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Search Engine Gripes

© May 2019 Anthony Lawrence
December 2005

I use search every single day. It's almost exclusively Google, though I will use others when Google doesn't give me results. There are things that really annoy me about web searching, and I'm sure there are things that annoy you too.

One thing that regularly ticks me off is the high Page Rank given to sites like Experts Exchange. Very often, this site turns up when I'm researching a problem. However, the solution isn't available because you have to pay $9.95 a month or $99.95 a year if you want to read their solutions. I really can't imagine why anyone would: the same information is always available free somewhere else, so all this does is annoy me. I'd like to be able to have a cookie that said "don't ever show me results from these sites".

Actually, the solution IS available. It's just way, way down the page, long past all the ads. Maybe Google makes them do that? If so, they really aren't complying very well.

I also get frustrated when searching for something Linux kernel related and all I get is page after page of source repositories or duplications of the same posts from the kernel mailing lists. The search engine ought to know this is duplicate content; why show me three hundred sets of exactly the same thing? Yet that's exactly what they do.

Related to that are search results that give pages that only point to another article : "If you want to whammix your floobar, there are complete instructions over at.." is either useless because I've already read the referenced article, or horribly frustrating because the thing pointed to apparently no longer exists.

Then there are the things that are impossible to search for because the word has too many meanings or it is a product that a lot of people sell. Of course there are times when I do want to buy the thing I'm searching for, but when I'm not, I'd like to filter those commerce sites out.

I bet you have your own list of search annoyances. Feel free to add them as comments here.

Got something to add? Send me email.

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