Bing finds threads Google doesn't May 29, 2010 7:09 PM   Subscribe

FYI: Bing is finding old threads that Google is not.

"My mother was raised like Sharon in the article" gets an accurate return on Bing, but nothing exact or relevant on Google.

I don't see anything in the robots.txt that explains it, but either way it may have implications for the search links here.
posted by NortonDC to MetaFilter-Related at 7:09 PM (39 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Huh, weird. No idea why either.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:47 PM on May 29, 2010


I bow down to our new Microsoft overlords.
posted by nestor_makhno at 7:52 PM on May 29, 2010


The most important question is, who should I blame for this?
posted by killdevil at 7:59 PM on May 29, 2010


You know, as much as everyone loves to hate on Microsoft-affiliated anything, I have to say that Bing has its uses. The Bing cashback program is one of them. Another is, hey, Google may not actually be omniscient. Who knew?
posted by Night_owl at 8:05 PM on May 29, 2010


I have to say that Bing has its uses.

Oh yeah, amazing song stylist, and who can argue with his Bowie duet? And such delicious cherries!

what?
posted by scody at 8:51 PM on May 29, 2010 [14 favorites]


You know, the silverlight-based bing maps with aerial photos are pretty good. Er.
posted by maxwelton at 8:51 PM on May 29, 2010


I find Bing Shopping and Bing Images superior to their Google counterparts. Yes, I know this is blasphemy.
posted by grouse at 8:53 PM on May 29, 2010


I feel like exact-phrase searches on Google have been getting worse and worse. There are a lot of things I used to be able to find that way (I tend to have a good memory for turns of phrase in articles I'm trying to track down), and it just doesn't work anymore.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 9:19 PM on May 29, 2010 [9 favorites]


Ugh, Blue Jello Elf, I know exactly what you mean.

"I put my search in quote marks because I know exactly what I fucking want to search for, damnit! Stop making guesses for me!"
posted by kmz at 9:22 PM on May 29, 2010 [14 favorites]


Previously. Apparently there are large holes in Google's coverage of the site, despite the fact that it indexes new posts/questions almost instantly from the RSS feed.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:30 PM on May 29, 2010


Although Google's getting notoriously overhelpful, that's not the problem here.

That page isn't even in Google's index. Nor are the posts immediately before or after. The RSS of the comments for that post are, but not the page itself. Bing, unfortunately, turned off the search syntax which would allow me to figure out what links to the page in question (or doesn't link, as the case may be).
posted by adipocere at 9:44 PM on May 29, 2010


I think Bing is a pretty good guy, but I still don't see what Monica sees in him. I mean she could have had Magnum PI instead.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:03 PM on May 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


Bing always beats me at cups. :(
posted by mullacc at 10:15 PM on May 29, 2010


I feel like exact-phrase searches on Google have been getting worse and worse.

Tritto this - I've noticed that google has been working markedly more poorly than before.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 10:44 PM on May 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Bing Ron Paul?
posted by maxwelton at 10:48 PM on May 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


kmz: ""I put my search in quote marks because I know exactly what I fucking want to search for, damnit! Stop making guesses for me!""

It is the weirdest thing when Google tries to search for synonyms for my search string - It's not something I expect to happen in a search and it absurdly annoying. I'm accustomed to running separate searches for different word choices, if need be.

The other day I was searching for "gifts for X", and Google was giving me results for 'presents' as well. Except some of those results were the verb "to present". NOT helpful.
posted by Gordafarin at 1:07 AM on May 30, 2010


I think that Google has become sentient and decided that it is sick of giving us the right answers to all of our stupid questions.
posted by double block and bleed at 3:44 AM on May 30, 2010 [16 favorites]


I wish google had a "raw" mode where it didn't try to be smarter than me. I *hate* computers that think they know what I want better than I know. (cf Apple)
posted by DU at 5:47 AM on May 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Gordafarin: "kmz: ""I put my search in quote marks because I know exactly what I fucking want to search for, damnit! Stop making guesses for me!"""


Maybe google will understand that we mean it if we use multiple layers of quotes. Or maybe single quotes like PERL. Or maybe once they've indexed this thread they'll realize we might switch to bing.
posted by Obscure Reference at 6:44 AM on May 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


You can throw a + in front of keywords to say, "Uh, no, I really meant that word and that word alone, thank you. Try it searching for gift versus +gift. In the latter example, Google will stop returning results based on "gifts" as well, which hints that stemming has taken a nap.

I'm not sure yet if using that is also a good way for Google to stop returning pages where one of my keywords isn't in the actual damn page, just in a hyperlink to it. For whatever reason, possibly because they're drinking too much of it, this is very prevalent when searching for "icewine." The only way to tell is to visit the cache of the page and look for the bit where it mentions that, yeah, that particular keyword isn't in the page, just in anchor text pointing at the page, which is a source of GRAR.

Fucking Google, how does it work? By pissing me off.
posted by adipocere at 7:31 AM on May 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


I totally agree Google is getting absurd with this synonym switching and "Did you mean?" crap. They need to have an option for people with decent google-fu, because it drives me nuts.

adipocere, the trick that helps make things still somewhat tolerable is putting "allintext: " in front of your query string. It totally eliminates those *%$ pages that don't actually have the word you are searching for.
posted by SpookyFish at 1:29 PM on May 30, 2010 [7 favorites]


I have also noticed Google becoming less helpful. Ironically, you can now sometimes get better results by reverting to the Ask Jeeves-style searches that were once the hallmark of the computer illiterate (e.g. "how do i make it so a list sorts automatically in excel").
posted by danb at 2:24 PM on May 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Which is better, Google Images or Bing Images? I have researched this question, and here are my data:

for search "happy frog," both Google and Bing return mostly clipart smiling frogs, and a couple pictures of Kermit playing guitar with Alcatraz Island in the background.

for search "large carnivorous," Google returns a mix of velociraptors and dry piranha food. Bing returns mostly Venus flytraps.

Take from that what you will.
posted by notswedish at 2:26 PM on May 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is that back, SpookyFish? For a while, it vanished, and they haven't even put it back in the freakin' help, which has driven me mad, to the point where I have noticed broken links and empty pages in their help site, all over the place.

I was reminded again at a conference that Google constantly turns things on and off, tweaks their algorithms, and so forth. I know that they change stuff, and I know why they do it (like making link: not work with site: because of SEO gamers), but I'm starting to want a scoreboard.

Here's the best list of stuff that may or may not be working in a given day.
posted by adipocere at 2:33 PM on May 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Given the volume of new pages on the site, it seems like XML Sitemaps would be advisable to notify search engines about what exists on the site.

For the volume of pages on the site, I'd probably generate, compress, and save by year, then add entries in robots.txt

I had a lot of blog entries that surfaced once I added a an xml sitemap.
posted by artlung at 2:34 PM on May 30, 2010


Interesting but unnecessary fact: Mr. Crosby, the singer and co-star with Bob Hope in "The Road to..." movies, got the nickname "der Bingle" after he did some WWII propaganda broadcasts in phonetic German.

What the internet needs right now is a"der Bingle".
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:45 PM on May 30, 2010


Someone should get pb to fix this!
posted by cjorgensen at 3:41 PM on May 30, 2010


Hi. It's my job to help with this kind of problem. Please memail me queries where you think Google did the wrong thing. No promises for fixes, but examples are great to have. Thanks!
posted by jewzilla at 7:31 PM on May 30, 2010 [6 favorites]


Reading this thread makes me feel like making a "Leave Google alone!!!" video with mascara running down my cheeks.
posted by Ms. Saint at 8:16 PM on May 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


MeMail sent, jewzilla!
posted by NortonDC at 8:28 PM on May 30, 2010


Does Google still do that thing where they only consider the first 40 KB [or whatever] of HTML on a page? It occurred to me the other day that the archive pages are really long (e.g. Ask for this May is 339 KB) so if there were threads down past the cutoff size that aren't referenced by any other page on the site they could effectively drop out of the index.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:46 PM on May 30, 2010


what on earth will I do with dysfunctional google? does it need a hug?
posted by infini at 12:36 AM on May 31, 2010


I still miss Alta-Vista's NEAR keyword for sorting out the chaff. I'm sure Bing will be better than Google in a lot of areas, but I have such a long history of pain with Microsoft that theirs will always be the product of last resort.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:00 AM on May 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Though it's still y go-to search engine, I have noticed an odd, perceptual change in Google's returns lately. I can't put my finger on it, but the results I get seem, somehow, less accurate or helpful. I wish I could be more specific about this..."feeling"...I get when I use Google now. It's like it feels as if they're only giving me the results they want to give me, as opposed to just shoveling all the results at me. It's a strange, incomplete feeling.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:02 AM on May 31, 2010 [4 favorites]


thorzdad, reading your post was an odd perceptual feeling of reading my own writing...
posted by infini at 3:04 PM on May 31, 2010


jewzilla, can you find the person who can help jessamyn get out of Lake Champlain?
posted by terrapin at 4:33 PM on May 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


And deprive the world of humor?
posted by jewzilla at 6:59 PM on May 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have to say that Bing has its uses.

Oh yeah, amazing song stylist, and who can argue with his Bowie duet?


Bowie did (at first). But it turned out OK. I heard the audio only on the radio, and it sounded a lot more awkward than it looks.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:54 PM on May 31, 2010


Good point. I'll wait until she gets it out of her system. I don't want to miss whatever she may have planned for Google.
posted by terrapin at 12:01 PM on June 1, 2010


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