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Is Google Getting to be Useless?
Old 11-30-2019, 02:03 PM   #1
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Is Google Getting to be Useless?

Recently, I have noticed a distinct change in what results Google shows me when I search for something. When I would put in a specific statement, the first page would usually show something relevant to what I was looking for. More recently, these will be "down the list" more as the ads are displayed first. Now, I am noticing that Google tends to just IGNORE some of the search query. As an example, I searched for "USAA will not insure beach home" and it didn't return a SINGLE result (I did not proceed past the first page) that was relevant. Were there ads for USAA? Of course! (I attached a pic of my search results).

I have also noticed that my Google "Now" feed (on tablet/mobile phone) will continue to show subjects I have ZERO interest in...such as weight loss. I will go to the settings page and no where is there an interest that is remotely close to weight loss. And if I pull down the specific story (where you can tell Google that you aren't interested in that subject or news provider) the subject are will not be there...you can say "don't show stories from XXX news" but nothing about "don't show stories about weight loss".

Anyway, this is somewhat of a rant as well as a "have you noticed this, too?" I use Google for a lot of things, and I know that they are all interconnected but if I can't use it to do a simple search, then it becomes pretty useless and then how long before others think the same and abandon the platform?
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Old 11-30-2019, 02:09 PM   #2
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That actually sounds like something I'd ask directly of USAA, using specific zip codes or addresses.
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Old 11-30-2019, 02:11 PM   #3
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Put your search between quote marks?
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Old 11-30-2019, 02:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by target2019 View Post
Put your search between quote marks?
I have done this with varying success but as time goes on it's less and less useful. Also, they are getting more blatant about excluding words in my search query (you can see an example in my screenshot).
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Old 11-30-2019, 02:15 PM   #5
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That actually sounds like something I'd ask directly of USAA, using specific zip codes or addresses.
I was using this as an example. Every time I have a question about a product or service, should I call them instead of seeing if it's available through a web search? I enjoyed the 80's...but not interested in going back.
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Old 11-30-2019, 02:20 PM   #6
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Well, "search engine loading" has been around for quite a while. Sites that want you to see them on top of your search results will "load" their sites with key terms. I just assumed that what you're talking about, is the result of loading. So, my solution is the only one I have thought of. I guess it is sort of old-fashioned, rather like picking up the phone to call someone.

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I was using this as an example. Every time I have a question about a product or service, should I call them instead of seeing if it's available through a web search? I enjoyed the 80's...but not interested in going back.
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Old 11-30-2019, 02:20 PM   #7
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Several things going on there. If you include a word in quotes, the results will have that word.
You also see that companies besides usaa can purchase adwords.
Just trying to help.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ExFlyBoy5 View Post
I have done this with varying success but as time goes on it's less and less useful. Also, they are getting more blatant about excluding words in my search query (you can see an example in my screenshot).
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Old 11-30-2019, 02:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExFlyBoy5 View Post
Anyway, this is somewhat of a rant as well as a "have you noticed this, too?" I use Google for a lot of things, and I know that they are all interconnected but if I can't use it to do a simple search, then it becomes pretty useless and then how long before others think the same and abandon the platform?
I agree... seems like it has been creeping in. Also, though I haven't paid much attention, seems like I'm getting more links and questions about ad preferences, too... from Google.

Another thing... probably my imagination, but when there are links... especially to events or persons, where Wikipedia used to show up near the beginning, ie. on the right side of the page... that's not so much the case. I usually look to Wiki when I'm trying to get an overview.
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Old 11-30-2019, 02:41 PM   #9
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https://www.inc.com/jason-aten/googl...h-results.html

That is affecting things.

If you just want results from usaa site, preface the search with site:usaa.com
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Old 11-30-2019, 03:40 PM   #10
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Sort of related:

I switched to Bing, and joined Bing Rewards.
The more you search, the more money they send you. Really it's points that you trade in for gift cards to Amazon, etc, or donate, or use for xbox subscriptions.
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Old 11-30-2019, 03:40 PM   #11
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Iíve been using DuckDuckGo for quite some time. Iím very happy without.
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Old 11-30-2019, 04:17 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post
Iíve been using DuckDuckGo for quite some time. Iím very happy without.
+1.

DDG + uBlock = happy browsing.
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Old 11-30-2019, 04:35 PM   #13
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Not sure if it works any better but I feel better for supposedly helping the environment.
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Old 11-30-2019, 04:46 PM   #14
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I've observed similar here, Google's search result quality and its formatting have declined this year. I've moved to other search engines.
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Old 11-30-2019, 04:48 PM   #15
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I've observed similar here, Google's search result quality and its formatting have declined this year. I've moved to other search engines.
I think it is mostly about getting "sponsored content" (ads) in your face at the top of the search list.
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Old 11-30-2019, 05:11 PM   #16
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Try this...

https://markets.businessinsider.com/...-11-1028691102

Anti Trust?

....and this...https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/14/stat...usinesses.html

Didja know that Google (Alphabet) is one of the largest companies in the world... $900 Billion?
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Old 11-30-2019, 05:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Iíve been using DuckDuckGo for quite some time. Iím very happy without.
+1
I've been happy with DuckDuckGo for many years now, too.
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Old 11-30-2019, 05:33 PM   #18
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+1.

DDG + uBlock = happy browsing.
+2

AFIK DDG does use google search engine, it just uses it better.
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Old 12-01-2019, 12:32 AM   #19
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I somewhat agree with your comments. Google search seems to display more ads and too much "help"....meaning the Q&A and snippets pulled from other websites, sometimes out of context, as if they have found _the_ answer and have served it up to you ahead of the links it would have served up some years ago.

On the whole I still really like my Google Now feed, but I also have trouble controlling it. Sometimes it seems a single click/read/search of some topic will cause stuff to get added to your feed that you have no interest in and it is hard to get it out of your feed and hard to control. It would be a great feature if there was a better way to tell it that you are not interested in a particular person or topic.
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Old 12-01-2019, 08:06 AM   #20
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I use DuckDuckGo. But I'll revert to Google once in a while, especially to use the "site:" option to limit searches to one site.

I also use Google News a lot. But I make sure to block trackers (using Ghostery) and clear cookies every time I close the browser, so I get a variety of viewpoints, not just an echo chamber repeating the opinions of the sites I've viewed before.

Each time I go onto any site, it's like the first time. Neither Google nor the site (Amazon, for example) can tailor the results (or ads) based on my past browsing history.
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