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Google ignores my search terms  (View post)

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

Wednesday, July 15, 2009
10 years ago8,342 views

I searched Google for [dictionary cleaning up suddenly]
google.co.uk/search?q=dictiona ...
... and worked my way through the search results. At the BOTTOM of the page Google helpfully told me that it didn't bother including the word "suddenly" in the search. Thanks for wasting my time, Google!


i27.tinypic.com/vf4n7.png

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

Google is a douche, he is always ignoring me these days.

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

Technically, the query is just a starting point. If you enter "nfs", Google could expand the query and add some additional subqueries ("network file system", "need for speed"). Sometimes users add extraneous words that don't seem necessary to provide good results and Google learned to ignore them. Your query is probably an exception and you can always add a "+" to show that a keyword is important.

mbegin [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

I've seen this recently too, and I agree, it would be nice if they showed that "tip" at the TOP of the page...

Above 4 comments were made in the forum before this was blogged,

Jérôme Flipo [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

I had the same problem few hours ago, when Google ignored "average" in the query [average maximum attachment].

I needed to know the average limitation for email providers, but all results in the first 3 pages were about Gmail. Quite useless. I'm not saying that Google favors its own product... or does it?

They highlight obvious orthographic misspelling with big, bold, blue hyperlinks at the top, but they quietly tip me for query hijacking?!

Google shouldn't tip me after misconstruing my query: it's like spamming before asking: <<Didn't want this crap? Unsubscribe here: sucker[put at-character here]spammer.com>>

They should rather suggest me to add the + operator when they consider I should do so. As far as I know, they don't.

They could also offer me to register as a "novice/advanced user", or to use my Web History to determine if I know such operators.

Marcin Sochacki (Wanted) [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

The behaviour is not new, see my comment from 5 months ago:
blogoscoped.com/forum/149523.h ...

At least they put those notifications now at the bottom.

Joh Man X [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

Serves one right for taking too much time to analyze google results. If that was the case, you probably didn't enter a good query to begin with.

z [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

Under what circumstances would someone be typing "suddenly" where it is not relevant to what they are searching for? It isn't like "and" or "the". Maybe most people are different, but I don't type something into the search box unless I expect it to be a relevant term in the search. They should definitely tell you they dropped it at the beginning of the page.

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

[put at-character here]Marcin, your search [tivoli tsm port 43307] was dropping the "43307" five months ago. Now it's including the "43307" but dropping the "tivoli".

How can a word like "tivoli" at the front of a search query ever be unimportant?

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

When I search for [dictionary cleaning up suddenly], Google drops "suddenly". But if I search for [microsoft users buy suddenly] Google thinks "suddenly" is relevant and it drops "buy" instead.

Also I'm seeing another variation at the bottom of the results. If I search for [indirectly synonym accidentally eaten] I see this, which is:

Tip: These results include the word "accidental". Show results that include only "accidentally".

Andy Wong [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

This was a designed feature for a few years already. I guess that google does this because majority of peopel would prefer ignoring, so google asks minority to have one more mouse click to include the ignored words for results.

Deathbob [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

They have removed words for years, they just started telling you they were.

Maybe they will take the information about people clicking that link and improve the logic that removes words?

Jan [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

They are more and more like Microsoft – "we know better then you what you want".

No Google, you don't!
I know what I am looking for and when I search for some word I know what I am doing and it pisses me off when you do not respect that. This is just another thing like when I search for [something] and after I click on first results I get something I did not search for because you thought I misspelled and gave me results for something else – and this also pisses me off.

Stop doing that! I know better then you what I am looking for – just give me the results!

KMB [PersonRank 7]

10 years ago #

Like others said, it's nothing new, has always been like that. google.com/support/websearch/b ...

KMB [PersonRank 7]

10 years ago #

web.archive.org/web/2000081505 ...

Jérôme Flipo [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

Search Engine Land weighs in: searchengineland.com/what-happ ...

<< But Google had it right a year ago with its talk about transparency: Any changes or adjustments to the search results should be indicated clearly and immediately at the top of the page, not buried below the search results (or removed altogether). If you ignore one of the words in a user’s query, tell him right away. If you’re showing a user certain results based on her previous searches, tell her right away.

Google’s privacy policy is summed up in one sentence that appears at the top of the page in extremely large text:

   “At Google, we’re committed to transparency and choice.”

Maybe it’s time turn the clock back a year and make that commitment all over again.>>

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

> Like others said, it's nothing new, has always been like that.

Yes, Google was using stop words ("a", "the", etc.) for years in some way or another – though actually including them more than other engines years ago, i.e. whether or not a "the" was appearing in the beginning might have changed the results order sometimes – but they traditionally didn't ignore longer words. When clicking on the cached link, you'd always see the words that were in the page highlighted, and words that were not in the page were printed by saying something like "these words only appear in pages linking to this page". (Many people were *assuming* that Google was always ignoring words, that is true, but checking the page cache is revealing.)

Searching Google for ["These results do not include the word"] I can find several results from 2009, but all relatively recent (one going back to February 2009). Still, there's only above 2000 mentions. Can you find older mentions of this phrase? I'm curious when this tip was launched, I don't know.

PS: Added a picture subtitle to the post containing the tip phrase.

Adam Edwards [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

I hate this "feature". Let me determine my own search query. If I don't get the results I want, then I'll search again.

Tony [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

It seems to have got worse I entered gothes (A poet and philosopher) and I goths, go the, and loads of crap. Other that wrapping every word in quotes I cannot see how to get around this crap!

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