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Google Seeking "Search Without Search"

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  • 42 (Score:5, Funny)

    by kthreadd (1558445) on Monday December 13, 2010 @11:32AM (#34534432)

    Just put it on the front page and be done with it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Just put it on the front page and be done with it.

      Hitchhiker's Guide was great but no, please don't do that. Please don't modify Google's front page any further. Has anybody else used another person's computer and been shocked at how annoying and needlessly flashy Google Instant is, and been happy to return to your own NoScript-running browser? Oh yeah and as a bonus if you don't run Google's JS you get the actual URLs of the search results and not some redirection server that helps to track you.

      The way they're trying to make Google Instant nice and

      • Re:42 (Score:5, Insightful)

        by IAmGarethAdams (990037) on Monday December 13, 2010 @12:08PM (#34534898)

        Oh yeah and as a bonus if you don't run Google's JS you get the actual URLs of the search results and not some redirection server that helps to track you.

        Yeah, I really hate it when a company looking to improve search results tries to find out which search results the user ends up choosing!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dwandy (907337)
        you forgot the obligatory "now get off my lawn..."
      • You typed three letters. 17,549,221 users who typed those three letters got these results. We'll just feel free to assume you couldn't want anything that they didn't want, see we got it all here in our statistics.

        And 90% of the time they're right. The other 10% you might have to press a fourth letter (the horror!).

      • Re:42 (Score:4, Interesting)

        by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday December 13, 2010 @01:09PM (#34535648) Journal

        Has anybody else used another person's computer and been shocked at how annoying and needlessly flashy Google Instant is

        User interface was what made me ditch AltaVista for Google. User interface was one of the main reasons I stopped using Google. It started with the autocomplete thing - every other text field in any program on my system lets me use the up and down arrow keys to jump to the beginning and end of the input field (there are other ways of doing this, but they require a modifier key, so up and down arrow are the ones I use). Google decided to break this, so I kept finding myself in the completion list, rather than where I expected to be. Then they modified the search results page to the current abomination and I gave up on them completely.

        JWZ wrote that the decline of Netscape started when they stopped hiring people who were there because they wanted to change the world, and started hiring people who were there because it was a great place to work. The last couple of times I've visited Google, I've asked people why they were there - almost all of them told me that it was because it was a great place to work.

      • Re:42 (Score:4, Informative)

        by SETIGuy (33768) on Monday December 13, 2010 @02:42PM (#34536596) Homepage
        It is possible to turn off instant search. Why don't you try that?
      • by Sara Chan (138144)
        I am in extremely strong agreement with your criticisms of google's search page. In fact, I did not previously have NoScript installed on my computer. I do now, specifically to get google to work properly--I was getting so irritated using google with js.
      • I, for one, welcome our predictive overlords. I like the immediate feedback, and I find things faster if I can reformulate my query and evaluate the result on the fly.

        As if this wasn't enough, they let you TURN IT OFF. Perhaps not on your friend's machine, but certainly on your own. And you pay $0 for the service. I mean, the entitlement here is staggering. They'll measure the audience and decide what the audience wants. If you don't like it, you're free to use half a dozen other search languages, which mak

      • by Compaqt (1758360)

        Shorter version: The problem is, as Vice President of "Search Experience", Marissa Mayer [wikipedia.org] is constantly having to justify her job, hence Google bloats.

    • pushing relevant info to me is boring. I can find relevant information on my own. pushing irrelevant information to me is far more interesting and challenging. Show me new things that I wouldn't normally express interest in or come across on my own.
  • by santax (1541065)
    Please push more adds to me!
    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Please push more adds to me!

      I'd rather they push more subtracts to me. TFA: "Mayer said Google is looking at what she called "contextual discovery" as a way to evolve search - pushing information out to people before they've started to look for it, based on factors such as their web browsing history or current location."

      How about making the searches more relevant again first? Google ain't what it used to be. Or maybe my googlefu has gotten weak in my old age, but I wind up retyping different search terms to

      • by Culture20 (968837)

        How about making the searches more relevant again first? Google ain't what it used to be. Or maybe my googlefu has gotten weak in my old age, but I wind up retyping different search terms to find what I need.

        I remember back before google, altavista required plusses, minuses, ands, ors, parens(?). I was used to that system, so i could find stuff easily. Then google made me lazy. Now I find myself doing the same as you to find what I need. Bing is even worse than google. Time to bring back "programmatical" search terms.

        This looks to me like they're going to be pushing content I DON'T want.

        Unless their algorithm is good enough to replace me as a thinking being, its suggestions will annoy me a lot. God answers unasked prayers, but google shouldn't.

        • Check out the Advanced Search options.
          I have added links to Advanced Searches to my jump pages because "or" searching is beyond epically craptastic.

          I go with an exact phrase, must have ___ word, and must not have ------- other word and toggle results to 100 per page.

      • "Based on your Location, there appears to be a distracted moron twelve seconds away on Maple Street, driving your way all over the road. Run!!"

      • I don't it's your googlefu gone bad but others getting better. The others being all the SEO link-spamming, metatag stuffing trolls. So it's harder for google to give you the right results now than it has ever been. At least that's how I see it..

    • by camg188 (932324)

      Forget Google Instant, this is about pre-emptively pushing data at users before they know they need it, said Marissa Mayer, Google's VP of geographic and local services, who was speaking at the LeWeb internet conference in Paris this week.

      Don't push your data on me, pusher man.

  • What's your style? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Monday December 13, 2010 @11:37AM (#34534484) Homepage

    "I guess you could call it the art of fighting without fighting." -Bruce Lee

    • The way of the intercepting search result?
    • by CSHARP123 (904951)
      In our company it is called, how to promote without really promoting
  • by Hatta (162192) on Monday December 13, 2010 @11:37AM (#34534492) Journal

    Psychic Pizza will deliver 30 minutes before you order or your money back.

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@@@gmail...com> on Monday December 13, 2010 @11:38AM (#34534504) Journal
    Hello, gentlemen, look at your browser, now back to me, now back at your browser, now back to me. Sadly, it doesn't have the information you want, but if you stopped using some other search engine and switched to Google, you could have already had your information. Look down, back up, where are you? You’re on a flying car with the search engine your browser could use. What’s on your screen, back at me. I have it, it’s the search results to some query you have yet to even conceive. Look again, the search results are now pornography. Anything is possible when you use Google. I’m on a server.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Hello, gentlemen, look at your browser, now back to me, now back at your browser, now back to me.

      That was weird. When I looked at you, all I saw was my browser. When I looked back to my browser, there you were.

      • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@@@gmail...com> on Monday December 13, 2010 @11:59AM (#34534790) Journal

        That was weird. When I looked at you, all I saw was my browser. When I looked back to my browser, there you were.

        One night I dreamed I was surfing the internet with Google. Many scenes from my life flashed across the screen.

        In each scene I noticed trace routes in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of trace routes, other times there was one only.

        This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from lagging, disconnection or defeat, I could see only one set of trace routes, so I said to Google,

        "You promised me Google,
        that if I followed you, you would search with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of trace routes in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?"

        Google replied, "The years when you have seen only one set of trace routes, my child, is when I searched for you."

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Hello, gentlemen, look at your browser, now back to me, now back at your browser, now back to me. Sadly, it doesn't have the information you want

      "If you're sitting in a restaurant, can we pull up the menu? And can we pull up a menu that isn't the menu that the waiter would have just handed you, but a social menu - where you can see what other people have ordered, what other people like, how's it's been marked up," she said.

      No, that is NOT the information I want. Why in the hell should I care that a bunch

  • Yeah, right. Like I want an advertising company to push content to me. Hasn't this been done before?
  • I remember (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MyLongNickName (822545) on Monday December 13, 2010 @11:40AM (#34534526) Journal

    When Altavista and other search engines (many names I cannot remember) were pushing crap on our search screens. You had a hell of a time finding anything between the paid ads (that were not marked as such) and the sites that gamed the search engine.

    Google came along with the smallest footprint and the best algorithm. Fast forward 15 years and Google is more about the cute google art, gawdy gadgets and tracking your every move. And over the past couple years, I find more gamed sites making it into my search results. It has been slow, but Google is turning into the companies they replaced.

    • Re:I remember (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Amorymeltzer (1213818) on Monday December 13, 2010 @11:51AM (#34534676)

      It's the natural order of things, whether for a company or for people. They want to waltz in, change everything radically, then settle down and grow old with their affluence. "If you want to know what is going to happen to the youngest generation, they're going to grow up and worry about the youngest generation."

    • Re:I remember (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Ephemeriis (315124) on Monday December 13, 2010 @12:07PM (#34534896)

      When Altavista and other search engines (many names I cannot remember) were pushing crap on our search screens. You had a hell of a time finding anything between the paid ads (that were not marked as such) and the sites that gamed the search engine.

      Google came along with the smallest footprint and the best algorithm.

      When I switched to Google it wasn't really because it was sparse or clean or white or because there were less adds or anything like that. It was because it worked. I typed in a search, I got results I could use. I was a big fan of real boolean searches, and Google still doesn't handle them quite right, and that was a bit of an adjustment for me. But I was still getting better results out of Google than anywhere else.

      Fast forward 15 years and Google is more about the cute google art, gawdy gadgets and tracking your every move.

      That's because searching isn't cool anymore.

      Google, Yahoo, Bing... Whatever. They all return fairly useful results. If you're looking for information it almost doesn't matter which engine you use these days.

      So how do you differentiate yourself from the competition when you can't just say "we actually find you useful information"? You put a cute logo on the page... Or a dramatic background... And you change it periodically, so folks come back just to see what's new. And you toss up information based on their location, or their browsing habits, so you seem more topical and relevant than the competition does. You let people customize their search page, and stick photos of their kids on the page, and whatever else.

      And over the past couple years, I find more gamed sites making it into my search results.

      Meh. This is true of all the big search engines. Google's just the biggest target out there. Folks have been trying to game the search sites since the very beginning.

      It has been slow, but Google is turning into the companies they replaced.

      No they aren't.

      Webcrawler, AltaVista, Lycos, Yahoo, Google, Bing... They all make money off of advertising. You go there to find information, and they serve up an ad along the way. That's how they work. That's how they've always worked. It's nothing new.

      How else would you propose they make money?

      • It has been slow, but Google is turning into the companies they replaced.

        No they aren't.

        Webcrawler, AltaVista, Lycos, Yahoo, Google, Bing... They all make money off of advertising. You go there to find information, and they serve up an ad along the way. That's how they work. That's how they've always worked. It's nothing new.

        How else would you propose they make money?

        No, the mistake is that the GP hasn't realized that this process has finished already, years ago.

        Google originally didn't have ads, let alone

        • by Compaqt (1758360)

          Same with Chrome. If you pay attention to the GET variables when you do a search in Chrome (via the addressbar), Chrome sends both the actual query (first few letters you typed), and the one that you chose by clicking on it in the subsequent dropdown.

      • by Hatta (162192)

        When I switched to Google it wasn't really because it was sparse or clean or white or because there were less adds or anything like that. It was because it worked. I typed in a search, I got results I could use.

        Those were the days.. And now they're gone. Google doesn't really work as well as it should. Just this weekend I was looking for an informal comparison of 2 parts, so I googled "X vs Y" (details aren't important) with and without quotes. All I got were data sheets for X and Y. I wasn't until I s

    • Are you sure it's not the other way around?

      Assuming that having an ungameable system is the holy grail, you could argue that actually it's just taken 15 years longer for people to game the system faster than Google are stopping them

    • Hell, I remember when Wired claimed that push media was the next big thing. [wired.com] And look, it's still a bad idea!
    • I'll gladly exchange 'suggested links' at the top I can easily ignore for ads I can block effectively.
    • by The Raven (30575)

      Sorry, but no... Google is still the cleanest search results, with no hidden ads, and their 'gadgets' consume no screen real-estate (and are optional). Stop making a mountain out of a molehill... you trivialize the hardships us older folks had to go through. I guarantee if you went back to 1999 and tried doing searches, then popped back to now and used Google again, it would still be a beautiful breath of fresh, clean, accurate air in comparison.

  • This is both scary and fascinating at the same time. I cannot help but feel excited about the idea put forward at LeWeb:

    Mayer said Google is looking at what she called "contextual discovery" as a way to evolve search - pushing information out to people before they've started to look for it, based on factors such as their web browsing history or current location. "We're starting to play around with some new concepts in how to find information," she said. "Can we take location and a user's context and figure

    • by Abstrackt (609015) on Monday December 13, 2010 @11:59AM (#34534784)

      This is what innovation is about it... but than we're on slashdot.. We all know that this would aslo mean massive personal data-mining, something we're not usually comfortable with (to put it in really diplomatic terms)...

      That's because if Google started giving results based on the fact I'm on Slashdot my start page would be NSFW.

    • by gtall (79522)

      I'm dubious that this would be all that useful, merely for the fact that if I'm searching for information, I'm looking for new information, not information I already have. Hence it is unlikely to be in or related to my previous searches. This is a solution in search of a problem. Hey, maybe they could use their fancy new searching thingy to find a problem it is good for.

      • by 0123456 (636235)

        This is a solution in search of a problem. Hey, maybe they could use their fancy new searching thingy to find a problem it is good for.

        If you'd watched enough sci-fi movies you'd realise that once you start the search engine searching itself steam starts coming out of the server and then it explodes just as the heroes escape.

  • by gmuslera (3436) on Monday December 13, 2010 @11:46AM (#34534616) Homepage Journal
    when this feature gets called Google Clippy.
    • I thought it was called Minority Report.

      • by gmuslera (3436)
        Following that author, an even better name could be Blue Butterfly
    • by Combatso (1793216)
      "it looks like you are looking for visual aids to masturbate too, can I help?"
  • "This is about pre-emptively pushing data at users before they know they need it," Marissa Mayer stated.

    It is about pre-emptively cashing in on users before the bank even knows where the money went. Next step is to automatically charge their credit card for forced integration.

    The new G - We don't help you find what you need, we know what you need and you agree.

  • This is exciting news sorta. If google actually got a proper User Adaptive System in place which is able to actually understand what I want, then it'll save me quite a lot of time from searching.

    However, I just KNOW that the same system will also be used to throw ads at me, and to determine what products I will probably buy/not buy - which makes my profile very useful for pretty much anyone.

    That's technology for you. Since there is a simple way to monitise it - it'll keep going forward.
    • I would hope this technology would be smart enough to push results based on whether it is a work related task or a recreational task.

      It would also be quite interesting to see what Google could predict. I feel my searches are quite varied. However Google probably won't get this chance with me, as I rarely ever search while logged into a Google account.
      • by CCarrot (1562079)

        I would hope this technology would be smart enough to push results based on whether it is a work related task or a recreational task.

        Yes, I can see if "Would you like to see results for 'Big Breasted Bavarian Women'?" popped up during that sales pitch to your potential Bavarian investors...of course, actual impact on the pitch could be positive or negative, depending on the gender and age group of the representatives...

        • Exactly. I also don't want 'bugs in Python' appearing in my after work image and video searches.
          • by CCarrot (1562079)

            Exactly. I also don't want 'bugs in Python' appearing in my after work image and video searches.

            Heh, unless you were helping your kid with a biology paper on parasites common to Southeast Asian constrictors...but then, you'd still probably want different search results than you'd need at work ;)

  • by Uhhhh oh ya! (1000660) on Monday December 13, 2010 @11:52AM (#34534694)
    This makes me remember a Futurama quote, "Shut up friends. My internet browser heard us saying the word Fry and it found a movie about Philip J. Fry for us... It also opened my calendar to Friday and ordered me some french fries."
  • by Sockatume (732728) on Monday December 13, 2010 @11:54AM (#34534722)

    Google Reader's feed discovery and its "magic" sort option, and Priority Inbox, are arguably an early implimentation of this sort of philosophy - when the system knows enough about your usage patterns, it can begin to prioritise particular information. From that it's a simple step to have it start presenting information to you at times when you might need it, but before you have explicitly stated a need. They're already quite a long way along. Latitude's slightly creepy Location History extension could play a big part in this as well. After about 3 months of usage it had a pretty good idea where I worked, where I lived, and when I tended to visit particular restaurants.

  • geo --crap (Score:4, Interesting)

    by think_nix (1467471) on Monday December 13, 2010 @11:57AM (#34534756)

    As someone who travels from location to location in between different countries, I am sick of this whole "geo" nonsense, and location based services. For example, remember the good old days when you could go to _somewhere.com_ and get that specific service or site in the language you prefer? Nowadays you get whatever X based on your location or better yet on some computer systems based it is based on the locality of the box. More times than most it is hard to get the information you want and can _understand_ especially when you cannot even understand where _what it is you were looking for_ is.
    Also TFA:

    "The idea is to push information to people."

    Also why do all these business and services feel the need to "push" their information or services upon people ? The more they do this the more people start feeling drowned . From reading the article this geo google VP sounds a little out of touch. Would rather "push" everything on everyone the way google sees best.

    • Also why do all these business and services feel the need to "push" their information or services upon people ? The more they do this the more people start feeling drowned.

      Google's value proposition to users is providing information. The less work that users have to put in to get the information they want, the better Google is serving them.

      It only feels like being drowned if its the wrong information.

    • Yup. That's what browser language settings are for, which more and more websites start to forget.

      If you happen to travel to an Spanish language country now-a-days and visit your using a WiFi on *your* laptop with your browser preferences still on *English*, you are still welcomed with: "Holla! Commo esta?". WTF?

  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Monday December 13, 2010 @12:01PM (#34534822) Homepage Journal
    Oh wow, more porn! Google, how did you know?
  • They searched before I searched, and Google found the proper search engine to use which was Google.
  • At first glance that headline read to me "Search without warrant."
    The post 9/11 security hysteria has affected my brainz.

  • What do most people do after searching? They do something. Send an email, sell stock buy bonds, book a vacation ... The next research project by Google is, it will do it for you. It already has all the log in credentials and your buy/sell/consume pattern in. So just sit back and Google will live your life for you.
    • by kamochan (883582)

      That, of course, is the whole point. They need users only to finance the activity and relax.

  • "Don't wait for users to ask. Just serve them constantly and include 'search results' that the user may be interested in."

  • by Saint Stephen (19450) on Monday December 13, 2010 @12:09PM (#34534922) Homepage Journal

    Push technology man.. It's the next big thing!

  • I don't think Google is trying to push search results. They're trying to push the ads that they package with their search results. I want no part of this "innovation"; if I wanted to have adverts pushed upon me I would still watch television and listen to FM radio.
  • "Google is working on a service that finds information before a user has even started looking for it."

    Isn't that called advertising?

  • ...Google can also automatically write my papers like my customized version of Emacs does, I'll stick to using my own web search engine based on support vector machine hooked up to a quick and dirty CommonLisp-based webcrawler.

  • by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Monday December 13, 2010 @12:31PM (#34535232) Homepage

    Seriously, Google, have you looked at your search results lately? It's getting so I can't find anything relevant amongst all the garbage. Maybe this is because the internet is turning into a morass of crap, but I don't think it is. I think it's because SEO have figured out how to game your results, and all I can find with simple keyword or phrases is useless. Do a better job of filtering out crap so I can actually find something useful.

    • by _xeno_ (155264)

      On that note, a killer feature I'd love to see Google add is the ability for me to blacklist certain sites from ever appearing in results when I'm searching. The most obvious is ExpertSexChange, which I never want to see when looking up the answer to a technical question. Ever.

      I think they used to have that feature, too, but I guess it got removed because people were actually using it. But if they can't get away with using the data globally, that's fine with me, just allow me to use it local to my account.

      A

      • Agreed, I'd love that feature to be a configurable, always-on thing that the user can control.

        The biggest thing for me would be to have some way to filter out e-commerce sites from results when I'm searching for information about a product. I don't want to read a bunch of shitty customer reviews on e-commerce sites, I want official information from the manufacturer and substantive reviews written by people who know the product and know how to write, and have integrity.

    • it's because SEO have figured out how to game your results

      Yes. What hasn't penetrated to Google yet is that it's much easier to game "local" results than organic results. Until Google merged "local" results into web search, few in the SEO world bothered paying attention to "local". Few users even realized that Google Maps was a "local" search engine. On October 27, 2010, Google merged the "local" results from the Maps search engine into web search, and put the "local" results above the organic result

  • Forget Google Instant

    Yay!

    the search giant is working on ways to push relevant info to users before they have even asked for it... Foursquare-style location 'check-ins' are also apparently on the way next year

    Boo!

  • ... what users want, since many people search because they already know what they need they spend needless ours searching through stuff to find it instead of a service that does it for you on your behalf0.

    I know I'd like to be informed when the things I want hits the price I want to pay and no one has invented this service yet. Google is big enough to monitor prices on items around the net and it could inform you of who has the best price at x time, and it could use a chart like google finances to compare

    • by pspahn (1175617)
      Surprised there isn't a Google credit card or something to add to all the tracking info.
    • by CCarrot (1562079)

      I know I'd like to be informed when the things I want hits the price I want to pay and no one has invented this service yet. Google is big enough to monitor prices on items around the net and it could inform you of who has the best price at x time, and it could use a chart like google finances to compare prices from different vendors over time.

      Absolutely! I have searched high and low for such a service, especially for those little electronic gewgaws that you don't really need, but would pick up anyways for yourself or a friend if they were on a really good sale somewhere...There are *lots* of generalized price comparison crawlers, including Google's, and they're all more than happy to push out their weekly (or even daily) flyers to you full of crap you aren't interested in if you're silly enough to give them your email, but I haven't found anywh

  • Maybe it's a case of Google having too much money and too many people who need to do something, anything, to look busy.

  • by bughunter (10093)

    Hell, it's pretty easy to guess the "relevant info" I'm going to search for next after reading that article:

    Marissa Mayer Nude

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