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Is Google Doing Really Great Job

By Miroslav B. Bonchev
I am sure you will agree with me that Google seems to be a pretty good search engine. Certainly much better than Bing and Yahoo. That is not to say, however, that Google cannot be improved. Recently I was doing some searches and I realized that it could be improved significantly. I have no doubt that the intelligent and knowledgeable people at Google have long ago considered these same ideas. I can only speculate as to why they have not implemented them.

Suppose that you search Google for "File Archiver". The top result is an article in Wikipedia about file archiving software, then the results continue with a melange of links to all sorts of websites. Many of the listed websites are download sites where one or a number of file archivers are posted for download, and also websites with articles, comments, blogs, etc. The structure of the results from my point of view, of a consumer using the tool, is simply a cacophony. The results do bring information, but are just as boring as listening to someone who repeats themselves over and over again. The search results are simply alternating links to websites representing the same most popular archiving utilities, such as WinRar, WinZip, etc. Instead, what I would like to see is one link direct to the WinZip website, one link to the WinRar website, one link to the Act On File Compressor module and so forth for all compressor utilities – one link per software directly to their official website. There is no justification in the mess that Google returns in terms of website "Popularity", as popularity can be easily indicated otherwise, for example by the number of websites referencing a product. For example XYZ number of sites are referring to WinZip, YZX to WinRAR, ZYX to Act On File and so forth. It is also possible to have the set of websites relating to a particular software (result) as a set of sub results displayed when a button on the main result is clicked or in other words simply have the results grouped by result (or key word evaluated from the query) which in this case would be the name of the particular archiving software whereas only one result representative for the whole class is displayed to the searcher.

My query "File Archiver" is certainly not very specific and could be interpreted in multiple ways as it does not say whether I want to download or buy software, or whether I merely desire to learn how such software works, or whether I wish to read comparative analysis on the available archiving software, etc. I believe we would agree on that.

The natural idea that I had is that I should be able to select a category specifying the types of results that I wish to see, or the types of websites. For example, I would expect that there is a chart that specifies all categories of results to which "File Archiver" belongs. After I type a search query I should see a multilevel tree-like category structure with all categories to which my query belongs, then I narrow my search by clicking on the respective leaf representing a particular category and its sub-categories. Again I would expect a single result per a class of results, which is the most important by some criteria result representative of the class. Also each class of results to have a weight indicating its importance, perhaps its size in terms of number of websites belonging to it or any other suitable criteria; as well as ability to see all websites members of each result class. It would be also good to be able to control the criteria determining the displayed representative website for the result classes.

Strangely, Google have not done any such thing at all. I would be very surprised if they have not thought about this long time ago, but instead of having clean results we have a mess of repetitive results, and often chaff websites with no real value that simply use SEO strategies to get themselves on the top of the Google results. To the credit of Google, it seems that there is some classification. On the left-hand side one can see a few buttons with static categories, e.g. book, blog, App etc which appear after the first search is produced. Nevertheless, those seem to be as good as a toy racing car in comparison to the real thing. My guess is that if Google have created a clear search as the one I am envisioning in this article their revenue will drop significantly, since most current advertisers' websites will actually be on the first page of Google search, or at worst not too far behind. I also believe that if Google improves their search by removing the chaff websites such as people would actually go beyond page one on the Google results.

One other thing that I find annoying is the awful slang that Google and Microsoft promote. I guess it was Apple that introduced it it first but I would not expect more than slang and RAP from Apple, so I cannot be annoyed with them. That is one of the reasons why I never buy Apple products, but I would definitely expect more from Google and Microsoft. I am referring to one of the names that Google have chosen for their primitive categories, namely "App". My guess is that this is an abbreviation for "Software Application" What about "Software"? Or even better, how about developing proper categorization, which is the premise of this article and in which case the derogatory slang "App" would naturally have no place.
Miroslav B. Bonchev
7-th August 2012
London, England
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Great and insightful about the google with simple language and understanding. Thanks a lot.
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