A great WebmasterWorld thread discusses the Google search suggestion evolution. The fact is, Google considers itself to know much better what the surfer wants. Even advanced search operators no more help to find results Google considers to be incorrect.
The discussion evolves around Google splitting the words apart even when the user does want to search then spelled as one word but the same can be applied to many more cases.
I also am quite frustrated at times with the “we guessed your intention” approach. For anyone who has been using technically precise search from the early days of the web, its easy to take this as a negative evolution. I do understand that this is essentially a business decision – trying to please the great majority. But I also wish Google would give power searchers some option to turn off their lowest common demonator approach.
Here are just a couple of examples:
- [googlesearch] and even ["googlesearch"] will both be broken in two words because it is correct (no matter what I want). + operator seems to help a bit though: [+googlesearch] What you still can’t eliminate is the recent “Did you mean: [query] Top 2 results shown” results.
- [freeshipping.org] or even ["freeshipping.org"] (the latter is supposed to make Google return the exact match) – both return freeshipping.com at #3 (isn’t it clear I don’t want to see it there or is it again about the strength of .com top level domains?).
A few solutions offered in the thread to get around the issue (but still cater for the non-tech-savvy majority) are:
- Google should strictly obey its advanced operators (without suggesting what seems more correct when the advanced operator is used);
- Google should offer the option to opt out of search suggesting and correcting.