Monday, February 12, 2007


Are Google's results accurate, or do they just give it their best shot?

Consider this. As someone that does SEO, I find it completely bothersome that Google expels all their energy in an attempt to circumvent the progress and advancements SEO's come up with to insure a relevant site hits on a particular keyword search.

Google in their infant wisdom has worked so hard at attempting to negate legitimate SEO that they have failed the end user with regard to search.

A few weeks back I was looking for the reason for and solutions to a "-5000 error" using Retrospect (a popular Macintosh based backup utility.)

Now, the error I was getting is apparently quite common and as such should have shown up in a search as simple as:

"-5000 error"

Here is what the results for that search look like:

Notice that not a single result has anything even remotely related to this problem. In fact, -5000 is not found in ANY of the results. Even after I visited each of the first 10 search results individually, not a single one had any mention of "-5000". The results only centered around the word "error". The second search result was in fact a link to WikiPedia with a definition of the word "error"

I will not beleaguer you with every search phrase I used, as they were all centered around the -5000 and yielded pretty much the same results, which was a lack of relevancy on all levels.

After 10 different variations of my search for this particular and obviously unique but not obscure error message I typed the following into a Google Search:

"retrospect no privilege error"

Low and behold, not only did I find the answer I was looking for, but the number one result contained what other than:

"-5000 error" in the title.

What gives Google?

So I tried searching for -5000 error again only to find nothing as expected.

This is just one example. Hell, I tried searching for a replacement gas cap for a 1973 John Deere 200 Lawn Tractor and ended up getting results for friggin NASCAR races. Google seems to be more about trying to be unfriendly to SEO's than friendly to those of us who are actually searching for something.


"\-5000 error"

instead (including the "") next time.
The problem here lies in the fact that google doesn't recognize numbers.
try to search "-5000" error

stupid idiot

if you insert "-" before a keyword/number.
it means "without the words".
so google displays results without "5000".

Google Search n00b. >:)
*sigh* because putting a minus sign before a word means you want all the results EXCLUDING that word. So you were saying I want all the results for error EXCEPT webpages with the word 5000.

So what you should have searched would be

"-5000" error
put "-5000 error" in quotes. that's all you have to do...

using a - if you don't have quotes tells google to AVOID all results with whatever immediately follows the - .. so in your case, no results with 5000 would appear.

that's google 101 buddy.
The point that every person missed in the post was that the "average" person searching on google, ie., the average every day net surfer has no idea what the advanced search properties do.

Not everyone knows that placing a (-) minus in front of a number changes results. Not everyone knows that quotes are required to single out googles inability to properly decipher numbers.f

The problem lies with Google, not the end user. That is the point.
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