Google Blogoscoped

Forum

MSN Left Behind Searching for "HTTP"  (View post)

pacificdave [PersonRank 10]

Monday, August 14, 2006
11 years ago3,688 views

Try a search for "www" Yahoo shows up as #1 and #2 is W3C. I personally thought that was kind of funny.

Tim [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Oh come on! Give us a break! It is the nature of search engines that they are not perfect on all queries. On average, one search engine might be better than another. But for particular queries, an engine will fail on a query for no good reason at all, where another one succeeds, and vice versa.

For example, do a search on both Google and Yahoo for "The The". Yahoo not only succeeds in finding this 80s band's home page, but they also offer query expansion suggestions for "matt johnson, soul mining, the the discography, the the infected". Matt Johnson is The The's main, consistent member. Soul mining is the name of one of their albums, etc. Basically, Yahoo not only got this query right, it nailed it.

With Google on the other hand, the "The The" query yields a Google "OneBox".. with a link to "The Who"! Not the right band.. not even the right decade. If you scroll down the ranked list, you also get link to Rutgers University and the Boston Museum of Science. Basically, Google completely failed.

Does that mean Google is bad? That Yahoo is perfect? No, of course not. It is just that you cannot compare search engines using one-off queries. The comparisons must be average comparisons. Pointing out one-off queries like this is really a useless comparison; it serves no purpose. You can always find examples where one search engine fails and another succeeds.. and vice versa.

Mambo [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Still quite funny, though.

pacificdave [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

[put at-character here]Tim: If you click on "More Results" it will bring up all the info over the band "The The" google.com/musicsearch?q=the+t ...

Tim [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

pacificdave: Oh, that's good to know. But the fact remains that nowhere on the first results page did any "correct" links to "The The" appear in the Google results. If Google didn't get the "OneBox" right, they had 10 more chances with the top 10 SERPS. They did not get any of those right, either.

Google did get better once you clicked to the "next" page of OneBox results, as you say. But nowhere on the first page did Google get it right. Given that most people don't click past the first page of results, you could call this query a failure.

But it's no big deal. It's just one query. Which is the whole point. It doesn't make sense to make fun of any search engine for single query failures. Everyone has failures like this.

I mean, how hard was it to match the query words "The The" to the music onebox for the group "The The". Why did "The Who" appear first? Talk about braindead results. But it wouldn't be fair to make fun of Google for this, any more than to make fun of MSN for the "http" query.

Matt Cutts [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I gotta side with Tim on this one. Weird meta queries like http or www don't much indicate if normal queries are well-served by an engine.

BTW Tim, we do have an algorithmic change that should start returning e.g. the the for [the the], but it will be a while before it's out.

Piotr Konieczny [PersonRank 9]

11 years ago #

Guys, you can say whatever you want, but 'link:' operator in MSN gives results much more up to date than ones returned by any other Search Engine.

Caleb E [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I <3 cold stone creamery. mmmmm.

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

Forum home

Advertisement

 
Blog  |  Forum     more >> Archive | Feed | Google's blogs | About
Advertisement

 

This site unofficially covers Google™ and more with some rights reserved. Join our forum!