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Google Tweaks Algorithm As Concern Over Bing Grows 397

Posted by samzenpus
from the we-have-the-technology-we-can-make-it-better dept.
SharkLaser writes "As Bing gets closer to capturing almost 33% of the market share in the U.S., Google has again made a large tweak to its algorithms to provide more up-to-the-minute search results. The change affects around 35% of queries and is intended to give users more recent news and stories. For breaking news stories the search engine will now weight more heavily the most recent coverage, and not just those sites that are linked the most, and for general terms the search engine values fresh content more than old. Google is hoping that these recent new changes will provide better search experience and stops users from switching over to Bing, which just recently launched its own GroupOn like site."
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Google Tweaks Algorithm As Concern Over Bing Grows

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  • What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by somersault (912633) on Friday November 04, 2011 @08:15AM (#37946098) Homepage Journal

    Who thinks this has anything to do with algorithms, as opposed to things like the "Bing Bar" coming preloaded on Windows 7?

  • Re:What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 04, 2011 @08:18AM (#37946120)

    or if you do software updates on XP machines finding the default search engine swapped after the update

  • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blackicye (760472) on Friday November 04, 2011 @08:18AM (#37946122)

    Additionally, if you've tried to change the default IE search engine from Bing to Google or anything else, you'd see how they're achieving this.

    Chrome has 3 big buttons, Google, Yahoo, Bing. IE has obscured the setting for default search engine under several layers behind slow loading servers.

  • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kervin (64171) on Friday November 04, 2011 @08:28AM (#37946182) Homepage

    When I install or upgrade IE a popup asks me to choose my default search engine. It's true Bing is the default under "Express Settings", but you are given the choice.

    Everyone knows most users don't switch from defaults. Everyone, including Google who paid Mozilla to set them as the default search engine for years now. And I don't believe there's anything wrong with that either.

  • simple fix (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 04, 2011 @08:29AM (#37946200)

    Stop listing garbage in the results. Placeholder pages in sites like cnet, link farms, fake review sites and pointless aggregation pages are all contributing to people getting fed up with google and looking at the alternatives. Google ruled the roost on quality, so the masses moved over to it, now it's mostly garbage in searches.

  • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kervin (64171) on Friday November 04, 2011 @08:31AM (#37946220) Homepage

    You mean just like Firefox defaulting to Google on millions of installs? Or how about Adobe Acrobat reader defaulting to installing Chrome ( which defaults to Google Search ) on 10s of millions of installs?

    Product tie-ins are a fact of life in the software industry.

  • by hovelander (250785) on Friday November 04, 2011 @08:49AM (#37946382)

    Perhaps their declining market share is because they are beginning to annoy their users. Things like their auto completion auto deleting things as you type and dropping the Boolean "+" operator. Those definitely piss me off and send me to Bing when it gets too frustrating.

  • Re:simple fix (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rockoon (1252108) on Friday November 04, 2011 @08:53AM (#37946414)
    Definitely for paywalled research indexing sites its quite annoying that Google pushes all the paywalled stuff to the top by matching to their summary, while the actual document (a pdf or ps) that you actually want to read can also be found non-paywalled at some *.edu but its nowhere to be found on the first page of results.
  • Closer to what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Zontar The Mindless (9002) < ... m ['gma' in gap]> on Friday November 04, 2011 @08:56AM (#37946446)

    As Bing gets closer to capturing almost 33% of the market share in the US...

    I'm sorry, was this actually intended to tell us anything? Other than that the submitter is apparently a marketroid / Bing fanboi?

  • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RDW (41497) on Friday November 04, 2011 @09:03AM (#37946514)

    Every time they've 'tweaked the algorithm' in the last few years, the quality of the default results seems to have gone down. They're already swamped by transient material whenever a search term gets attached to something newsworthy (If I wanted this stuff, I'd use their 'news' or 'blogs' or 'groups' search). Google routinely assumes I've made a typo whenever a query is close to a more popular search with similar spelling, and has the cheek to search for their alternative first. And of course quotes, which rarely used to be necessary, now seem to be vital to get any sort of specificity (Google assumes I'd rather see a more popular site containing some of my terms, rather than a more obscure site containing all of them). All this sophisticated second guessing has made Google a blunter instrument, and I have to resort to the same sort of tricks I needed to get useful stuff out of AltaVista back in the 90s.

  • Fuzzy Search Hell (Score:5, Insightful)

    by abigsmurf (919188) on Friday November 04, 2011 @09:31AM (#37946746)
    When I'm searching I don't want Google guessing which words I really care about.

    This kinda thing is fine when it's just ignoring "the", "and", "a" or including plural terms but now they're leaving out nouns and adjectives if they're not common enough. It was annoying enough having to stick a + in front of every word, now they've got rid of + and replaced it with quotation marks which don't seem to force search results to contain that word quite so strictly.

    I'm constantly searching for rare, obscure films and books and it's annoying as hell getting results that have nothing to do with what I'm really searching for.

    Don't get me started on "the following terms only appear in links pointing to this page". When has that ever been useful except to owners of link farms and fake review sites?
  • by thasmudyan (460603) * < minus poet> on Friday November 04, 2011 @10:13AM (#37947220) Homepage

    If they don't know why they're slipping, they should take a long hard look at their own front lawn instead of glancing nervously sideways at Bing. Google Search is getting more worthless by the day. Each time they "tweak" the algorithm it gets worse. The quality of the search results themselves isn't even the most problematic issue.

    The main problem is that Google refuses to search for the actual terms you entered. They search for things that are sometimes kind of related to what you're looking for and they don't even show you which parts of your search term they ignored! The only way you're getting a real search result out of Google is when you trick it into doing its job by putting quotes around every single word of your search term (and even then it sometimes ignores you). It's mind-boggling to me how they fucked this up so badly, but it sure doesn't look like they're even aware of the problem.

  • by nschubach (922175) on Friday November 04, 2011 @10:52AM (#37947646) Journal

    To get to the cache link, you have to open the annoying preview.

The first version always gets thrown away.