What on earth happened to the search result quality?

[Old Forum guest] anonymous
Created: 5 years and 8 months ago
For the last month or two the results quality has been abysmal. I've been using DDG for about three or four years now and have been perfectly content - now I find myself constantly using !g in my searches because it just plain doesn't get what I want - often not even in the ballpark. I was keeping a collection of search queries to compare so that I could exemplify the issues.... but good gravy, EVERY result has been awful! There's no need to exemplify it, just use the search!

What happened?

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Please do give examples. The result quality depends quite a lot on the types of queries and how they are worded. 

I know some people who used to say the results were terrible now say they are improving, while others who used to find them adequate or better are finding that the quality has decreased. It's all in how you search and what you search for, unfortunately. Examples will certainly help to improve the quality for not just your exact queries, but your style of queries.
posted by crazedpsyc 5 years and 8 months ago Link
I have noticed that DDG has become extremely particular about sentence wording. I have to guess what DDG is expecting me to type for a search query to get moderately relevant results.

Here's just a search I came up with on my head:




I can't even get
posted by [Old Forum guest] • 5 years and 8 months ago Link
posted by [Old Forum guest] • 5 years and 8 months ago Link
Trying to find the Residual Lua interpreter for playing Grim Fandango on modern systems:



posted by [Old Forum guest] • 5 years and 8 months ago Link
posted by [Old Forum guest] • 5 years and 8 months ago Link
Hmm, maybe it has something to do with Yandex?

By the way, I think it's cool that my website is showing up first:

posted by [Old Forum benbowen] • 5 years and 8 months ago Link
I have seen a similar thing recently I have to !g much more.
Here is one example:

posted by dashesy 5 years and 8 months ago Link
Thanks for these specifics! They definitely look like bugs with the sources as they're excluding a lot of valuable domains. We'll work to fix 'em asap!

In the meantime, while we appreciate you posting the examples, there's a much easier method :) To the right of the search-results, there's a button called, "Give Feedback" 
Clicking that will let you auto-submit (anonymously) the query that gave bad results. We then analyze the reports that come through there. 

Context is helpful, though, so feel free to drop us a line on our Feedback Form if you think it requires some explanation. 


DuckDuckGo Community Manager
posted by zac Staff5 years and 8 months ago Link
Hey, I didn't know the feedback button got more advanced :).

Thanks a lot for the work you guys have done. Hopefully the results will get back up to speed.
posted by [Old Forum guest] • 5 years and 8 months ago Link
I did the feedback already, I also ranked it in in the blinders test it

First result is in Russian MSDN,

Let me know if you prefer us to report only as feedback and not here
posted by dashesy 5 years and 8 months ago Link