Search Engines Suck


Blah

Wanna Be Programmer
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One thing I've noticed is that even the "best" search engines don't live up to their reputation. Here begins a subjective study on the usefulness of the most popular search engines. So without further ado:

Prologue:

Imagine you are a person who has just discovered the internet, and begins their "first steps" by researching a few things they had on their mind. In this case, a first timer would typically only look through one or two resources, and their first impression of the internet comes straight from the top stack of the front page of wherever they land, typically the first 5 results shown, plus any extraneous junk on that side of the screen at the top.

Search engines are shown in order of likelihood that a noob would use them ([searchterm].com, Google, Yahoo, Live, [crappy domain parking search engine] known here as "Crapsearch", Ask, dmoz) . 5 results are shown for each, stuff on the right side of the screen is omitted. Rankings are shown from 1st to 7th (with 1st being the best).

Big Rigs: Over The Road Racing:

Having just heard the phrase "You're Winner!" and upon brief discourse with others who happened to be around at the time, you now know that it comes from the game "Big Rigs: Over The Road Racing" and would like to learn more about it (for the sheer pop culture value), but would rather not bug your friends with your noobity.

1. www.bigrigsovertheroadracing.com:
image
Oh noes, I broke the internets! Now I'll never know what it's all about.</noob>
Many noobs wouldn't understand the magic here.

2. Google:
image
GoGamer.com says I can race on thousands of tracks with more than 4 different trucks, for only $5.90!</noob>
All of the non-sponsored results here tell the well known truth that Big Rigs is simply the 2nd worst game ever (the worst being ET). Only one of these results' blurbs makes it obvious, the venerable Wikipedia. Bravo!

3. Yahoo:
image
I don't get it</noob>
With all the chopping Yahoo's blurb generator does, its hard to tell that most of these results are trying to tell you that Big Rigs sucks.

4. Live Search:
Better check page two</noob>
image
Again, little information here. But at least Wikipedia makes it through again to warn the world.

5. Crapsearch:
image
I thought this was a game</noob>
No surprises here, Crapsearch as usual spews out almost completely off-topic text.

6. Ask
image
Umm...This one...no, that one</noob>
A utterly confusing lack of information. At the bottom however two results (Wikipedia shines again) tell the honest truth.

7. dmoz:
I knew they were full of sh*t</noob>
The human-edited dmoz (which at one time had all the hype of Ask or Live Search) completely refuses to acknowledge the existence of Big Rigs.

Rankings:
1st: Google
2nd: Ask
3rd: Live Search
4th: Yahoo
5th: Crapsearch
6th: dmoz
7th: www.bigrigsovertheroadracing.com

George Bush:

Since you live in a cave, you'd like to know what this "George Bush" is all about. Having no recent encyclopedia in the cave (and knowing not of Wikipedia), you hop on the web to search him out.

1. www.georgebush.com:
image
War is peace, freedom is slavery, love is hate. [did I just say that?]</noob>
You have reached the propaganda machine. Please leave a message.

2. Google:
image
Who's who?</noob>
Surprisingly, some decent biographical links, however there is the possibility of confusion between GWB and GHWB.

3. Yahoo:
image
Arrgh!</noob>
There's practically no (non-parody/propaganda) information about Bush, and Kim Jong Ill's picture is up there instead of his.

4. Live Search:
image
Strange name for a woman...</noob>
Like Google, some decent biographical links, some irrelevant and munged stuff. And another irrelevant picture.

5. Crapsearch:
image
I never knew bling was that important</noob>
Nothing here has anything to do with Bush, really.

6. Ask:
image
So that's who he is!</noob>
Good biographical links, a blurb at the top, and a picture that is actually him.

7. Dmoz:
image
Got some long reading ahead</noob>
All the information here relates to Bush, although its of every category, not really focused.

Rankings:
1st: Ask
2nd: Dmoz
3rd: Google
4th: Live
5th: www.georgebush.com
6th: Yahoo
7th: Crapsearch


Book Store:


Fed up with this "internet", you decide what you really need is a good book.

1. Bookstore.com:
image
I must have spelled it wrong</noob>
Nothing to see here.

2. Google:
image
I hope these aren't all just websites</noob>
A good roundup of the most popular stores and one I've never head of (Campus Shop). However as one would expect, the web stores are represented more than the brick-and-mortar ones.

3. Yahoo:
image
Lets get to reading!</noob>
A well rounded listing, and a directory for even more.

4. Live Search:
image
I'm fearful, uncertain, and doubtful :(</noob>
Irrelevancy strikes again.

5. Crapsearch:
image
Perhaps I should've been more specific</noob>
A couple good web only stores, quite a few seedy ones.

6. Ask:
image
I spelled it right you stupid computer!</noob>
Good results, mocks user's (technically correct) spelling.

7. dmoz:
image
Is there an advanced search option?</noob>
A few random topic book stores.

Rankings:
1st: Yahoo
2nd: Google
3rd: Ask
4th: Crapsearch
5th: Dmoz
6th: Live Search
7th: Bookstore.com

Overall Rankings so far:

Search engines were given 6 points for each 1st, 5 for each 2nd, and so on with 0 points for each 7th place ranking.

1st: Ask + Google, with 15 points each
2nd:Yahoo, with 10 points
3rd: dmoz, with 8 points
4th: Live Search, with 6 points
5th: Crapsearch, with 5 points
6th: [searchterm].com, with 2 points
 
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