Goodbye Google Search

Aug 27, 2012

I’ve been having trouble with Google Search results being too smart for their own good for a long time now. I don’t know how recently this changed, but I started noticing that instead of showing me results based on exactly what I entered, Google had started showing results that had synonyms of the words I entered. Being a programmer who uses search mainly for looking up solutions to issues I’m facing with whatever I’m working on at the moment, I really didn’t (and don’t) appreciate Google showing me results for “apt-get upgrade” when I’ve searched for “apt-get update” just because update and upgrade have similar meanings (a stupid example, but the best I could come up with on the spur of the moment. There have been much, much worse results. For example, it frequently treats underscore-separated words as separate words, resulting ). This would lead to my sighing with frustration and putting quotes around my keywords. If this failed, then it would be time to add a “+” before the keyword.

But today I found out something else that has absolutely pissed me off. I was looking for a site to buy movies online, and “buy movies” gives me results where the entire first page is filled with sites to buy “HINDI” movies. Google, in all its wisdom, decided that since I’m from India I would only be interested in purchasing hindi movies. So I go to Google’s location preferences page, and there’s a text box there that lets me pick a location. So I type California, and then Google tells me “Please enter a valid India city or zip code”.

Turns out, your search results are locked to the country you are in. Google won’t even give you the option of opting out of country-specific search. And so, with a light heart, I bid farewell to Google Search. You’ve pissed me off enough over the past few months. I’m moving to Bing. And just so there’s no confusion honey, it’s not me, it’s you.