Problems with Google

[Old Forum joel.dietz] anonymous
Created: 7 years and 8 months ago
The single largest problem with Google's pagerank algorithm that I experience on a day to day basis is the indexing of various sites on popularity instead of relevancy, where relevancy on some topics is influenced by nearness to the present time. This is notably the case when searching for bug fixes, how to fix your router, etc. Google should put more recent responses first but very often does not.

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anonymous
It's true I have the same problem with doc on symfony PHP framework : Google always returns results about the 1.0 version from the official site instead of the more recent 1.4.

However I find that Google shows almost everytime more relevant results when searching for very specific info.
Where DDG really shines is on the presentation level for general queries, for very specific stuff it does not (yet ;) ).
posted by [Old Forum guest] • 7 years and 8 months ago Link
yegg
It really seems to be hit or miss depending on whether I can detect internal topics. When I can, I think the specific results are better. Anyway, I'd appreciate you sending me examples when you think it is obviously worse.
posted by yegg Staff7 years and 8 months ago Link
anonymous
(I'm the guy from the previous post, I just registered)

I remember doing a query on your search engine and it struck me when comparing that Google was better because it "understood" my query and showed results with different keywords with the same meaning where DDG tried to search exactly for the keywords I entered but showed less relevant results (because the keywords were rare I think). Can't remember the exact query though.

Maybe that's because you are using BOSS and Bing API, if you check this blind test : http://blindsearch.fejus.com/ Google is always the best in my opinion.

Next time I find a problem like that, I will add it to a list and send you the list when I have 5-10 "difficult" queries.
posted by [Old Forum guest] • 7 years and 8 months ago Link
anonymous
I registered but forgot to login. :D
posted by [Old Forum eet-fuk] • 7 years and 8 months ago Link
yegg
Thx. I actually layer a lot on top of Boss/Bing/etc in the area of "understanding" your query more. But it is totally case by case, so please share them when they come up.
posted by yegg Staff7 years and 8 months ago Link
anonymous
Alright, 2 queries I found today where I think Google beats DDG. They are not terrible DDG failure, but they are the reason why I still use Google.
Note that I'm using the option to boost French results in DDG, which in fact seems to boost c*** results.

- fav4.org  
It's a site to be used as a home page, the old URL is http://fav4.org/, now it redirects to http://myfav.es/. Typing the site name should bring me this site first in the results, Google does it, DDG does it too, but not with the "boost french results option" and shows me a Youtube video (in English !) first. The fact that it does not appear first is annoying because I often type in my Firefox url bar : d /keyword to have the first more relevant result. I generally don't care about french results because 95% of the queries I make are developer stuff, but sometimes I search with french words, and I think Google does a more subtle boost of local results here.

- symfony 1.4 gentle view  
I was looking for documentation on the symfony PHP framework (it's a MVC framework and I was looking for the view part) and remembered that the tutorial (available both online and as a book on Amazon) was called "A gentle introduction ...", the page I'm looking for (http://www.symfony-project.org/gentle-introduction/1_4/en/07-Inside-the-View-Layer) is third in the Google results, and does not appear on the DDG result page.

Hope that helps, I will send you more queries where I think Google is better than DDG if you want.
posted by [Old Forum guest] • 7 years and 8 months ago Link
anonymous
Zoho sucks, I have to switch browser to post here as the form does not work on Minefield 4.0b4pre, and each time I forgot to re-login...
posted by [Old Forum eet-fuk] • 7 years and 8 months ago Link
anonymous
The reason I use a search engine is to get information that I am looking for as quickly as possible. There are numerous ways in which Google fails. Technical information / answer is a particularly large one IMO and indexing w/ respect to various axises ignored by Google would be most beneficial to DDG's success. Another way in which it fails is in its unarticulated "secret" weighting of some sites. Early versions for example privileged information at .edu sites.  If you could expose the weighting metrices and potentially even provide an API for modification then users would have a lot more power and could potentially provide their own. The key would be not to impose a particular weighting but allow users to choose there own (power users would likely create their own unique weighting).

posted by [Old Forum joel.dietz] • 7 years and 8 months ago Link
anonymous
Another example where the "boost french results" gives clearly inferior results :
If I query "dave lombardo", 6 of the first 20 results are from local Wikipedia pages "de.wikipedia.org, it.wikipedia.org, etc". It does not happen with the option disabled or on Google.

I will definitely stop using this setting, and I think you should either remove it or change your algorithm because it lowers the relevancy of the results and gives bad publicity to your search engine.
posted by [Old Forum eet-fuk] • 7 years and 7 months ago Link