Improve Google

Posted on January 7, 2006  Comments (5)

In response to post by Matt Cutts:

Is there a new product or feature that you wish Google offered? Is there anything on the web that annoys you because there’s not a useful product that does exactly what you need? Is there an extra feature of Gmail, AdWords, Google Maps, AdSense, Google News, or another product that you wish we offered?

I can think of a lot of new features or products that I’d like to have, but I don’t want to skew the opinions. This thread is completely open-ended: I’m looking for any feature or product that a regular user might want.

I have suggested all of these for years and I still want them:

1) Let me chose the type of files searched (exclude pdfs, word, power point..). Then if I can’t find what I want I can expand to include them. At the very least give me some way of making the type much more visible (I realize it is there now but I often click before my mind notices…).

2) Let me remove web sites from my default searches. I would imagine this could even be used to help Google’s normal search results by getting a sense of sites huge numbers of people “block” The same spam sites show up for searches and I would rather block them if Google can’t figure out how to do so.

3) Let me create site search lists, where I create lists of sties I want searched – then I can target my searches how I want. Actually now that rollyo does this I don’t care that much but since they use Yahoo to do so, I would figure maybe Google will finally make this available. It would be nice if you suggested sites others with similar site lists included.

New requests:

1) It would be cool if I could rate sites and that was factored into my returned results. This could obviously use the Google toolbar for user input pretty effectively, I imagine. A simple 1-5 or 1-10 scale. It would probably be a good idea to let users have some simple way of say having all their bookmarked files automatically give the web site the highest rating so they don’t have to manually enter every one. Then they could edit the results. Same with the search lists in item 3 above. It should also be setup so I can accept other users settings. So if I trust John Battelle or Sean Stickle I can have their ratings (obviously only for ratings people make “public”) reflected in my results. That would involve complications when one person I chose to include says a site is a 1 and another says a site is a 5 but I figure Google is very capable of figuring out a good way to make that work.

2) I don’t have too much trouble with this on Google search results now (but Google News does), let me block non-available content (behind paid or unpaid walls) in the default search (then let me “whitelist” certain sites so they show up – for sites I either just want to see anyway of sites I have registered for…).

I still think Google is excellent but honestly the value of Google’s results compared to Yahoo and MSN is much less than it was 2 years ago, in my opinion as a search engine user. To me the others are closing the gap with Google and Google needs to make some improvements more than ever before (assuming Google wants to stay ahead of the others which I think is a fair assumption). It isn’t a feature but improving the results is also important – too many spam sites are returned now.

5 Responses to “Improve Google”

  1. Mark Graban
    January 15th, 2006 @ 9:50 am

    Have you tried “advanced search?”

    http://www.google.com/advanced_search?hl=en

    You CAN choose a file type and exclude one domain, at the list.

    Give that a try.

  2. curiouscat
    January 15th, 2006 @ 11:46 am

    Yes, thanks for the suggestion, but I don’t want to have to do that each time I search. I am glad you stopped by, keep up your great work with the Lean Manufacturing blog.

    Google also lets you accomplish that another way, for example,

    deming -site:www.cityofdeming.org -site:www.demingheadlight.com

    which removes those results from a search just for:

    deming

    But to manually eliminate domains you don’t want every time is a pain (not exactly a good example of lean consumption).

    I want to be able to exclude domains as I find sites that I don’t think will meet my future needs and never have them returned again (which should be stored in some list I can edit in case I change my mind).

    And truthfully as soon as that is working then I will want to be able to select from multiple search profiles (which I have set with different blocked sites, file preferences, topic focuses…). What a pain customers can be!

    On file types, I want to be able to set file types so they persist as my default search preferences for all searches (just like setting Google to return the number of results per page persists over time).

  3. Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog » Management Improvement Search Engine
    October 25th, 2006 @ 11:38 am

    [...] Google has launched a nice new feature that allows users to create customized search results. I have talked about this idea before: Improve Google. Last year I posted about Rollyo, which allowed what Google now does (using Yahoo for the underlying search). I liked Rollyo but the Google search results are better so I have switched to using Google. [...]

  4. Curious Cat Management Blog » Lame Move by Google
    November 26th, 2008 @ 11:57 pm

    Search for it on Google you will find a link to Google Search 2001 which gives you a page that says: “The page – http://www.google.com/search2001.html – does not exist.”…

  5. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Google Social Circle Results
    April 13th, 2010 @ 12:38 pm

    For that reason after short attempts to try Google’s social efforts I give up. I keep hoping they will become more flexible and user friendly but keep being disappointed…

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