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Thursday, January 29, 2009

When Google’s "Did You Mean" Pushes Away Better Results

Google’s special “Did you mean” feature tends to get obtrusive at times. As you might have noticed, the general trend with Google over the years is that they get more and more fuzzy in interpreting your original query. These days, instead of showing a passive spelling correction or similar but then going on with the results for the query you entered, they sometimes immediately show results for whatever they think is correct (followed by the results to your original query). Haochi pointed this out last month.

It happened to me two times recently with negative side effects, and here’s one example: I’ve entered “emotionml” trying to find more info about the World Wide Web Consortium’s Emotion Markup Language by that name. Instead of directing me to the most relevant page for that query at the top, Google starts with pointing out results for the general word “emotion”... with the top of the page reading “Did you mean: emotion  Top 2 results shown”.


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