July 17, 2012

Fuzzy result matching in Google – it sucks and there’s no way to stop it.

Filed under: Musings, Technology — joel.cass @ 9:41 am

Lately I’ve been having a lot of trouble finding the correct results on google. For example, a few weeks ago I wanted to know what is the quietest carriage (e.g. the carriage with the least number of people) on a peak hour cityrail train. So I search “what is the quietest carriage cityrail train” what are my results? Well, they completely ignored my request and figured I was looking for quiet carriages, not “quietest” carriages. So I get spammed with propaganda about quiet carriages.

Stupid google search results

Next, I tried searching “what is the +++++”quietest” carriage cityrail train” – no effect, same results..

Google shitty search results

So today after during my morning ride I noticed a light squeaking noise from the bottom bracket, so I searched for “squeaky bottom bracket”.. It decided to show results for “creaky bottom bracket”. I then try “+”squeaky” bottom bracket”. Same thing.

Google is not matching my keywords

The fix? Searching for “+”squeaky” bottom bracket -creaky” removed the offending results. But this is just plain stupid, this means that my results may not include pages that contain squeaky and creaky – what if the page I want contains both keywords?

Google tries in vain to render my search query

This reminds me of the days of the “excite” search engine – which was actually pretty good, until they started making the results fuzzy by just showing anything that matched any of your keywords. Then it just turned to shit. And where are they now? Gone.

Google, I hope you get your act together. I love it is free to search the web and lets face it, up to a few months ago the results were pretty good but it’s turning to rubbish. Even just having an option to disabled fuzzy searching would do for most of us!


  1. Agreed mate. Google search results are getting quiet lame.

    Comment by Irfaan — July 17, 2012 @ 11:07 am

  2. Thanks Joel – this has been shitting me recently too..

    Hope you’re well.

    Comment by Mark — July 18, 2012 @ 12:45 pm

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