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Google - the worst search engine.

By edata ·
In recent search engine comparison tests, Google consistently puts relevant search results low in page rankings, hiding them on page 3 or 4 of the results, while all the other search engines correctly put those same results on page 1. There are a lot of unhappy webmasters out there.

Webmaster are being told that they need to tweak their web sites to conform to Google's requirements (and we can only guess what those might be). Google wants to put the burden and the blame on the webmasters. But, since none of the other search engines has a problem finding our web sites, ... it is clearly not our problem. Only Google has problems finding web sites. So, it is Google's problem. It is simply not finding many perfectly legitimate web sites, ... or it is ranking them so low that they might as well be invisible. There's no sign that Google is trying to change that situation for the better.

I believe it is time to dump Google. Google is only big because we keep voting for it with our keyboards. It has grown too big for its own good.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely. It's time to stop that. I have started advising all my friends and associates to use other search engines. Any other search engine is better! Here's why.

Google has become the worst search engine (only matched by AOL in incompetence). They've completely messed up their search engine. At best, in an overzealous attempt to stop people from abusing the system, they have made their page ranking so strict that they are hurting innocent people. At worst, they have sold out and become EVIL (despite their motto to "not be evil"), giving unfair advantages in page ranking to those who pay them.

If you don't believe Google is the worst, try a few comparative searches of your own. Looks for some web site you already know, but look for it not by name but using keywords, such as "Boston hockey club", or "Atlanta art gallery", or something like that. Preferably, look for a small non-profit organization, a social club, or a small business, ... someone who cannot afford to hire computer consultants to constantly keep up with Google's ever-changing whims. You will find that all other search engines (Yahoo, MSN, AltaVista, Lycos, A9, AlltheWeb, SearchSight, etc.) consistently give better results than Google.

So, why stay with Google? Why support a company that provides such crappy results? It's time to vote with your keyboard. Move on to a better search engine.

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Google searches

by rob mekel In reply to Google - the worst search ...

This is why Google a few months back decided to boycott some websites.

Meaning some webmasters/company's used Google's algorithm on searches to place their websites on top on every list you can come up with. Google has boycotted these sites and excluded the development company's that misused their algorithm.

Will come back to you on this when I have found those articles

Rob

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Google is "Evil?"

by jhilgeman2 In reply to Google searches

Ha! Sounds like someone had a bad experience with ranking their pages with Google and decided to vent.

I am an IT manager who deals with everything from network administration (home and business levels) to graphics, to web programming, to client-side programming, and I also am very politically bloggy. All of that means that I search A LOT of different material.

For me, about 95% of my searches come up with exactly what I am looking for on the first page, often the first result, within 1 or 2 seconds. Of the remaining 5%, 4% are things that just can't be found on any other search engine, and 1% are things that I've found using alternate methods and search engines.

I don't see how this qualifies Google as bad at all. Every time I've ever tried to use MSN, it fails to deliver what I want without having to go through pages and pages. The others just aren't big enough to contain all the results I'm looking for.

And paid rankings - c'mon. If ANY search engine company gets big enough, they're going to include paid rankings. You're just looking for whatever reason you can to bash Google.

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Although I despise Google on many levels...

... I have had great sucess with getting websites I have worked on into their Top 10 results, even for generic keywords. The "trick" is to ignore those high priced consultants, ignore the fancy tricks, and just use plain, boring, static HTML that is clearly and properly marked up (such as the "strong" tag for important words/phrases, header tags, ALT tags for images, and so on). Google eats up a properly written site and is more than happy to rank it where it belongs.

Maybe if web developers weren't such experts in making their code look like a plate of spaghetti or throwing in a billion pieces of useless garbages (AJAX, "Web 2.0", Flash), or having half of their "content" come from elsewhere, or having their "links" actually be JavaScript that a browser cannot follow, or use menus that do not exist until a user takes action (which a search engine will notsee) then they would have less of a problem.

J.Ja

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Blame Google; not the webmasters

by edata In reply to Although I despise Google ...

Here you go again, laying the blame on the webmasters. FYI, my own web site follows all the general guidelines you mentioned. It is a simple, static HTML site, with no extra garbage. And yet, it was invisible to Google until I started looking into what it is that Google expects me to do. When I tweaked the web site to conform to Google's whims (following advice from others), I got a slight improvement, but I am still burried at the bottom of page 2, with all kinds of totally irrelevant web sites listed above me.

Most of the complaints I've seen in Google's own Tech Support newsgroup come from webmasters with very similar, simple web sites that simply get no recognition from Google.

Meanwhile, other search engines have no trouble at all finding and properly listing our web sites much better than Google does, ... and without any tweaking!

I have absolutely no confidence in Google any more. Do your won comparative searches, using the same keywords, and you'll see that Google consistently ranks last.

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Google isn't perfect, but there are ways to do a lot better

I agree, Google is not perfect. Lately, their ranking have been filled with page after page of identical sites, which are just mail group archives or re-branded Wikipedia. I am absolutely not impressed with them lately. In fact, I wrote about just that some time ago (I can't find the link, TR ate the old blog, it seems). Even when you give them your cold hard cash, they tend to stink (http://techrepublic.com.com/5254-6257-0.html?forumID=99&threadID=184332&messageID=1983227&id=2926438).

That being said, as the webmaster, it is your responsibility to know how to get that top ranking. Do you need to go find other, topically related sites and have them swap links? Maybe. Do you need to add quality content? Probably. A simple "how to..." article on a web site, especially when the compitition does not have one, will send your ranking quite high quite quickly. It especially helps if you go to other sites and suggest that they link to the article, or allow them to republish it as long as they link back to you.

At the end of the day, yes, Google has a thousand and one bizarre little quirks to it, but it has always been my experience that a well written, cleanly coded site will always do much much much better than a different site, all else being equal (and that's the catch). Take a look at what those irrelevant sites have, and see if you're doing something wrong. Do a hit to them and feed Google's user agent to the server, they may be cheating by cloaking. If so, report them!

Most importantly...

Yes, Google is no longer tops in search. I used to use them exclusively, now I use them only when Yahoo! or MSN fail to get me answers. Not that Yahoo! or MSN are better (I think their search system is better, but they seem to miss a lot of content that Google does not), I think they are all about equal on the final score, and they all have good points and bad points. But the reality is, Google dominates the search market. They have the power to tell you where to go, because they really don't care. If you lived 5 miles from one food store, and 50 from the next, are you going to drive 50 miles just because a cashier was rude to you or a banana was a little bruised? No way. Google is where the users are. If making your site super Google friendly means making it MSN, Yahoo!, etc. unfriendly, that is what you need to do. Worst of all, Google's PPC ads cost much, much more than Overture/Yahoo!'s or MSN's, so if you have to pay for listing, better to get great Google organic results and pay Yahoo! or MSN, than the other way around.

It stinks, but that is how it is.

J.Ja

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Users are already moving away from Google

by edata In reply to Google isn't perfect, but ...

Justin,

Thanks for confirming my thoughts about Google. However, you say that we have to live with Google because that is where the users are.

Well, not necessarily. The users are there because nobody has yet alerted them to the fact that other engines are better. As soon as the word spreads, people will switch to other search engines, ... just like I did, ... and just like you did.

All we need to do is spread an awareness of what is happening with Google.

When people start switching to other search engines in greater numbers, Google will eventually take notice, and hopefully take steps to improve too.

So, ultimately, everybody wins!

But, first we need to get people to leave Google. I have already told at least about 200 people.

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other search engines all fail on one thing..

by Jaqui In reply to Users are already moving ...

that google does right.
the search page for google is clean, it contains the search box and a few text links only.

every other search engine page is full of crud that is not relevant to the search engine.

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How much longer will that last?

Jaqui -

I agree 100%. My fear for Google's usuability, is that they now have all of the parts to be a true protal... at what point will they start the cross promotion and cross linking etc. and stick it all on the same page? Eventually, someone at Google will notice that they only thing they have a good market share in is search, and want to use the search engine to drive adoption of everything else... and we know where that leads.

J.Ja

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maybe

by Jaqui In reply to How much longer will that ...

an "I use Goolge because of the clean search interface" campaign would help keep it clean, and drive the other search engines into removing the garbage from the search page.

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Alternatives????

by The_M0nk In reply to How much longer will that ...

Folks, It's all well and good complaining about Google, but how about giving examples of other search engines e.g. www.alltheweb.com I've used this site with success, it's clean and is not that cluttered.

Regards.

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