The Internet

Google search sucks

Replied to Google Memory Loss by Tim Bray (

Things like 10+-year-old music reviews that are never updated, no longer accept comments, are lightly if at all linked-to outside their own site, and rarely if ever visited… well, let’s face it, Google’s not going to be selling many ads next to search results that turn them up. So from a business point of view, it’s hard to make a case for Google indexing everything, no matter how old and how obscure.

I switched to DuckDuckGo a few years ago. Lately when I try to cross-search Google if I get bad results on DDG, they seem unreadable: the sponsored content looks far too similar to the actual results, and I skim it all because the actual content now falls into my visual ad / junk content filter. (Reminder to self: I need to get better about using boutique search engines more.)

I also feel like Google is on drugs with what it indexes based on the Google Alert I set up for my name years ago. Yesterday Google emailed me that page 96 of the archives of this mind garden was a new exciting search result for my name 😂 (To be fair it also pulled an actually interesting recent post, Owning My Music Data – but the trend has not been impressive.)

I also appreciated this perspective from @killedbygoogle:

“Google Search changed from providing users results to providing users answers. Full stop.”

Last Sunday my husband was curious where the Superbowl was being played, but after trying five search query variations on “hey Google” that kept telling him which teams were playing he had to actually pull up a browser for the search because the “answer” wasn’t what he was looking for. The question wasn’t what Google expected to be asked, so it just kept telling us the answer to the more common question, who’s playing.

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at She/her.

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