How Google is killing organic search

Another reason to switch to DuckDuckGo (the other being DuckDuckGo has a cute duck logo).

How Google is Killing Organic Search (Via Nat Torkington)

Notable Replies

  1. xzzy says:

    Downside: searching for auto mechanic in that duckduckgo thing yields no information relevant to finding someone to fix my car. The first screen of results is a link describing what a mechanic is, some random repair shop a thousand miles away from me, and two matches for link farms (one of which is, one of the most useless websites on the planet).

    I'll grant that Google is spending a huge amount real estate pushing their own services, but at least they're giving me information I care about. I got tired of refining searches by including double quotes and +'s and -'s 10 years ago.

    I would appreciate a option that lets me filter out all merchant results (would be nice when digging for product reviews) but that isn't going to be an option in today's world.

  2. rpbo says:

    No, they use Bing as a source but they have over 50. From Wikipedia:

    DuckDuckGo's results are a compilation of "about 50" sources, including Yahoo! Search BOSS, Wikipedia, Wolfram Alpha, Bing, its own Web crawler, the DuckDuckBot, and others. It also uses data from crowd-sourced sites, including Wikipedia, to populate "Zero-click Info" boxes—grey boxes above the results that display topic summaries and related topics

  3. I use DuckDuckGo as my default search engine, but generally with !google (or !wiki) in the terms because I don't get the search results I want from DDG (as with @xzzy, the results for auto mechanic are utterly useless if I'm actually looking for a mechanic). Am I wasting my time by doing this, or do I still get some privacy benefits?

    I also have Disconnect running...

  4. cegev says:

    The searches being used as examples here are "auto mechanic," "italian restaurant," and "italian food." For the by far most common reasons for searching for the first two, and arguably a very common reason for searching for the last, Google doesn't emphasize organic, non-local results because they probably aren't what the user wanted. The search terms chosen are search terms that, in the vast majority of cases, are made when the user wants local results. Search for something that Google thinks organic results would be useful for, and you'll get mostly organic results: try searching for "italian recipes."

    The other extreme here is something like DuckDuckGo. For the first two search terms, in the vast majority of cases where they would be made, the results from DuckDuckGo are almost entirely useless, as others have noted, and for the last, many users are going to get something they didn't want.

    Google has many problems. And the search tailoring can at times be problematic, for reasons other than described here. But to complain that Google isn't emphasizing (they're still there, after all) organic, non-local search results when it seems like the user is looking for local results that could be better presented from non-organic searches is incredibly odd. This is especially the case when the argument being made is that you'll have to pay for all of this, when the majority of the non-organic results being described here are free, and often from databases that Google is creating organically but allowing people to correct and expand upon.

  5. Thank you so much for this. I tried it and I got the results I wanted!

    Since I "felt" the change in Google search results I've been looking for a search engine to replace it.

    In my desperation I even tried Bing.

    I work in translations and years ago we used to rely on the number of hits shown by Google to help us decide if we should use one term over the other. It used to be so simple. For example: "personal protective equipment" got more hits than "personal protection equipment". Now, if you search for the latter, Google suggests searching for the former, and if you ignore it, the search automatically includes the abbreviation "PPE" and ignores the quotation marks. Searching for "personal" "protection" "equipment" comes up with some funny, unusable results. Manually enabling the "verbatim" option is a waste of time.

    I see that Duck doesn't show hits, but at least it searches the term I'm looking for and not what IT THINKS I may be looking for.

    Happy user is happy.

Continue the discussion

45 more replies