Harry

Almost a Blog

Category: Search

Google Bugs

I am not sure what has been happening to Google recently but over the last few months it has got quite awkward to use. The first thing I noticed was the new fade in. For me while it’s fading I’m unable to type anything into the search box. This is really annoying.

The other less annoying thing but annoying anyway is the fade itself, who on earth decided this was a good idea? Are they really that desperate for more searches that they will hide parts of their menus etc until you do something. I’m sure they’ve done some UED studies and concluded that it’s better for the majority of people, personally I hate it.

The second thing I noticed today is that I lose control over the Firefox menu when I have a Google Window open on the home page. I was able to repeat this quite easily and when I close the Google tab I’d get control back. This is very very annoying.

Google-Bugs.png

It’s getting more and more awkward to use Google and this spate of bugs is getting tiring. I appreciate Googles uncluttered page and speed but this is starting to take the piss.

As a Yahoo! employee these errors are of course good news for us. I’ve been an avid user of Google for years but I think it’s high time I stopped using Google anyway and the recent spate of bugs has given me a good reason to try Bing/Yahoo to see how I get on with them. Hopefully within a few weeks my muscle memory for “goo” will change to “bin” or “yah”.

Lexicon

I have started the process of building the lexicon for my search engine. Its actually surprising how slow the list of words increases. This is partly due to me being quite strict in my definition of what constitutes a word. A normal search engine would need to be able to work with all sorts of arbitrary strings (I am not even considering encodings yet) but due to hardware constraints I have limited myself to Perl’s
m/\w/
if it doesn’t match this it won’t go in the lexicon. I know this is a bit harsh but unfortunately I don’t have several hundred machines in a cluster to play with like the other search engines ;). I think if I get over one million terms in the lexicon I will be doing OK.

Show me NOW

There is an ever increasing amount of information on the internet, this fact appears obvious in the extreme but what might not be so obvious is the ever increasing amount of duplicate information.
Have you ever tried looking for “man find unix” on google, nearly every page displayed has the same information. I know that some pages are slightly different but its becoming increasingly difficult to find what you are actually looking for. This is not an isolated incident, most search engines are suffering.
Google was a fantastic leap in the right direction but has anything changed in the last 2 years that visibly makes a difference to the layman, I haven’t seen it, have you?
Everyone assumes that the more pages a search engine has in its database the better the search engine. As popular as this school of thought is, its wrong! very wrong!! Why?
Up until 2 months ago I used Google exclusively and recommended it to everyone who wanted to find something on the internet. Just recently I have found that Google is not providing me with the goods. I have often caught myself switching to Yahoo in order to find what I am looking for, I have even went as far as Looksmart and got better results.
At first I considered these breaches from the one true search engine as isolated anomalies arising from the eclectic nature of the topics I was researching but empirical evidence suggests otherwise. I am now going to Google and trying a search and then going straight to Yahoo and getting what I am looking for. Am I a heretic to suggest that Google is just not cutting it any more, quite possibly, but I am not the only one.
As much as I love Google, it appears to be slipping compared to other engines. However, I will not give up on it because unlike most search engines I actually trust Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page to act in the best interests of the users. Maybe I am being naive in thinking Google will retain their morals in light of going public but hey, I’m an eternal optimist.
There goes any chance of ever attaining my dream job 😉