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Mobile App Search: So Broken AltaVista Could Do It

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the optimization-battling-objectivity dept.

Cellphones 86

waderoush writes "First-generation search engines such as AltaVista — built when the Web had only a few hundred thousand sites — produced notoriously goofy and spam-prone results. Well, when you search the Android Market for 'restaurant guide' and the top result is the U.S. Army Survival Guide, it begins to seem like we haven't come very far. San Francisco-based Chomp is one of the companies trying to fix mobile app search and discovery by leapfrogging Apple, Google, and the other app store providers. Founder and CEO Ben Keighran, creator of the once-hugely-popular Bluepulse text messaging system for Java phones, says the company plumbs the app stores, the Web, Twitter, and other sources to distill accurate keywords ('appwords') for each app. The top apps at Chomp for the search terms 'restaurant guide': Yelp, Urbanspoon, and Zagat, just as you'd expect."

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86 comments

sounds like current google results (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950158)

produced notoriously goofy and spam-prone results.

So that's who Google has between copying lately with their own spam-filled results.

exactly (3)

bananaquackmoo (1204116) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950176)

I've been wondering for a while about how Google's market search is so terrible. They're supposed to know how to do search, right?

Same reason AltaVista sucked so much (3, Informative)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950948)

Older web developers will remember meta tags for keywords and site description... use them anymore? Nah, they were from a more innocent age, were it was expected that site owners would limit the keywords and description to accurately describe their site so it would only be found by those really intending to find it.

Ah... happy days.

Google really doesn't have that much to search for in an app submission. They rely pretty much on app owner submitted information. Gosh, we better hope they file accurate keywords and description so only people really intending to find that app will find it... and pigs will fly.

The various app markets are rife with spammers and husslers trying to sell apps no-one needs at outragous prices. It would like trying to index that co.cc domain THAT google STOPPED indexing because it became an impossible job.

But they can't stop indexing their own site.

Their famous fix was to not just look at a site but see how it was linked to. That got rid of the meta tag spam BUT spammers worked around it and with apps, there is no in build linking (remember, the web is all about linking).

Re:Same reason AltaVista sucked so much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951312)

CEO Ben Keighran, creator of the once-hugely-popular Bluepulse text messaging system for Java phones, says the company is for sale and Google should make him an offer.

Re:Same reason AltaVista sucked so much (1)

aix tom (902140) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951888)

Well. There goes one of the reasons you would like to have an App store.

From a normal "store" I would expect when something is sold there that the store owner actually took a look at the thing that is up for sale, and classified it, and put it in the according section with the according keywords.

Any Linux Distro is able to do that with the software that is in their package management. GitHub and Sourceforge are able to do it for the software in their repositories. Mozilla is able to do it for the Firefox extensions and plug ins.

Another area where the "paid for" experience seems to be getting worse than the "free" experience.

Re:Same reason AltaVista sucked so much (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#37952380)

When you can't automate something, do it with human power. I don't see why Google doesn't hire a dozen or so college-age kids to do basic data entry on this sort of thing. I'm sure they know how important the power of an accurate search is.

Re:exactly (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#37955278)

The problem with search is people are attempt to do very different searches all with the same search application. Basically they are expecting the application to guess the nature of the search, whether it be general information, business location, product, local, regional or global. Want good search results you have to be really skilled at searching, surely everyone has not missed the typical web cartoon of the skilled user watching a noob every so painfully slowly going through a web search spending half an hour over what should have taken a few minutes.

Reality is to keep search search simple you have to make it slightly more complex. Which means different types of search apps for different styles of searches ie directly searching wikepedia for general information or IMDB for movie and TV program info etc. Either that or shifting to complex phrase based searching, where you type in a complete question which is parsed into more accurately defining your search, take of course means training users into typing much more hard on a phone. Specialised search apps seem much more realistic, so you hit the search button and then choose from a logical subset of search types and or localities before entering your query.

Re:exactly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37996768)

There is a non-trivial divide between Android and the rest of Google. It's a big company with fiefdoms. Just because one fiefdom knows how to do search, doesn't mean all fiefdoms automatically benefit.

Right, but.. (1)

Superken7 (893292) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950192)

Right, but I think the motivation here is greatly exaggerated. The search is only "broken" (if you can call it that) when doing search from the phone. Fire up the android market website and it gets much better. I recall reading somewhere that the market now uses google's search for providing search results, maybe someone can confirm (or refute) this.

So what will happen to all those companies if google flips a switch tomorrow and all phones provide better search results?
Also, keep in mind that there are not many apps, as in there are 1M apps for any app store. It's not like you have a lot of quality results to show like when you search the web.

Re:Right, but.. (1)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950410)

> So what will happen to all those companies if google flips a switch tomorrow and all phones provide better search results?

They would have long sold out to someone and the founders moved on to something else.

Re:Right, but.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37950636)

Bullshit, search on the web Android Market works exactly the same as the search on the phone. Search restaurant guide on the web market, your top result is the US Army Survival Guide. And the relatively small search index makes it less excusable what a piss poor job Google does on Android Market search. And no, I'm not an Apple fanboy, I own a Droid2 and will probably upgrade to the Droid RAZR, I have no interest in the iPhone. I'm just fed up with how painful it is to find something on the Android Market that isn't on one of the Top Lists.

Re:Right, but.. (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951136)

Amazingly enough you can "google" off your pc find the app name and then enter it EXACTLY into the search engine on your phone and walla. I am totally behind this is not how it should be at all, but is it worth bitching about? No.

Might help keep the nasty apps off your phone too as there's user reviews and such out there.

Re:Right, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37950790)

It might get better in the browser on the desktop. However, at work the stupid market thinks we speak / read Spanish. Our web proxies are in Northern California (as are our offices), yet it thinks we use Spanish. I can go home (38 miles from work) and it uses English. But since Google insists on showing the market in the language it "thinks" is correct for your IP address it doesn't work for quite a few people. I can't search in Spanish. I wish I could - but as an "American" I only speak one language (and honestly wish I spoke more).

Re:Right, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37952062)

Hey shitbrain, there's a language selection dropdown at the bottom of every single Android Market page. Try changing it to English. Better yet, log in, then change it English, and it will stay that way.

What do you expect? (1)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950216)

First-generation search engines such as AltaVista â" built when the Web had only a few hundred thousand sites â" produced notoriously goofy and spam-prone results. Well, when you search the Android Market for 'restaurant guide' and the top result is the U.S. Army Survival Guide, it begins to seem like we haven't come very far.

Why would one expect anything different in a civilization where knowledge (like search engine algorithms) is legally locked away indefinitely from the rest of mankind?

Re:What do you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37950290)

Who is using a proprietary search algorithm? Google's Page Rank algorithm is patented, which is admittedly evil; but it will eventually expire. It's also not "closed" in the sense that we don't know how it works.

Re:What do you expect? (0)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950394)

So even though the source is closed it's not really "closed" because you know the basics about how it works? The mental gymnastics you Google fanbois go through to defend them art all costs is hilarious.

Re:What do you expect? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950630)

So even though the source is closed it's not really "closed" because you know the basics about how it works? The mental gymnastics you Google fanbois go through to defend them art all costs is hilarious.

So much truth. I guess .doc isn't really closed either, huh?

Re:What do you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37950322)

How about inventing your own search engine algorithm?

Re:What do you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37950760)

Because I would have thought that the android market, unlike the rest of mankind, would probably have access to the key

apt-cache search and grep (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950234)

That's all I need on my N900

Re:apt-cache search and grep (1, Interesting)

SharkLaser (2495316) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950260)

apt and yum are horrible for searching if you don't know the name. And usually Linux programs have horrible names that tell nothing about the program. So, in the end you're going to be Binging it anyway.

Re:apt-cache search and grep (2)

dorre (1731288) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950324)

Binging it anyway.

First time I heard Bing used as a verb. This surely must be a great moment for Microsoft!

Re:apt-cache search and grep (-1, Offtopic)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950326)

Oh, you're actually a troll. That actually makes me feel better. Your lulz are well-deserved sir.

(See also: spacing and capitalization of Nintendo handhelds)

Re:apt-cache search and grep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37950716)

Oh, you're actually a troll. That actually makes me feel better. Your lulz are well-deserved sir.

(See also: spacing and capitalization of Nintendo handhelds)

Well, yes, agreed, he is, but I find your statement very ironic coming from an N900 Persecution Complex poster child. We weren't talking about the N900, the N900 only has the crappy apt system of "searching" for programs, and we still don't care about the N900 even after all this time. Why did you decide to try to shoehorn it into this discussion?

Re:apt-cache search and grep (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37950830)

Whoosh.

Re:apt-cache search and grep (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950342)

That's why you don't just search the name.

[brendan@computer ~]$ pacman -Ss web browser
extra/arora 0.11.0-2 [0.69 MB]
        A cross platform web browser built using Qt and WebKit
extra/epiphany 3.2.1-1 [3.44 MB] (gnome)
        A GNOME web browser based on the WebKit rendering engine.
extra/epiphany-extensions 3.2.0-1 [0.84 MB]
        Various extentions for the Epiphany web browser
extra/firefox 7.0.1-1 [11.45 MB]
        Standalone web browser from mozilla.org ... etc

Re:apt-cache search and grep (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950816)

Same for yum:

$yum search web browser
dillo.i686 : Very small and fast GUI web browser
epiphany.i686 : Web browser for GNOME
firefox.i686 : Mozilla Firefox Web browser
seamonkey.i686 : Web browser, e-mail, news, IRC client, HTML editor
arora.i686 : A cross platform web browser
elinks.i686 : A text-mode Web browser

Re:apt-cache search and grep (1)

Rhodri Mawr (862554) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950360)

"Binging it?" Do add yourself to your list of shills. I'm sure you're already on GameBoyRMH's list...

App search is one of the long list of things that, whilst not perfect on the N900, is a hell of a lot better than anything Android, Apple or Microsoft have offered so far.

Re:apt-cache search and grep (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950442)

So, in the end you're going to be Binging it anyway.

If you keep on binging yourself, you'll go blind. You need to get a GF...

Revisionist History (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37950298)

AltaVista, from 1995 to late 1998, provided perfectly acceptable search results that you would be unlikely to find substantially different than the quality of Google's results today. While the speed of the search was slower than Google's today, and it lacked the contextual searching that Google has integrated in the last several years (UPS tracking numbers, weather, calculator, Google Shopping, etc.) results could hardly have been described as goofy or spam-prone. AltaVista also provided a number of advanced search options (such as the NEAR boolean) that it took Google a decade to catch up with.

That all went away when AltaVista was sold to CMGI, and the quality of search degraded radically. AltaVista became a shadow of its former, Google-like self. While AltaVista at any time in the aughts was a laughable alternative to Google, the first few years of AltaVista - in terms of layout and quality of search - were in many ways more Googly than Google, and was clearly the service that Google was aspiring to be when they started.

Re:Revisionist History (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950454)

That may just be a result of other search engines being more popular among non-geeks that are also easier to game.

Re:Revisionist History (2)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950470)

There was an overlapping window when i would use Google for most searches, but switch back to Alta Vista whenever i wanted to be able to search for an exact word/phrase including punctuation. Eventually Alta Vista dropped the ability to handle punctuation (maybe at the time of the CMGI sale? I dunno) and i pretty much stopped using Alta Vista from that point on.

Re:Revisionist History (1)

ShavedOrangutan (1930630) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950536)

Google makes a good browser home page because it loads quickly and isn't distracting (unlike Yahoo, for example). I've never found the results to be any more useful than the next search engine.

Re:Revisionist History (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951530)

the real reason for me at least to start using google was that every other search engine turned in to a FUCKING PORTAL.

which is what some guys at google probably want to do. they were hired to do it, so they try to push the agenda.

Re:Revisionist History (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951780)

About:blank makes an even better home page. Provided you have a search bar on your browse, as I think they all do now, there's no reason to have any page load up by default.

Re:Revisionist History (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37952238)

Or, you know, the absolutely guaranteed to be there http://localhost/ .

Re:Revisionist History (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37953810)

Maybe I missed the joke... But since when is a local web server absolutely guaranteed to be there?

Re:Revisionist History (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37955836)

There is actually a minimalist Yahoo! search homepage, which few seem to know about: http://search.yahoo.com/

Re:Revisionist History (2)

aix tom (902140) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951976)

One feature from that old AltaVista I still miss today:

The search for two or more words that were NEAR another (inside 10 or 20 words of each other if I remember correctly).

For those times you know 2-3 words of a phrase/product/code fragment etc... but don't know the exact phrase.

Google 'won' with porn and warez (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37961650)

Altavista was trying to sell computers running altavista. They were succeeding quite a bit for the young industry. However, altavista cleaned up their results. google gave people what they wanted till they crushed the competition in usage, then cleaned up some. It has always been the working search formula and why sites like Baidu are winning of google (all the piracy downloads they directly link to). It is also why google quit china as they couldn't compete. They key to winning search is always giving beter results, it is easier to do without censoring.

It works good. (1)

rwv (1636355) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950404)

I give this search engine two thumbs up. I tried it for searches which included "puzzle games", "bird games", "anger games", and "pig revenge game". The later searches target the actual title of the games more than the "niche categories" but nonetheless produced interesting results. Lo and behold - there are no less than 3 Angry Birds knockoff games where (get this) the Pigs take revenge against the Birds.

This seems much more useful than searching Google for "Best Android Puzzle Games" because those results tend to be very, very subjective.

Not impressed (1)

nis (81721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950414)

I searched for tablet news in the Android category. Neither pulse or newsr are on the first page of results, but the Google reader app which is a joke on the tablet is the second result. Maybe they should have categories for tablet apps and phone apps. It's not like google search is much better, because the results for "android tablet news app" just brings links to a bunch of top 10 stories and no links to individual apps. Google app market online has a pretty good result though for "tablet news."

not about Altavista (1)

Kunedog (1033226) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950480)

Why is Altavista mentioned in the title and the summary when this slashvertisement has nothing to do with them?

Re:not about Altavista (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951112)

Because, back when the web was New, AtlaVista was one of the few search engines around and it was pretty bad at it's job.

This is a play on the whole "so easy even a caveman could do it!" thing.

US Army Survival Guide ROCKS (4, Funny)

pseudorand (603231) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950524)

Stop hatin' all you haters! I HAVE the US Army Survival Guide app and it's the best. Talks all about how to watch the locals to see what's good to eat. Way more accurate that Zagats. Sounds to me like Google's app search is working just fine.

Re:US Army Survival Guide ROCKS (1)

optimism (2183618) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951162)

I HAVE the US Army Survival Guide app and it's the best.

LOL. "Army" and "Survival" are generally contradictory terms.

The British SAS survival guide is pretty damn good. So good, in fact, that the US Navy SEALs cribbed it. And you can probably find a copy in your local library. :)

Just as we'd expect? (1)

Dinghy (2233934) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950592)

"The top apps at Chomp for the search terms 'restaurant guide': Yelp, Urbanspoon, and Zagat, just as you'd expect."

I think you're confusing what we hope for with what we expect. Those are what we hope for, but the army survival guide really is what we expect from a search.

King of Search (5, Informative)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950608)

Google is the king of search, and Android can't search for files by filename.
If you have a ringtone named "smw.mp3" on your phone, you can't find it by searching for Mario.mp3.
You can't find it by searching for smw
You can't find it by searching for *.mp3.

You can find it by searching for certain metadata (ID3 tags in this case).
"Super Mario World" might return a hit. "Koji Kondo" might return a hit.

If you want to search for files by something as bizarre as their fucking file name, you have to use a 3rd party application, or just mount the fucking SD card in your computer.

Of course, MS isn't much better with Windows Vista and 7 - shit takes ages to search non-indexed locations even if you have a pair of SSDs in RAID 0 and specifically use the file: filter to search for a specific file name only. And it'll take about 8 years if you're searching a network location.

Re:King of Search (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37952440)

Can we get a coreutils port going here? find /sdcard -iname *mp3 ought to do the trick.

Re:King of Search (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#37953728)

Google is the king of search, and Android can't search for files by filename.

I actually can't really blame them for this, or Apple for that matter. Android is not geared towards traditional use of a filesystem. It is more similar to Apple's use in their apps in which the user doesn't actually see the filesystem. And rightfully so, the myriad of ignorant masses who've never used linux are typically bamboozeled by the directory structure.

This has lead to a general clusterfuck of data on the sdcard of Android devices. Apps typically make a folder and dump their crap in there and hope for the best. But at the same time they've also countered that through the media indexing system.

To put it another way, why would I need to search for a song's filename? I am looking for the song not the file right? Maybe I know the artists, the title, the album, or any other far more useful stuff than smw.mp3 which in a few weeks I may completely forget what it meant. You put these files anywhere on the sdcard and the phone will index them, if it's a picture it'll show up in the gallery, if it's a music file of whogivesadamn filetype it'll show up in the media player.

I actually really like this system with 2 major caveats:
1) It was a pain in the arse to get my head around coming from a traditional filesystem if you've been using one.
2) I can't for the life figure out how to get the Gallery to stop indexing album coverart in my music collection.

Loss of Flexibility (1)

rdnetto (955205) | more than 2 years ago | (#37955182)

The metadata system is effectively a directory structure where the names correspond to the different fields. They compensate for this rigidity with playlists, but that isn't quite enough sometimes.

The big problem with this system is that you don't always have ID3 info. The non-technical user lacks the ability to modify their ID3 tags, or has them set incorrectly by an automated mechanism which misidentifies the piece. This is to say nothing of unusual formats which can be played via an addin, but don't get indexed properly. (e.g. Windows Media Player can't read FLAC tags) The problem is even worse for video, which usually lacks such tags (I don't even know if the major formats support it.)

I had a song I liked which I got off some guy's site about 10 years ago and had absolutely no idea where it came from (and neither did he). (It was instrumental, so no lyrics to search for.) I only found it's origin a few years ago on a geocities archive. For something like that, filename is the only thing you have. While it might be unusual, you can bet that people have their own names for songs. e.g. Axel F is best known as 'the crazy frog'.

What we need is an indexing system which supplements the conventional model. By all means build the indexing right into it so that there's no need to search for new files to add to the database, but don't force the user to effectively dump all their files in the one directory and rely on the ID3 tags.

Re:Loss of Flexibility (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957164)

It's not forced, it's just the default presentation, and computer operating systems are heading the exact same way.

Windows XP (or earlier?) with the hiding of file extensions. Windows Vista with the introduction of User Libraries as a storage system for user data. Windows Media Player 9, iTunes, and many similar media players all scan your drives for music and then add them to their own library meaning you don't typically go back to your file system to play stuff. We're in a metadata world now. I don't think you can legitimately download music anywhere without correct metadata applied. Even when you rip CDs most programs auto magically look up the CDDB database for the tags.

The only thing that is left behind are your examples. The old music, and the niche file formats. And for them there is always the ability to go to the directory structure. Android phones don't ship with much but they are capable. The media player while there is no ability to open up a file explorer and select a specific mp3 from a specific directory can still correctly play a file it is pointed to from outside, which can be done by one of the many file manager applications available for Android like ES File Explorer (which also has a search function you're after) :-)

I agree it sucks that the device doesn't ship completely versatile out of the box, but this is the method of introducing change in the IT world. You make the change and "hide" the old way of doing it and provide power users the ability to go back. Or you force change an polarise the public ala Apple

Re:Loss of Flexibility (1)

rdnetto (955205) | more than 2 years ago | (#37958288)

I don't think you can legitimately download music anywhere without correct metadata applied. Even when you rip CDs most programs auto magically look up the CDDB database for the tags.

It's not so much an issue with downloaded music as with ripped music, which is the case for more obscure stuff. The CDDB database lookup was the issue I referred to when I noted that it doesn't always get it right. Also, let's not forget that the vast majority of music in existence is old music, or that FLAC is the most popular lossless format.

There's also a problem with tags which use non-latin alphabets, like j-pop. The right tags for those consist entirely of characters impossible or extremely difficult to type on a conventional keyboard. I would concede that this is a much more niche issue though, if there's a native Japanese version of Android with a suitable keyboard.

Jsut use the right Boolean Operator (1)

Sir Holo (531007) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950674)

FTA sounds like a default OR search, which gives you morehits with more search terms. Set the default to AND and much of the noise can be avoided.

Re:Jsut use the right Boolean Operator (1)

16384 (21672) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950858)

Google used to be an AND sort of search engine, but nowadays I find myself adding " " and + signs to get what I want...

Re:Jsut use the right Boolean Operator (1)

nick357 (108909) | more than 2 years ago | (#37950928)

+ doesn't work with google any more. The worlds gone to hell in a handcart.

Re:Jsut use the right Boolean Operator (2)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951492)

for all that google has on personalisation.. they still don't have the one killer feature: a global banlist of words you could set which would score the results down if the words appeared.

why is it useful? you can weed out an entire linkfarm by some single guy by just removing links that have his affiliate links.

Re:Jsut use the right Boolean Operator (1)

Paul1969 (1976328) | more than 2 years ago | (#37955612)

Plus you can rid yourself forever of any site that mentions Justin Bieber or Lindsay Lohan. This one single act has been shown to increase IQ by 20%.

Re:Jsut use the right Boolean Operator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37950936)

At least Altavista used to have working boolean expressions (AND, OR, NOT, NEAR...). Google won by getting better results out of simple queries but they also made complex queries impossible. And nowadays altavista.com is simply a frontend for Bing, which uses similar technology to Google.

I remember AltaVista fondly. . . (1)

fortfive (1582005) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951028)

It was pretty awesome until Yahoo bought it. Also babelfish.

Re:I remember AltaVista fondly. . . (1)

Cochonou (576531) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951188)

I don't remember that the Altavista of its time being more prone to return "spam" results than the Google of nowadays (crawling a much bigger web).

The other day... (1)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951316)

I was looking at the wikipedia page for web search engine [wikipedia.org] and looking at the timeline along the right; i didnt recognize a single one on there after 1999.

We can start measuring internet time in Before Google and After Google i think.

Re:The other day... (1)

quacking duck (607555) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951762)

I remember reading about a episode of The OC where they actually used A9.com as a verb ("I'll a9.com it" or some similar nonsense), in response to Google getting verb'ed. Even reading about it made me cringe at how pathetic the attempt was, and frankly "I'll Bing it" isn't far behind.

Re:The other day... (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#37952162)

I was looking at the wikipedia page for web search engine [wikipedia.org] and looking at the timeline along the right; i didnt recognize a single one on there after 1999.

We can start measuring internet time in Before Google and After Google i think.

That must be down to MS's bad marketing, if you didn't recognize Bing....

Almost as bad as Google .... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951488)

... with their annoying auto complete feature. Start typing something into the search box and it grabs the first few letters, finds something in its paid ad words database (no doubt) and pastes it in over what I was typing. If I'm in a hurry, I get something completely unrelated to what I wanted.

It makes me want to turn off JavaScript.

BS. AltaVista was good! (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951760)

You just hat to do logical expression search. Bit it had things work well that Google does not have, for example the "near" keyword.

not so fast, yo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37953094)

Yeah, so - I installed this app because of this post. I load it up. Right in the center there is some feature of "flight simulators." I like flying games, so I click on it. The category was loaded with spam apps. Really? At first glance the software is crap and actually has the problems highlighted in this post!

full disclosure? (1)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 2 years ago | (#37953862)

San Francisco-based Chomp is one of the companies trying to fix mobile app search and discovery by leapfrogging Apple, Google, and the other app store providers. Founder and CEO Ben Keighran, creator of the once-hugely-popular Bluepulse text messaging system for Java phones, says the company plumbs the app stores, the Web, Twitter, and other sources to distill accurate keywords ('appwords') for each app. The top apps at Chomp for the search terms 'restaurant guide': Yelp, Urbanspoon, and Zagat, just as you'd expect."

so ... /. is free advertising for startups now? anyone excited to hear the Ben Keighran is the author of text messaging system for java phones? are we impressed?

if they can fool anyone into funding them, good for them. they are providing a service that you have to think google can and will solve in milliseconds.

We're going backwards :( (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | more than 2 years ago | (#37954678)

Honestly, we're going backwards insofar as searching goes. For god's fucking sake, almost 15 years ago, we could do things like proximity searches (only count matches if the words are within N words of each other) and brute-force exact matches of things that would otherwise be stopwords (you know, sequences of words that are individually meaningless and background noise, but refer to something interesting when taken as an exact literal string that has to match verbatim).

My first memory of Google was disbelief that it couldn't even handle a search for something like "AT&T" or "C++" without barfing up results that had nothing to do with either one.

Wacky iOS Google Maps results (1)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | more than 2 years ago | (#37955226)

Is this like how searching for Macaroni Grill in Abilene, TX brings up a single Macaroni Grill in Seatle, WA on my iPhone? I know there are at least 2 that are within 200 miles but it insists on showing me the one in Northern Seatle, 2000 miles away!

Yahoo! have a specialised 'app' search (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37955862)

http://apps.search.yahoo.com/

This company will be toast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37956018)

as soon as google spends a bit of time sorting out their marketplace search, which you'd imagine would be quite easy for them.

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