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Why are Search Engine Results So Bad?

Updated on March 22, 2017
jackclee lm profile image

Jack is currently a volunteer at the Westchester County Archives. Jack has worked at IBM for over 28 years on museums and libraries.

Introduction

We all rely on Search Engines like Google and Bing and Yahoo to find contents on the Web. When you enter a search term, you usually get a million hits that are ranked 10 per page. Most people just ignored the extra pages and only look at best the first couple of result pages. The question is why so many hits?

- Mar. 2017

Background

To be fair, I use Google and Bing all the time and most of the time, they get the results I seek in a fraction of a second. That is the magic of these search engines. As long as I enter the term with some specificity, I usually get the desired result in the top page. However, once in a while, if you scan down the results, you will find some that are totally irrelevant. For a human, I can spot them in a second. Why does these results appear on Google? and moreover, they seem to rank very high? Why?

What Improvements I like to See?

As a consumer, not knowing anything about the technology or algorithm of search engines, I can say here are a few things I like to see improved.

  • Less results in total hits. Perhaps reduced to the top 50 or so. (5 web pages)
  • When results are not satisfactory, suggest refinements...or additions to the search term
  • Apply some Artificial Intelligence and filter or block some results that are clearly "SEO gaming"
  • Show only results that are exact matches unless specified differently. (default to exact match)
  • Apply implied quotes around names, and organizations... such as Jack Lee should be treated automatically as "Jack Lee" and white house as "White House". This is an obvious choice since I would not want to see the million hits on each word.

Screen Shot (jack lee)

Screen shot (white house)

Some Sample Search Hits...

It is amazing how putting quotes around the name will reduce the number of hits...

Example of Clearly Wrong Data

In the following search, I received 7 hits, the first 3 are accurate but the next 4 are wrong. How did that happen? Accuracy rate is less than 50%.

Summary

The current search engines are very fast. That is the brilliance of these technologies. Imagine coming up with the results of a few hits out of billions of web pages in only a fraction of a second. It is the speed and accuracy that makes or break a search engine. Google is very successful because it is able to deliver these outcome. It can always be improved.

© 2017 Jack Lee

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    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 3 months ago from Home Sweet Home

      You are right, you can see the most searched sites at the top 10 but the rest are buried under neath and nobody is willing to press the next button

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