example, if humans think one website is vastly more (or less) authoritative than human raters, the engineers might dig in to see which aspects are causing the algorithm to evaluate it differently and, potentially, test tweaking the algorithm accordingly.
Their recent algorithm update is forcing news sites to improve their overall content quality
and by now highlighting original reports it will force news sites to write original content and not just rewrite each other articles.
It's cool to see how Google is changing online journalism
It really isn't. That sort of 'cool' is what got us AMP, Chrome and search results mixed with advertising as well as Google products that are promoted at an unfair advantage compared to established products by competitors.
Monopolies have their occasional upsides but they also have structural downsides which is why they should be avoided.
In my opinion. For what it's worth.
> their feedback doesn't change the ranking of the specific results they're reviewing; instead it is used to evaluate and improve algorithms in a way that applies to all results
Basically the difference between preparing a exam using annals and buying the exam.