this post was submitted on 15 May 2024
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[–] anamethatisnt 173 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago) (2 children)

I definitely feel the pain when it comes to worthless results nowadays. Though in this case DDG comes through:

Adding documentation to the search makes the "correct" page soar to the top:

[–] [email protected] 131 points 1 month ago (1 children)

Google is better as a verb than a search engine.

[–] [email protected] 23 points 1 month ago

I use "search" as a verb

[–] [email protected] 31 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago) (6 children)

Haha, nope. The links points to a table of contents after which you are on your own. The right link should point to a specific page instead, but the problem here is that postres docs are poorly optimized for search engines. If you click on the top link from google, you would see there's a notice that the page is outdated, with a link to a current version, but said link is dead. It's not an issue I've ever experienced with mysql docs for example.

And yes, w3schools, despite how terrible it is, is still above the official docs because it is more popular with newbies. I remember a time when I just started, I preferred sites like it, because they were simple and on point, rather than technically correct and comprehensive like the official docs are. If you forgot the feeling, try learning math on wikipedia (assuming you don't have a math degree).

For the rest I cannot argue. Generated/AI shit is indeed ruining the internet and search engines giving up and joining them isn't helpful either.

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[–] Fabulous 134 points 1 month ago (7 children)

Wait until you see the AI generated blog posts being top results...

[–] [email protected] 59 points 1 month ago (4 children)

Hah!

No.

Soon enough the result will be an AI generated "blogpost", generated by the search engine, in response to your query.

[–] [email protected] 28 points 1 month ago

I'm sure all this nonsense waste of energy is exactly what we needed just to stop climate change.

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[–] MrOxiMoron 126 points 1 month ago (11 children)

In desperation you click the link to the old docs, change the version to the latest version and pray you don't get a 404

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[–] AWittyUsername 110 points 1 month ago (1 children)

What it's like to use Google in 2024

[–] [email protected] 34 points 1 month ago (3 children)

But they're so innovative! They absolutely aren't deserving of a massive antitrust lawsuit... /s

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[–] [email protected] 89 points 1 month ago (1 children)

Well internet enshitification is real...

[–] [email protected] 35 points 1 month ago (5 children)

You are confusing Google and Internet.... they are very different things.

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[–] [email protected] 79 points 1 month ago (5 children)

It makes me sad because Google used to be great. The main feature that made Google great was the click rejection. Basically the search would know when you clicked on a link and didn't come back to the search results. This action would add weight to that result as "this probably has the information that was being searched for" so it would be nearer to the top later when others made similar queries.

This was their killer feature, it basically crowd sourced the correct information. After a small amount of time, the correct results would kind of float to the top so subsequent searches would put those results near the top to help satisfy queries faster.

Now? They seem to want to give you results that satisfy their partners, and keep you tied to the results page as long as possible. The focus seems to have shifted from being a good search engine with accurate results, to a meme of how to make money.

Never before has this shift been more clear to me than right now, directly in the wake of I/O 2024; an event my friends have taken to calling AI/O. Pretty much every single presentation was about Gemini and AI generated garbage, but this isn't what made Google's new direction clear to me. In the last 20-30 minutes of the event it was made perfectly clear what they were doing with I/O. And to drive the point home, every I/O has showcased stuff you can't use yet, stuff they're working on, and other cool shit. Some of it cost money, but there was usually some stuff that was just done because it could be done and it would be made available at some point, a nontrivial amount of it was free. At AI/O, the entire focus was on AI, with little to no non-AI stuff in there, at all, then at the end, they kicked everyone in the shorts. Here's our prices to access this shit. Buy it. As far as I'm concerned AI/O was a gigantic marketing circle jerk to sell their AI.

It seems that Google has entered the final phases of enshittification.

[–] [email protected] 45 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago) (4 children)

Saw an article that said that some execs demanded for search to have better user retention. I.e make the user search multiple times to find what they're looking for, so they can be shown more ads.

[–] [email protected] 37 points 1 month ago (8 children)

I can't wait for this to spread to unrelated areas!

Supermarkets maximizing profit: put ads everywhere and hide the most commonly bought foods!

Gas stations maximizing profits: unskippable ads on all pumps, plus the pump stops halfway to make you watch another ad.

Dating apps: oh... They already killed themselves. Swipe swipe swipe swipe. Hide messages. Hide likes. Reduse exposure to profile unless paid member.

I hate this future.

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[–] Ultraviolet 22 points 1 month ago

I remember how people used to joke about the second page of Google results being a desolate wasteland where no one ever looks, now I just instinctively scroll down a bit because I know the first page of results is going to be trash.

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[–] [email protected] 70 points 1 month ago (1 children)
[–] ZILtoid1991 30 points 1 month ago (4 children)

DuckDuckGo is also being poisoned by SEO unfortunately. Some group of people managed to crack its algorithm, and as Google is slowly but fading relevancy, DuckDuckGo is now also has the same issues.

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[–] [email protected] 67 points 1 month ago (10 children)

We currently have a student for training and had her learn Rust. After two weeks or so, she told me that she had a really hard time finding anything about Rust, and it became clear that she was really confused and thought Rust was some fringe technology that no one uses.

And yeah, no, search engines just got obliterated by LLM spam since the last time she had to learn a new technology. Seriously, I remember getting better results about Rust back in 2018, when it was really still relatively fringe...

[–] [email protected] 24 points 1 month ago (2 children)

In that case you can try adding before:2023 or similar to your search

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[–] barsquid 22 points 1 month ago

One search that was memorable to me was looking for dimensional information on a T-slot. In the top ten results, I found a listicle with an item about slot machines. LLM spam and Google's relentless bullshit have poisoned the internet.

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[–] [email protected] 54 points 1 month ago (2 children)

The section "other people also search for" is complete garbage.

I was searching for a used car part in my native language and Google mistook it for a name. No, Google, other people do not search for "car part net worth and marital status ". Why are you showing me this crap?

[–] SonnyVabitch 18 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago) (3 children)

The English word 'speaker' has multiple meanings. In Hungarian, there is a different word for a speaker device that casts sound (hangszóró, "sound caster") and Speaker of the House of Parliament (házelnök, "president of the house").

Still, when googling one, you may get results for the other. 🤷

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[–] [email protected] 49 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago) (2 children)

Maybe don’t use google. Kagi, ddg handle it fine

[–] hightrix 24 points 1 month ago

This is the real answer. Stop using Google search.

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[–] [email protected] 48 points 1 month ago (5 children)

Damn, y'all still using Google. Rip

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[–] KISSmyOSFeddit 44 points 1 month ago (3 children)

Get with the times. When Google isn't a useful tool anymore, use a different one.
Curate and maintain your own list of links to official documentation.
I think we're almost at a point where having a library of books next to your workstation would be beneficial again.

[–] [email protected] 18 points 1 month ago

Full circle

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[–] [email protected] 43 points 1 month ago (2 children)
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[–] kaffiene 38 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago) (12 children)

Try being a programmer in the 90s. Just like that but with no entries at all

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[–] [email protected] 38 points 1 month ago

It pisses me off that Java's class library documentation is at a totally different URL for every version. You can't just change 11 to 21 in the URL.

[–] ZILtoid1991 33 points 1 month ago (6 children)

Me: "How do I write my own Rawinput handler?"

Search results: "Here's how you setup Rawinput in this competitive FPS, and look how it reduces input latency by a single milisecond! After 2-3 pages of AI generated SEO garbage full of misinformation, you might find something else besides of the official MS docs."

Me: "Okay, this is not working, maybe I should look for some another preexisting SDL alternative, maybe at least one of them isn't an even bigger dumpster fire than SDL itself."

Search results: "Duuuude, have you heard of this game making tool, called Gamemaker? It doesn't need coding, and it's totally the same thing, because some people mistakingly called SDL a game engine, and now my AI hallucinates it as such. If you're up to a bigger challenge, then there's always Godot, or DirectX, which my AI also hallucinates being a game engine!"

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[–] [email protected] 32 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

This thing in quotes?
Searching for not that! Did you mean that? Okay, here's nothing.

[–] [email protected] 30 points 1 month ago (4 children)

Interestingly, bing of all things turns up better results than Google with the same search terms, first 3 blocks are "popular results", first is tutorial sites, second is w3 schools and third takes you to the current docs for functions and operators.

If you ignore those, the fourth result takes you to the current docs for comparison functions and operators. I'd prefer it taking you right to the official docs on the first result, but comparatively acceptable. It was memed to death but I've seriously found it more useful than Google these days, comparable to ddg's results.

[–] [email protected] 28 points 1 month ago (4 children)

DuckDuckGo uses Bing's results

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[–] [email protected] 29 points 1 month ago

I feel like I've been going crazy, web searching as a developer has become a daily nightmare and all the devs I ask are like "yeah, maybe it's gotten a bit worse? Haven't really noticed"

[–] [email protected] 28 points 1 month ago (2 children)
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[–] [email protected] 26 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago) (2 children)
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[–] SEND_NOODLES_PLS 23 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago) (3 children)

I get quite a bit of flak from my colleagues for paying for search, but I kid you not, I don't regret splurging on a Kagi subscription at all. It's personally less stressful for me, having to wade through less cruft, and I think I even work significantly faster because of how I use it.

It's sad when you think about it. Search was such a good experience in the past.

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[–] thecodeboss 23 points 1 month ago (3 children)

Tried it on Bing too for comparison, 4th result and it's actually the current version.

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[–] [email protected] 22 points 1 month ago (2 children)

How did google manage to be worse than yandex?

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[–] [email protected] 21 points 1 month ago (11 children)

This is why I jumped ship to DuckDuckGo like 4-5 years ago already, never looked back

Coincidentally, yesterday I was quickly setting up a new computer for some testing whilst talking to somebody about another so I was half distracted. I did a search for some package to install and got absolute unusable crap. I didn't understand, tried again, tried different search parameters and it just got worse, and then I noticed that, since this was a new computer, the browser was using google.

I switched to DDG, and first page first hit was what I needed.

DDG also has been in a steady decline and apparently has been using Bing as it's back-end now. I'd love to use a self hosted open source browser, or of not that, an open source federated search engine, akin to Lemmy, but I don't see either coming into existence anytime soon.

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[–] Omgarm 21 points 1 month ago (2 children)

On duckduckgo it was only the the 4th result! Pretty decent.

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[–] I_Clean_Here 20 points 1 month ago (1 children)

Stop using Google, dumbass.

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[–] [email protected] 19 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago) (4 children)

Kagi:

First result is the official documentation with the page that contains information about the in operator

This was the result: https://www.postgresql.org/docs/9.0/functions.html

BUT it is the documentation for 9.0

Though if I would use postgresql documentation very often I could just use the Kagi feature that rewrites URLs with a regex, so I can replace it always with the latest version.

Kagi Documentation for that feature:

https://help.kagi.com/kagi/features/redirects.html#redirects-url-rewrites

Some use cases of redirects include:

  • Change domains to a preferred domain (reddit.com to old.reddit.com)
  • Fixing links to outdated documentation with bad SEO
  • Rewriting proxied pages (like Google AMP) to their source URL
  • Changing any http link to https
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