Get Started for Free
Advertisement
  1. SEJ
  2.  » 
  3. News

Google Search Experiencing Glitches

Google Search Experiencing Glitches

A number of people reported glitches in Google search results. Whatever happened resulted in strange search results that interpreted search queries in wildly wrong ways.

Wrong Interpretation of Search Query

Arguably the most interesting glitch is one in which the BERT algorithm might suppose to be involved (but seems as if it is not).

In this glitch Google appears to have taken a search result at face value, without trying to interpret the ambiguity inherent in the question.

The search query is “why is 5G dangerous?”

The right answer would be to show a result that argues that 5G is not dangerous. Google does this in other medical related search queries like those related to vaccines. But not in this search result.

Screenshot of taking kids to Google.

This is a tweet from the CEO and founder of the site that is being quoted. He complained to Danny Sullivan that the featured snippet quote misrepresents the conclusions of the article being quoted.

Advertisement
Continue Reading Below

Google apparently interpreted the search query as about 5G being harmful and showing snippets from sites that answer that specific question.

If you do a search for medical related phrases such as “why are flu shots dangerous,” or “how to cure coronavirus naturally” Google gets it right.

It’s difficult to say exactly why Google fails with the 5G search query. But it seems like a part of Google’s algorithm is missing.

Advertisement
Continue Reading Below

Wildly Wrong Interpretations

Another strange result is related to John McCain. In this glitch the question is:

when was John McCain executed?

Screenshot of a Google search result

More Glitchy Search Results

Another strange result affected Google’s Knowledge Panel for the search query “Democratic Party” that showed an image of a rat as the symbol.

Screenshot of Google's Knowledge Panel for the Democratic Party that shows an image of a rat as the symbol instead of a donkey

Glitch in Google Currency Exchange Information

Someone else reported that Google’s currency exchange information was completely wrong and was causing problems related to currency exchange.

Conspiracy Theory Content Surfacing

Conspiracy theorists are all over Twitter remarking how a “filter” that previously blocked search and image results related to fringe ideas that were suddenly appearing where previously those pages were hard to find.

If you do a Twitter search for “google search results” you’ll find the tweets and information regarding the conspiracy theories appearing in Google Search, YouTube and Image Search.

Advertisement
Continue Reading Below

Takeaway

It’s hard to understand what’s causing all of these glitches and whether there is an increase in poor search results. It may be useful to keep an eye on the Mccain and 5G search results. Once Google fixes those errors that may be a sign that Google has implemented a scaled solution that addresses these problems.

I have long found these quirky search results to be useful for gaining an insight into Google’s algorithm. Asking questions like what’s missing from the algorithm that is causing these particular search results? can help tease out an interesting detail.

Advertisement
Continue Reading Below
CategoryNewsSEO
ADVERTISEMENT

Subscribe to SEJ

Get our daily newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!

Topic(s) of Interest*
By clicking the "SUBSCRIBE" button, I agree and accept the content agreement and privacy policy of Search Engine Journal.
Ebook

Roger Montti

Owner at Martinibuster.com

Roger Montti is a search marketer with over 20 years experience. I offer site audits, phone consultations and content and ... [Read full bio]

ADVERTISEMENT
Advertisement
Read the Next Article
Read the Next