The Almighty Google. I remember using the old college bulletin board systems around the country on my old 2400 kb modem. funny now, but back then it only took about ten minutes to download a 100,000 kilobyte file. A person could get up, make a sandwich, call some friends and engage in some chit chat, and come back just as the download had finished.
Then along came the internet. It changed everything. ISP’s like Prodigy, Compuserve and America Online were all the rave. I personally liked Compuserve when it was all text based and you could hack around and have a lot of fun with the newbies of the day. There was a time and a day when the only game in town was AOL. It sucked man. To get on the internet you had to jump through hoops while juggling balls and playing spoons.
Things became a lot easier when Netscape and independent ISP’s like Earthlink entered the picture. The internet, still in its infancy, was a glorious place to spend hours online playing games, hitting new websites and meeting new people around the world. I remember at COMDEX in Las Vegas in maybe 1995, Bill Gates was telling the world why Windows 95 was not going to debut until 1996, and he was asked about the internet and whether Microsoft would produce a web browser. Gates response was to say something like “The internet is a passing fad that will never catch on” or something like that. What an idiot.
Then came Yahoo. Before yahoo you could run scripting programs like Web Ferret to search the internet, but there really was no real way to look for web content. Yahoo changed all that. It was great. You could simply type in a phrase or a word, and get a whole host of random results, and somewhere in the fray, you would find what you were looking for.
But doing a search like that was not an efficient way to make money off of the internet. If there were only a way to steer people toward specific websites, more importantly, specific websites that paid Yahoo for search page placement, well then you could generate revenue off of the search.
This was great for Yahoo and Yahoo shareholders, because this is what Yahoo turned into with regard to its search engine. Many consider this way of thinking the beginning of the end of Yahoo. But it was horrible for people like me that don’t use the web to play games, watch porn or scam innocent people out of money.
Web searching became tedious, monotonous work. One would have to go through countless pages of nonsense to simply find a part for a car door, or a gift for a friend. People often forget about the early days of personal computing, when there was no internet. But the internet was what made people want to go out and purchase a PC in the first place, and Yahoo in my opinion, had successfully helped to ruin the fun for a time.
Enter Google. I had a friend attending Cal State Berkeley. She called me one day and as we were talking about computers, she asked me if I had heard of Google. I asked her what the hell a Google was. She said its a search engine that these guy here at Berkeley made. She missed it by a few miles, it was actually Stanford, but nonetheless, I used it and I was stunned.
Suddenly, searching the internet had become a breeze. I could type in the most obscure thing I could think of, and presto, I had instant, pertinent results. I once found a lock bolt for the front door of my house on Google. The door set cost more than six hundred dollars. Surely the bolt must be available as a separate part. Google found it and it was less than five miles from my house. It cost eleven dollars. I had an RV and the refrigerator control board burned out. Camping World wanted three hundred dollars for the part and another hundred to put it in. I found it on Google for fifty six dollars and it took me twenty minutes to install.
Now here is the questions portion. Has anyone noticed any difference with their search results? Because when I search things out, I get nothing but sites that pay Google for their search results placement, and the results are not even remotely close to that which I am looking for in the first place. This is almost always the case when I am researching old news stories for articles here on brokencountry.com. I use correct syntax, sometimes I will even quote the lines in a particular story and not get the right results.
My next question would be how Google indexes its news articles. I use Google to get my news, because the visual media is so full of shit that it has become impossible to watch. Articles on Google News seem to go only to the major news outlets, which stands to reason because after all, they are news outlets. But there are many articles I find from some of the smaller news outlets around the country that are rarely displayed on Google’s front page and go widely unreported.
I’m just wondering if anyone else has noticed this trend, because this is one of the many reasons that Yahoo fell by the wayside. They decided that money was more important than accuracy. If that is the case, perhaps its time for a new search engine. Twitter comes to mind. Maybe the fine folks at twitter should create a sort of back to basics type search engine. This might work well for people like me. The schmendricks of society that ask for nothing more than accuracy on the internet. Let me know what you think. JD