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Google's Fuzziness Complicates Certain Programming-Related Queries  (View post)

theymos [PersonRank 1]

Monday, October 5, 2009
10 years ago4,200 views

I completely agree. Google has become increasingly less useful for people who actually know how to search properly.

WindPower [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

I suggest adding a plus sign next to the terms you don't want to be fuzzy'd up.

Zoran [PersonRank 3]

10 years ago #

this also drugs me crazy and bing is even worse than that...

Personman [PersonRank 8]

10 years ago #

Same, hate it. It's even fuzzy with phrases in quotes, which I really hate.

kmike [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

Yes, that "I know what you need better than you" attitude is increasingly frustrating.

Bustor Williams [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

Sometimes you don't seem to get anything out of google search.This is really a setback.
Programming the search features the right way (based on the user location,the language style one uses based on location,the 'either/or' criteria could be used on a more broader platform.

[signature removed]

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

<< For this query, Google completely ignored the word “automatically”, but only told me so at the bottom of the page** ... Google’s fuzziness may be good at times, and at other times, it’s increasingly confusing >>

I don't think these "ignored words" are ever "good at times", and I don't think they're supposed to be. The dropped words must be due to something like an indexing or computation limitation.

I too get caught out by this. The disclosure at the bottom of the page is particularly shameful – it's as if they're hoping no-one will notice.

On the other hand, offering "jscript" instead of "wscript" is undoubtedly an attempt to improve the search results, even if it doesn't work sometimes.

J [PersonRank 2]

10 years ago #

You can use a plus sign as Windpower suggested:
google.com/search?hl=en&q= ...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

J, afterwards that's a solution (Google's "tip" even links to such a plus query), but beforehand you won't know which word Google will ignore, and you can't realistically put a plus sign in front of *every* word.

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

> You can use a plus sign as Windpower suggested

That might be a usable workaround if Google put the warning message at the top of the results instead of at the bottom.

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

Can anyone find an example of ANY query that is improved by Google ignoring one of your words?

Marjan Panic [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

Why don' you use qoutes? That will force your search query!

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

Marjan, I often do use quotes indeed, but sometimes it is best to leave them away because you don't want to force a certain word order. When I search for [automatically open files with wscript vbs] I want to include pages that contain e.g. "here's how to open files, automatically, with vbs (wscript)". I often refine queries though by removing or adding quotes along the way (provided Google tells me in their results what they're doing... these days I always feel like I need to scroll way down just to make sure they didn't leave anything away... as these things are important to know when refining the query).

Dave [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

Interestingly enough, for truly advanced users, you can use the + operator to make sure the word is included. The fuzziness seems to do the right thing most of the time and there are advanced options when that isn't what you want.

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

> The fuzziness seems to do the right thing most of the time...

Google uses different kinds of fuzziness. Some of them can be helpful, but when does the fuzziness of leaving out a significant word ever do the right thing?

Donny T [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

I really, really hope they roll back these new updates .. I am actually defaulting to Yahoo now!

e..g I was doing a search on some analysis tool "Refine/C by Reasoning". Yahoo and Bing give it in the first page of the company site in results, while Google doesn't bring it up even in the second page!

timmy [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

Matt Cutts talked a little about this feature in a blog post last may, calling it spellmeleon:
mattcutts.com/blog/searchology ...

I would say a similar problem to this is that the synonym search (putting a ~ in front of a word), seems quite useless when they don't tell you what words they are adding in.

More under the hood stuff need to be made transparent. There is no reason not to for things like this.

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

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