Roman’s Rants: Google Search

When it comes to business models in the web sphere, there’s no company that dominates theirs as much as Google does search: For the majority of users, Google is the entry to internet wonderland, be it for looking for news, porn or products. But did you realise how, more and more, the search results are a piece of shit?

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got Google all over the place. Even if there was an adequate fee for me to use stuff such as Google Mail, Calendar, Docs & Maps, I would happily pay for it. Amazing services I couldn’t work without. But! The core business – delivering relevant search results – successively gets worse in my opinion.

Maybe I search for the wrong kind of things. Let’s take research for technical stuff, for instance: Is there a software that does this and that, is this bug known, has been fixed or a workaround is provided? And Google gives me forum posts from 2009. Are you fucking kidding me? Who – apart from some tech-historians maybe – would read this obsolete crap? Aren’t you bloody able to apply decent filtering?

Talking of filters: Not sure if you’ve already noticed, but there are hardly two users who get the exact same search results for a query using the search behemoth from Mountain View. In a TEDtalk Eli Pariser gave in February 2011 he outlines what he views as the Filter Bubble: Even if you’re logged out of your Google account, Google still tracks 57 different signals such as location, the computer and browser that is used etc. to “personally tailor your search results”. The bad thing about this: it’s invisible and cannot be influenced.

I believe that it can make for better search results if algorithms consider who I am, who I interact with and what I’m interested in – maybe then I wouldn’t get those annoyingly old results. But you know? I wanna fucking know! I want to see what’s left out, I want to be able to de-personalise results.

I want to be able to escape the filter bubble that has been set up for  – and I think I’m not the only one.

About Roman Zenner
Ich bin ich

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