Searching the internet

Discussions on everything related to the software, electronic, and mechanical components of information systems and instruments.

Searching the internet

Postby zetreque on January 16th, 2018, 3:26 pm 

Has searching the internet become more difficult?
It's easy to fall into that mode where we are quick to judge someone asking us a question and say "Why don't you just google it?" but I have even found myself resorting to needing to ask people things because searching isn't working for me.

One of the major problems I find is that there are so many brands and products out there with random names that conflict with what I am actually trying to look up.

Then we have these so called "smart" technologies that do things like stalk us and try to predict what we are looking for based on what we have searched for in the past.

Then simple things like the search results not including words that you searched for. In the past it was something like learning a command of adding a plus sign to the beginning of words you want to make sure are in the search but that gets more complicated with things like "intext:word."

I used to pride myself in being able to find things online. Maybe it's just me but there seems to be multiple things going on that make it harder to find stuff. It doesn't seem like websites are getting cataloged in search engines anymore either. Data is gold to websites and they protect their users information in their databases that are often screened from search engines. So then we get the biased of the stuff people want us to see (like products and consumerism aka motorcycle helmets-see reference below) and less of what we are needing to find such as people referencing phenomenon, experiences, how to, tools. Then it becomes a matter of knowing which websites to search inside of.

Of course in addition to all of that we have to worry about things like net neutrality. So a matter of finding the websites with the data or knowledge we seek is yet another problem.

It's almost as if we are reverting back to a society in which we need to go through more effort to seek out experts in their field again and it's not as simple as just googling.

One solution might be to tag items on the internet into categories. That way if I search something that is both a brand of motorcycle helmet and a type of star system I can take out the motorcycle helmet category. . This used to be done by adding a minus sign in front of motorcycle helmet. Or maybe we need consumerism search engines to be completely separated. Search engines do try to compensate for this by having categories like "news" "shopping" "finance" "scholar" but it's not nearly enough.
User avatar
zetreque
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 3350
Joined: 30 Dec 2007
Location: Paradise being lost to humanity
Blog: View Blog (7)


Re: Searching the internet

Postby zetreque on January 16th, 2018, 3:40 pm 

Another thing I realized recently is different countries appear to have different access to search engines. Not all google is created equal depending on the country you are in. Same with other websites like youtube that block content to certain countries.

And also when searching categories like the news, you can't always assume the matches are going to be your country.

When living in the age of "smart" technologies and AI we have to realize that we are often dealing with a low level intelligence that doesn't always read our mind or translate the global world into our own culture. This is more true than ever as electricity and internet access spreads to more corners of the world.
User avatar
zetreque
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 3350
Joined: 30 Dec 2007
Location: Paradise being lost to humanity
Blog: View Blog (7)


Re: Searching the internet

Postby zetreque on January 16th, 2018, 4:52 pm 

another problem I find is searching for stores or services. The first couple pages of results are often just pages of other websites falsely advertising they are going to list the "top 10" stores that I am looking for in my search category. Unless I know the exact name of the business to find their website or I go to maps and just look around hoping to stumble on the store I want in my area it's very time consuming. Seems almost as easy to pull out an old fashion phone book.

I would rather my search results just list stores with websites offering the services or keywords I am searching for. While it is helpful to have a digital phone book online, it would be great to be able to switch to the way the internet use to be searching actual websites rather than websites that are supposed to help you find websites. I don't want every business, I often want businesses with websites that are going to give me information about their business. Then I can look at reviews if I want.

In the end I can get the job done and it is wonderful being able to have access to so much up to date information (although I do come across businesses constantly that no longer exist or falsely represented just like old phone books), but it doesn't come without it's own frustrating problems. This makes me think again that the internet is going through a stage of it's evolution where it needs to come to terms with so much out there getting in the way of what we want when searching.

PS: Best way I have found for doing this kind of search is going to google maps. Hovering over an area that you are interested in. Then searching your terms of what you are looking for. The results aren't always that great or accurate but it's something.
User avatar
zetreque
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 3350
Joined: 30 Dec 2007
Location: Paradise being lost to humanity
Blog: View Blog (7)


Re: Searching the internet

Postby wolfhnd on January 16th, 2018, 5:24 pm 

Money is the root of all evil. Yes searches are more difficult as the algorithms become more sophisticated and while advertising income for companies like Google plays a role so does the attempt to customize everything to the individual user, something the current state of AI is not good at.
User avatar
wolfhnd
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4455
Joined: 21 Jun 2005
Blog: View Blog (3)


Re: Searching the internet

Postby zetreque on January 17th, 2018, 1:20 am 

I posted about my experience with youtube and ad revenue on this website somewhere a while back but I can't find. I will just post here because I just think this is ridiculous and funny...

Years ago when youtube decided to give users a percentage of ad revenue from views to their videos I went through the process and setup my channel to do it. I built my account up to almost $10 and right before I hit that amount where they cut me a check they changed their policy to you having to get up to $100 to cut a check. Well.. I kept getting more views than ever and I kept seeing less money go into my ad account. It got up to the 90$ area and just stopped going up. I recall they increased the threshold yet again! I questioned if it's not all just a fake scam. I gave up back then and removed all extra ads from my videos and turned against the whole ridiculousness of it.

Well surprise surprise, youtube just emailed me saying they increased qualifications even more. Your channel must maintain a "threshold of 4,000 hours of watchtime within the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers" to even qualify.

My channel gets about 3500 minutes per MONTH (not year) but only 100 subscribers so I don't even qualify if I wanted to anymore. I never cared about any of it. I just find it completely ridiculous and think youtube/google is another joke trying to sucker people into their system. How does it matter how many subscribers you have if you are getting that many views and creating ad revenue for the site? Oh yeah but the tax cuts thanks to the republicans will let corporations have more money to give out to people...
User avatar
zetreque
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 3350
Joined: 30 Dec 2007
Location: Paradise being lost to humanity
Blog: View Blog (7)


Re: Searching the internet

Postby wolfhnd on January 17th, 2018, 1:42 am 

YouTube loses a billion dollars a year making you wonder what exactly Google is up to.
User avatar
wolfhnd
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4455
Joined: 21 Jun 2005
Blog: View Blog (3)


Re: Searching the internet

Postby BadgerJelly on January 17th, 2018, 1:48 am 

I think it is a problem when it comes to statistics. Inevitably I find myself googling professionals in the field and looking at their take on the data and from them being able to source the data and how the data was gathered.

Most of the time I tend to turn to youtube lectures and read the attitude of the person an djudge from there how reliable they are ... problem there is that not many professionals present polished material for youtube but those that do I find invaluable.

Another technique I use is to look at the two extreme sides or options and then figure out where the middle ground might be and how reviews, opinions and stats measure up to them.

It is frustrating when you are trying to look for an overview of something and it is SO much easier if your enquiries are more specific.
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4826
Joined: 14 Mar 2012



Return to Computers

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron