25 Things I Hate About Google, Reoccurring after 5 Years



25 Things I Hate About Google, Reoccurring after 5 Years

I wrote a story called “25 Things I Hate About Google” around five years back, and to my great surprise it went viral. On the fifth anniversary of the story I thought it is worth revisiting to reevaluate how many of those “hates” have been improved. Well let’s just plunge in!

Almost an year and a week has passed since I wrote my original story. The story was written on March 13,2006. I wanted the story to get completed on the same date for the exact anniversary, but it could not be completed as it took some extra time. 

People might assume that I have so much hate inside me for Google, but it’s not at all that way. Rather I admire much of what the company does. This particular follow-up story is basically written from the perspective of hoping that the company will make amendments to improve itself and not to bring it down. I have been told a number of time to update my original list, so this update is specially for Googler Matt Cutts. Below I will also provide that what exactly I wrote in my story and how does the current situation look like. Every section will start with “Hate” if things have not changed, “Love” or “Like” if there has been a positive change and there are also “Mixed” and “N/A” along the way, and at the end there is a scorecard to portray the number of changes. 

*1* HATE - Web Search Counts That Make No Sense

Why do search engines lie?, Robert Scoble has been poking too much on this, that why does the report does not match the reality ever!

Mars landing sites gives 1,050,000 matches while mars landing sites earth gives nearly double that amount, 1,840,000 listings.It is not fair that adding just one extra work gives you nearly double that amount. The issue continues and it does not seem to get solved so very soon. For instance, if we search for DVD’s and it brings up 179 million pages, but when we search the same page with the word “rentals” added in it, it gives out 289 million pages, which is an increased number of pages. 

Why does Google not count the results properly ? That is what my October article talks about. In that particular article I have also talked about that why incorrect counts can cause Google Political Trouble, and this is what i could conclude from that : 

I love data, but it should be accurate data — and these numbers are anything but. Time to retire them, Google. Or after at least five years of the “it’s not our highest priority” mantra, finally make it a priority.

*2* HATE : Google Keeps Serving Up Sites You’ve Seen

Then :

Well, you might not be acquainted with the name “results clustering” but you must be knowing that Google has been using it. Results clustering is when Google finds that there is one more page from a website that might match your search, so it indents the second best result page below the first one. If you will ever search for books on Amazon, this is what you will witness. Although, clustering only takes place on a results page-by-results basis. 

If in the past I have ever rejected these sites, I obviously would like to see something new now. What you need to give me is the best page from the domain once, then some variety, but not these second chances. 

Now :

Google declared last year that it will allow more results from the same website to dominate the top search results. After a few months of this declaration, Google expanded this behavior. 

Just imagine, if i search for Mcdonald's and bypass all the official Mcdonald’s information on the very first page of search results 

  • 4 listings from mcdonalds.com

  • 3 listings of actual McDonald’s restaurants near me

  • 3 listings from the McDonald’s-run listings from aboutmcdonalds.com, mcstate.com and happymeals.com

When I have already rejected previous information on the very first page on the search regarding Mcdonald’s, then why would I ever entertain the second page of results. 

*3* LIKE : Less User Interface Confusion 

Then :

It would be better if Google stops confusing people. Google just keeps on testing better and better UIS. If only I had a good amount of time I would have taken all the screenshots that people have posted and merge them all into one single “Google of the future” page. Anyway, enough of this testing process. Now it must decide something to commence and can change it later if there’s ever a need for that. 

Now :

Google still does a lot of testing and we still get messages from a number of people who keep wondering that if that had been hit by a malware or is it something else happening. It still seems to be happening less. Generally, it is the company who would advise the people regularly of when a test is underway. 

I somehow love the facelift that Google got last year with its “three pane” interface. That is how things feel much more organized. 

*4* LOVE : Related Searches Everywhere

Then :

If we talk about various related searches : Back in 2000 or 2001, Chris Sherman and I asked Sergey Brin during a lunch visit why Google lacked tools to help people better narrow in on what they are looking for. Why no “related searches” option? His response was that unless a lot of people use a feature, Google didn’t want to devote space to it.

All this is fair enough, but query refinement is also necessary as it can help people. Unfortunately, Google is the odd company which lacks having it. 

Now :

I am basically surrounded by places where you suggest searches, from right within the search box through Google Instant, to the left-side of the page via Google Search Options, to the bottom and top of the search results. Thanks!

*5* LOVE : Easier Access To All Your Tools :

Then :

Give more and easier access to all your tools. Moreover, the Life at Google is much more than web,images, groups, news and local. There are chances that I want to switch to mobile search, book search, catalog search or maybe Blog search with just an easy click from the existing query that I have already done. Many of these services remain in “visit directly” mode. 

Now :

It can be made much easier with the “Aforementioned” search options column. Thank you!

*6* Country-Specific Results On Google.com

Then :

Regardless of the country, just make Google show the same results anyhow. You have country-specific editions which already provide people the option to choose if they want a country bias. It becomes quite confusing when different people in different countries start comparing the results. 

Now :

Google.com now produces different results within the US, where the city you are can even be impacted, and so I totally give up on this battle. 

*7* LOVE : RSS for Web Search 

Then :

RSS feed for web search. Well, I know the results do not change much, and I am aware that RSS feeds of web search that Yahoo and MSN offers are hardly winning over the mass number of users. When you offer RSS feeds of news search results and other things of that sort, I want to monitor the web search the same way. 

Now :

Google Alerts gained an RSS feed option since my original post. Thanks!

*8* LOVE: Support For NOODP

Then :

You must know that the webmasters don’t like getting their titles and descriptions replaced by Open Directory Material. However, you must give them the option to say no, on this front

Now :

You’ve since added support for the NOOPD meta tag. Thanks! Now how about support for a new “YES I REALLY WANT YOU TO USE MY HTML TITLE TAG” tag? Because I’m really tired (and I’m not alone) with you unilaterally deciding what’s the best title for my web pages in your results. More about this, below:

*9* HATE : You Cache Pages 

Then :

Stop caching pages. I was all for opt-out with cached pages until a court gave you far more right to reprint anything than anyone could have expected. What you need to do now is to make it opt-in. Even if now you have got it backed up legally, it does not make it less devilish. 

Now :

No change. I still think you should do it. My larger argument from 2006 after my “25 Things” post is here

*10* HATE : No Guaranteed Web Search Support

Then :

Give us paid web search support : There are such folks which are still obsessing about being listed in Google. They are worried about being banned and a number of other problems are there too. All they need is a guaranteed support mechanism 

Now :

It feels as if nothing has changed. Sure, a paid support option might put you under fire that you might be making algorithm updates like Farmer / Panda just to generate support revenue. But others might appreciate a guaranteed route.

Maybe anyone who register with Google Webmaster central can get one or two free express support tickets, so that we do not have Bloggers talking about getting in touch with Google being a “crapshoot” and weaken the huge amount of resources that you put in to support through Google Webmaster Central. 

*11* HATE: No Pick & Choose For Search Advertisers

Then :

Advertisers should be provided the ability to pick and choose in search:  It took you years to almost grudgingly give advertisers the ability to pick-and-choose what content sites they have their ads appear on, despite them wanting this from day one. All we had were lame excuses that you did not want to “confuse” or “overwhelm” them with various options. So now maybe you have done something good by providing them with several choices. Now let them decide if they wish to pick and choose in the search ads space as well. 

Now :

I hope I am not missing it, and it's still a case that cannot be simply picked and choosed.that which search partners to have ads appear on. You either exclude all of your search network outside of Google, or you have to to take all of it. I think they must allow more choices. 

*12* LIKE: More Responsive To Click Fraud Complaints

Then :

Being more responsive towards click fraudulent complaints: I have been hearing from too many advertisers who feel that they are making something up when they come across the click fraud concerns. As you are promising to be better, please be on your words. You must make them feel supported. 

Now :

It might seem like you have had only one lawsuit in relevance to click fraud due to the settling of class action suit in 2006 and this 2010 case does not seem too large, but tiny.

*13* HATE: AdWords & AdSense Confusion

Then :

Making Adwords once again a program which links the ads to keywords for advertisers and publishers. Moreover, having Adwords as the program that puts ads into Adsense for the sake of SEARCH/CONTENT/DOMAIN might get confusing.  

Now :

As per I think the situation has yet not changed. I do not mean that that the confusion seems to harm Google in any way, but there is much possibility that if it changes now it can get way too confusing. Yet again, These days we have things like “AdSense For Error Pages.”

*14* HATE: Search Revenues Aren’t Broken Out

Then :

Breaking out search revenues from the other type of ad revenues. However, we cannot know the state of health for the actual search advertising. Most importantly, it is likely to hurt you in a real bad way if one channel starts to weaken, and the other remains healthy. It is called “Failure to Breakout” when people start assuming that all of the search is having trouble. 

Now :

A question arises here, that How much money does Google make from these searches ? Even if somebody tells you a particular figure, it is totally wrong, because we still cannot say exactly how much money Google actually makes out of the search. Search revenues remain mixed in advertising overall. Nevertheless, if Google does not want to get classified incorrectly about the search ads, we definitely need much more guidance the way we got about mobile and display revenue last year. 

*15* HATE: Self-Serve AdSense

Then :

Apply the brakes on the self-serve Adsense. We were already aware about Adsense when it was on its way to replacing Amazon’s affiliate program for developing crap content when the very first “earn million on Adsense” guide came out. Even a search for Adsense on Google provides me an ad for someone who is ready to sell over 100 “Adsense ready” content sites that people can buy. 

It is better if you give money to those people who are really working their best to create information rather than just ad revenues. 

Now :

The issue continues. Google is responsible for fueling an incredible amount of garbage over the web. It has also been reassuring that if a site is banned from Google’s search result, that mean their Adsense page also won’t exist anymore. Like seriously ? When you have cars that drive themselves, you embarked on some giant project to figure out what makes a good boss, but you are still unable to figure out how not to accept scummy sites into your ad program? 

Another category “Get Rich-quick” . You might have got a way out to automatically identify ads that makes these types of claims which is not going to make anyone rich for sure. But instead of blocking them entirely or blocking them by default, you somehow enable them to show up across your Adsense network. 

I think we all are aware that who is getting quick rich from those ads. 

*16* N/A: Blogger Being Free

Then :

It high time that it stops giving Blogger for free. It is so full junk that if you will provide it to people with no barriers, you will definitely be surprised because most of them are going to accept it and do bad things with it. 

If you will charge people even $1 it will seem as a great barrier to them. In case you give it away for free, find better and good mechanisms to partner with, like schools. Perhaps you can even make all Blogger Blogs banned from being spidered for the next 30 days and open them up after that upon the review. 

Now :

A Blogger remains free and maybe that is why there is so much Google garbage on the web. I have also not seen much complaints about the issue. S maybe it is not that big of an issue. 

*17* HATE: Reporting Copyright Infringement On Blogger

Then :

Must act fast on copyright infringement at Blogger. The worst thing about Google Blog Search is that it has made much easier for me to find out who is stealing my content and that most of them are doing it through Blogger. In just 30 minutes you can make out which crap site is stealing your content and that you must instantly remove that site. Such sites must be permanently shut of service violation rather than running for cover and helping nobody on the DMCA route. 

Now :

Somehow, when I read what I wrote exactly five years back it really scares me just because all of it seems so applicable today. When I look back at the most recent posts, I see a few problems that still remain , 

  • Some Blogger-hosted blogs still don’t have to have a standard nav bar with the “report abuse” link

  • The “report spam blog” form still doesn’t ask for any details

Still, I continue to be happy just because “Ads by Google” text with you ads do lead to an awesome policy violation reporting tool. Enough of this now. Google must get the priorities on that page right. 

*18* LOVE: Gmail’s “On Behalf Of” Problem Fixed!

Then :

Fix Gmail’s “custom from” problem. If you’re going to let me send things as if I have my own mail server, then actually ensure that people really believe I have my own mail server. No matter what, now you need to fix it even if I need to pay an extra amount for that. 

Now :

Thanks for fixing it!

*19* N/A: Let Gmail Show More Than 100 Items

Then :

Just let Gmail display more than 100 items. Can we not have it ?

Now :

It still seems to me that this can be possible, but I have tried several times to review my spam items or false positives, as you do a great job. I hardly need it anymore.

*20* HATE: No Blacklists In Gmail

Then :

Let Gmail customize the Blacklists. Even if you a good catching spam work, but you are not perfect for sure. 

Now :

I still can’t do this, short of creating a filter for particularly annoying spam. That works, but I wish I could push a button that did it. The button is also useless for those of us who still use Outlook — and yes, there are plenty of us.

*21* LOVE: Clickable Referrers In Google Analytics

Then :

Give me a list of all my referring pages in Google Analytics and make them clickable.In Google Analytics, I have to go to Referral Conversion, then see individual URLs rolled up under sites, then cut and paste things if I want to go to the page that sent me traffic. It could, and should, be much easier. 

Now :

Added in 2007, Thanks. 

*22* LOVE: An End To Overwhelmed Product Launches

Then :

Quit opening the products to everyone, and getting overwhelmed with that. Come get Google Page Editor, and then it closes. Figure out another way to open it up. The demand is no longer making it seem like your products are hot. It’s making it seem like you are lame and can’t anticipate or handle the rush.

Now :

It has been a very long time since I wanted this issue to be recalled,  so Thanks for fixing it.

*23* LOVE: That You Charge For Products

Then :

Charging for things ? Now this is scaring me for sure. But even people won’t get a support for things going wrong. Meanwhile, I worry that companies I want competing with you, to keep you on your toes, can’t do so when you use advertising to underwrite everything. It just feels anti-competitive. 

Now :

The day when i ran out of space in my Gmail account , but still a credit card got me more. I gladly paid it. Maybe I will pay for the other essential services as well, if you will improve them too. 

*24* MIXED: It’s About Search, Not Selling

Then :

There is definitely a reason why video shopping and video search are somehow correlated. But the ability to make a research across the things like news shows or popular references in entertainment content was quite informational.

You must remember it's just not about selling. In a similar way, when you start selling books or build out the Google based content , do not just become Amazon or eBay alternative. 

Now :

It’s weird reading what I wrote above, given that Google Video abandoned hosting and selling video content. YouTube has taken over. But perhaps that was a harbinger of the careful line you walk now. 

Moreover, one major challenge is that you do not involve yourself in the areas, such as sales of movies, music and other content of that sort. You can risk yourself for being a competitor to Apple and everyone risks there being no counterbalance to the Apple iTunes / iOS ecosystem.

*25* HATE: Fix The Philosophy

Then :

Fixing the Philosophy. I have written it before also how the philosophy page has a major disconnect with reality. You doing a lot of things altogether instead of doing one thing with greater effect and properly. 

People expect you to provide them realistic philosophy, the one that does not give you so far to fall from lofty heights. We will make you pay for it more for things you say you will do and you couldn't do. 

Now :

You last updated your philosophy page in September 2009. Many of your updates failed to reflect the reality in a proper way, and you page looks even more outdated now. 

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