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What's Wacky with Google?

jamie posted more than 10 years ago | from the figure-it-out dept.

The Internet 619

There are always going to be oddities with any big online service, but this one seems to be persisting. Join the discussion in trying to figure out a pattern. For maybe a week, Google has been returning zero results or "1-1 of about xxx,000" for common searches. One-word searches seem unaffected, but there are certain two-word combinations of common words like candle truck or speaker bracelet. Reversing the order can affect searches too: motorcycle candles vs. candles motorcycle. The strange thing is that usually the 1 or 2 results found are to commerce sites. Read the Search Basics, compare your notes to GoogleWhack's, have fun looking for patterns, but remember that Google always returns slightly different results for different IP numbers.

(Update: 13:56 GMT by J : When I first posted this story it said the problems have been occurring "for several weeks at least" -- but it seems to be more like one week.)

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619 comments

OMG (-1, Troll)

akedia (665196) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143069)

G00GLE IS TEH WACK0RZ LOLZ

Re:OMG (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7143199)

There are many homos in the colored rainbow...don't be afraid to let your homo shine!

Macuser!

yep (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7143070)

fp!!

What's Wacky with Google? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7143073)

The terbacky.

Turd Furgeson (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7143074)

First Post in the name of Turd Furgeson

Question (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7143075)

Candle Truck?

Man! (5, Funny)

jeffkjo1 (663413) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143076)

I am so glad someone else noticed this!!! I've been so pissed I haven't been able to get any speaker bracelets recently. God google... forcing me to use other search engines to get my fix.

Re:Man! (4, Funny)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143095)

And I've been trying to get rid of several pallets full of candles I've got sitting around the house, but haven't been able to find a truck suitable for the job. I need to get these out into the market, since I went to all that trouble to install RFID tags on each one...

Re:Man! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7143118)

The solution to both of your problems: eBay! [ebay.com]

Re:Man! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7143140)

But at least you can still get a truck bracelet [motorheadjewelry.com].

Re:Man! (3, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143212)

Ah, and I just thought they'd stopped making them or something.

I need a new motorcycle candle. The old just keeps blowing out.

KFG

I for one am outraged at google! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7143083)

When I type my name in google it says, "did you mean Dark McBride? [google.de]

-- Darl

Re:I for one am outraged at google! (1)

DarkSarin (651985) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143101)

no it says: Meinten Sie: dark mcbride
strange thing is that it's not even real words...

[for the humor impaired I know what german looks like....]

FP? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7143087)

hips!

Deja vu? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7143088)

It's just a glitch in The Matrix, of course.

Forget patterns! (1)

_Sexy_Pants_ (703751) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143089)

I'd rather go and find the phrases that make google go freak out. I'm off to go try Dinosaur Cerebellum

This reminds me... (1)

Xentax (201517) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143090)

...of that point in time where people were trying to come up with two word searches that resulted in exactly one result.

The company I was with at the time must have lost a few hundred man hours of productivity to THAT little fad.

Xentax

Re:This reminds me... (2, Informative)

rudiger (35571) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143119)

it was called googlewhacking [google.com].

Re:This reminds me... (1)

UrgleHoth (50415) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143187)

Here is an example of a googlewhack that I found at least a year ago which is still one:
pontificates+glacially [google.com]

Usually, when a googlewhack is posted, it is no longer a googlewhach, hence their rarity.

Re:This reminds me... (1)

Xentax (201517) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143240)

Usually, when a googlewhack is posted, it is no longer a googlewhach, hence their rarity.

Hmm...but have you posted one on Slashdot before?

Xentax

Re:This reminds me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7143164)

its called "googlewhacking". its the subject of the article.

idiot

It still can't do phrase searches (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7143092)

It still cannot do phrase searches:

"to be or not to be" produces a 20% error rate on the first page of hits.

Someone told me that this is OK, since Google is producing pages that are linked FROM pages containing "to be or not to be", instead of pages actually containing the phrase. What a cockamamy way to run a search engine. Altavista, a thing of the past, had its problems, but at least it could do phrase searches accurately.

I also keep getting searches where Google tells me that it could not be bothered to produce correct results, so it excluded certain words from the sentence, and I have to try again with a + in front of the words. Well, Google, I wanted those words in the first place, which is why I included them in the phrase.

Is 100% accurate matching results to a phrase search too much to ask for a search engine?

Re:It still can't do phrase searches (5, Informative)

Xentax (201517) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143170)

At the risk of making you look bad, for phrase searches you have to put the phrase in quotes.

For example, I searched for "to be or not to be" phrase origin [google.com], and got what I consider to be useful results.

YMMV, of course.

Xentax

At the risk of making you look bad.... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7143194)

I always put phrase searches in quotes.

Links 8 and 10 in the results might be useful, but they do not contain the exact phrase I was searching for.

Re:It still can't do phrase searches (1)

Sage Gaspar (688563) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143188)

I dunno, when I enter in "to be or not to be," including the quotes, I get a pageful of results, all including the phrase "to be or not to be." Hmm...

The two bad results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7143245)

The two bad results are:

"2Bee or Nottoobee"

"tobeornottobe"

I spelled the words the way I wanted in the search, and placed the spaces where I wanted them. Is it too much to ask to have it search for what I asked for?

This is just one example: I have the sloppy results mess up my searches for other useful phrases (such as computer error messages) all the time.

Re:It still can't do phrase searches (1)

martingunnarsson (590268) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143218)

I really HATE that you can't get Google to search for an exact word. Yes, it is a good feature, but it should be up to the user to search for similar words/spellings or not.

Re:It still can't do phrase searches (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7143239)

I've had good luck doing phrase searching. I usually search for semi-obscure song titles or lyrics. I'd guess the usefullness is inversely related to how common the phrase is though.


Alltheweb.com also does phrase searching. You could compare them to google.

Re:It still can't do phrase searches (5, Funny)

gilroy (155262) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143242)

Blockquoth the poster:

Is 100% accurate matching results to a phrase search too much to ask for a search engine?

Um, yeah. Actually, I don't know what you're talking about. Entering the phrase "to be or not to be" -- with quotes, so as to indicate you want the phrase, not just the collection of words -- yielded the first two pages of results all having that phrase. Not all of them were for pages on Shakespeare, but then again, that phrase is now deeply buried in the common memespace. If you make the search phrase

"to be or not to be" Shakespeare

you do indeed get results with the phrase and exclusively referring to Shakespeare. Oh, I get it. You don't like the idea you need to actually construct a reasonable search phrase. You're mad that Google isn't, I don't know, telepathic. Your best bet is the SFWIWNFWIS search engine -- search for what I want, not for what I say.

You forgot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7143256)

that Google is made by geeks for geeks.
The correct search phrase would be:

"0x2b||!0x$2b"

OK, admit it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7143093)

This story was only posted to throw off the search counters for individual users on google...wasn't it?? ;)

Slashdotted, Article Text below (-1)

Article Text Troll (704297) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143094)

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- The California gubernatorial recall election is less than a day away and the crystal ball reading California's future is anything but clear.

Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger still leads in opinion polls but his numbers have slipped in the wake of sexual harassment claims made against him in the past few days.

A Knight-Ridder/NBC poll released Sunday still had 54 percent saying they would vote to oust Governor Gray Davis, while 41 percent said they oppose recalling him. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

But the poll -- taken Wednesday through Saturday -- showed support for the recall slipping after the accusations against Schwarzenegger emerged.

Among replacement candidates, Schwarzenegger drew the support of 37 percent of voters surveyed; Democrat Cruz Bustamante had 29 percent; and Republican Tom McClintock, 15 percent.

Bustamante said his internal polls show both he and Davis gaining ground.

Voters in California face a two-part ballot in Tuesday's recall. The first part asks them whether they want to remove Davis, a Democrat who won a second term last November, from office; the second includes a list of 135 possible replacements.

Schwarzenegger aides blame Davis team for leaks
Schwarzenegger's campaign blamed Davis for allegations that the actor-bodybuilder groped numerous women during his career, while Davis called on Schwarzenegger to rebut the reports "in detail."

In an interview with ABC, taped Saturday and aired Sunday, Schwarzenegger called those allegations "campaign trickery."

But The Los Angeles Times reported in its Sunday editions that four more women have come forward with stories of Schwarzenegger grabbing their breasts or buttocks in alleged incidents between 1979 and 2000, bringing to 15 the total number of women who have raised such complaints. (Full story)

In a written statement, Davis said Schwarzenegger "needs to address these charges in detail, not in evasive language and partial denials."

The allegations, if true, are very disturbing, Davis said Sunday night on CNN's "Larry King Live." "We're talking about seriously mistreating 15 women in situations which in some cases it truly would be a crime.

"So clearly, these disturb people. We've not heard a forthright response from him. There have been some evasions, occasionally an apology, occasionally a denial, and the question gets down to this: Are all 15 of these women lying? Or is Arnold Schwarzenegger not telling us the truth?"

Schwarzenegger appeared at the end of a four-day bus tour at a rally in Sacramento, standing before a backdrop of women and girls holding "Join Arnold" signs.

"We are here to clean house. We are here to sweep out the bureaucracy," he told supporters. "We are here to sweep out the special interests. And we are here, No. 1, to sweep out Gray Davis."

Schwarzenegger said Thursday that he originally considered his behavior "playful" but conceded that he "behaved badly" in the past, and apologized to any women whom he may have offended. (Full story)

In the interview with ABC, he said he could not respond to specific allegations.

"It doesn't make any sense to go through details here with you," he said. "What is important is that I cannot remember what was happening 20 years ago and 15 years ago. But some of the things sound like me."

He said no one ever objected to his behavior before. "Now, all of a sudden, isn't it odd that three days and four days before the campaign, all of a sudden all these women want to have an apology?" he asked.

And a top Schwarzenegger campaign official tried to link the allegations to Davis' campaign Sunday.

"I believe that there are a number of these people who have had close political ties to the Democratic Party and to Gray Davis that are involved here," California Republican Rep. David Dreier, Schwarzenegger's campaign co-chairman, told CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer."

The Austrian-born Schwarzenegger also has had to deal with excerpts from a book proposal in which he reportedly said he admired Hitler. The actor -- who has raised millions of dollars for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which seeks to preserve the memory of the Holocaust -- has vehemently denied making any such statements and said he has nothing but "disdain" for the Nazi leader. (Full story)

The center's founder, Rabbi Marvin Hier, told CNN last month that Schwarzenegger, whom he's known for 24 years, has "never demonstrated any bigotry and anti-Semitism. To the contrary, he's stood up for tolerance.

Dreier said Schwarzenegger and his bodybuilding companions chased neo-Nazis out of his hometown at age 17.

"People are angry about this, and the frustration level is so high," he said.

Democrats draw hope from private polls
On CNN's "Larry King Live," Davis said he believed voters will decide against recalling him.

"I believe these are fair-minded people in California. I trust them and I think they'll decide this recall is not in their best interest or the interest of their children."

"The recent tracking polls, private polls by [a couple of other] candidates, show this race closing dramatically. It's almost a dead-even race right now. And I believe all of the momentum is on our side."

Bustamante addressed several hundred labor union workers at a rally Sunday and called the latest allegations of sexual misconduct outrageous.

"These are not numbers," he said. "These are real people who are fearful of coming forward and to be harassed in your workplace. I just think it's outrageous."

The lieutenant governor has said Schwarzenegger's behavior could constitute a crime and that California authorities should investigate the allegations.

Davis raised similar questions Saturday, saying "some of those events are clearly a crime."

But Dreier called Rob Malda a "gaylicking asshole" and called the comment "one of the reasons that Californians are going to recall Gray Davis."

"They're trying to divert from the issue of Gray Davis' record -- tripling the car tax, allowing for undocumented immigrants to have drivers' licenses," he said.

And McClintock told CNN that he was "sorting through the facts, like everyone else."

"I think, ultimately, the people of California are going to have to make a simple decision over a question of character, with, again, a big caveat that these are charges that are coming up in the last days of the campaign," he said.

McClintock, a veteran lawmaker, has stayed in the race despite pressure from party leaders for Republicans to line up behind the more moderate Schwarzenegger.

But the California congressman said Sunday that voters "have a right to have a choice."

"If everybody who believes I'd do the best job actually votes for me, we will win in a landslide on Election Day," he said. "But don't vote somebody else's political calculations, vote your own personal convictions."

Candle Truck? Speaker bracelet?!?! (3, Interesting)

ejbst25 (130707) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143099)

What possesses someone to try such weird random words in google. Thats the real trick...google wrote an engine to amuse the crazy users.

Bug? (1)

maan (21073) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143103)

Unless Google is purposely doing this (which I highly highly doubt), this is typically called a bug...

If this is as widepsread as it seems to be, then it could be pretty bad. Testing for bugs is always difficult (and a pain), but I'm sure that testing new releases of the google search engine is very hard, especially for peculiar issues like this one.

Anyway, that's my 5 centimes.

Maan

Re:Bug? (1)

sosume (680416) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143258)

Its definitely not in the Dutch (localized) Google. I tried up to a hundred combo's ranging from commonly well used words to rare words. Trying it on Google intl does have strange results, though. My guess is that it's about common words that are *never* matched close to each other, and that the search engine has difficulty scoring these pages. Just a hunch.

Ads? (-1, Redundant)

ixt (463433) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143105)

Maybe google is doing this because a few companies paid for exclusive results for a string?

Corporate entity (3, Interesting)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143107)

That's why you can't trust google for anything critical. You are at their mercy, and if they choose to do biased, or screwed up searches, you either don't know, or can't do anything about it...

I propose an opensource web based search engine... No more weirdness, no more screwups, no more censorship!

That's nice and all but the code isn't the problem (1)

BoomerSooner (308737) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143156)

It's the hardware and bandwidth. As soon as an OC-3 is less than $8500/month I'll have one running to my house. Until then it's back to the drawing board.

Re:That's nice and all but the code isn't the prob (2, Interesting)

BigGerman (541312) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143237)

what if such OSS search engine is massively distributed?
Since by its nature search engine is not a transactional application, it can be effectively broken into thousands and thousands of semi independent pieces (just like real Google works now).
Anyone aware of Distributed Open Source Powered-by-people search engine project?

Re:Corporate entity (1)

F452 (97091) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143173)

I agree that a "web based" search engine would be the best kind.

Re:Corporate entity (1)

untaken_name (660789) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143230)

I agree that a "web based" search engine would be the best kind.

Once it's all built and such, you should add some of that 'html' to make it look better. I think web pages that use 'html' are the bestest.

Re:Corporate entity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7143189)

>I propose an opensource web based search engine...

The problem there is infrastructure and bandwidth. However, perhaps something based on P2P might help? (people could run the client on their computer, same thing as they currently do with seti@home and others)

Crazy idea or the real big bang idea for P2P? You decide...

Re:Corporate entity (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143197)

how about a P2P based service...it collects web pages visited by the person who installed it then when you do a search, it looks through the index available through the P2P system.

Open Source search engine (1)

rolux (99682) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143217)

I propose an opensource web based search engine... No more weirdness, no more screwups, no more censorship!

Given the commercial pressure on web search in general (Verisign, anyone?), the development of a working Open Source search engine is an absolutely critical task right now.

Even though I guess you will see *more* weirdness for quite some time, and i don't think anything Google has done so far is exactly "censorship".

Re:Corporate entity (1)

merlin_jim (302773) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143233)

I propose an opensource web based search engine...

I know you were joking but my mind took me on a flight of fancy on how an opensource search engine would work.

I'm thinking the only way you could do it economically (i.e. for free) would be to leverage a distributed computing client... use that p2p network that distributes documents throughout the network... and basically each document is an index for a particular word... use a random aggregate-avoiding algorithm to generate new indices, and run it on everyone's box at once. Then have a few merger machines that, when they find indices on the same search topic, merge the two documents and somehow remove the originals from the network.

Oh wait, just use the p2p network where document availability is based on usage... and have the search client look for merge documents first. Then you don't have to figure out how to remove the originals... the network will do it for you when their usage figures plummet...

I'm thinking this is doable (and fun!)

Re:Corporate entity (1)

Cooty (9783) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143247)

That would be nice, and it would be quite helpful too for information retrieval researchers who need to get under the hood.

But hosting a good search engine for the web requires an absurd amount of nice hardware. Plus you really need that hardware as you develop, or else you won't be sure your code will scale well.

Add to that the fact that Google is quite good at what it does, and is free... it makes it quite difficult to launch the project you describe. Anyone have ideas on how to support a project like that?

Google Zeitgeist (4, Funny)

Karamchand (607798) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143109)

I am sure the next Google Zeitgeist [google.com] will show numerous searches for candle truck or speaker bracelet in October 2003. And nobody at Google will have an explanation for this ;-)

Re:Google Zeitgeist (5, Funny)

Monofilament (512421) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143161)

quiet fool! .. you've uncovered the true plot behind this slashdot posting.

No longer will we /. sites to take them down .. we will effect data mining for common searches on the internet.

Long live the Speaker Bracelet

The same words in quotes show more hits ... (5, Interesting)

media_Assassin (176375) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143115)

Check out this [google.com] - all 25 hits on the quoted words "candle truck" should be showing up in the non-quoted search ...

Re:The same words in quotes show more hits ... (0)

Zerikai (645450) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143176)

And if you search for truck candle instead you get 4 results, and the usual link to show the 'omitted results'... Anyone compared to what other engines are returning back?

One of the hits (4, Funny)

Faust7 (314817) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143225)

Not wanting to kill anybody, we wait until the last two guys wander up to the candle truck.

I prefer not to even click on that one, and just speculate.

Re:The same words in quotes show more hits ... (1)

sirmob (701496) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143229)

I'm not sure what you mean - on the bottom of the second page it gave the message

"In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 13 already displayed."

There are, in fact, "about 25 entries", but the search engine decided that 13 of them were very very similar to the 13 that they showed you, and decided to not show them, though they gave the option to see them here [google.com]

Clicking THAT link does lead to something very interesting. You would expect for there to be about 25, or in reality exactly 13 (displayed) + 13 (omitted) = 26. However, the FIRST page reports 62 hits, the second page reports 28, and the THIRD page shows 5 for a total of 25. Why can't google count within a single search???

maybe (4, Insightful)

SeXy_Red (550409) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143117)

Maybe it has something to do with the counter that was meantioned in a slashdot post earlyer today?

groups/deja is also acting up (4, Interesting)

Sabalon (1684) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143120)

for a few weeks, when I do a search on google groups, it'll come back with the results just fine - but when I click on the View Thread on a result, it tells me it can't display the thread and gives me a link to view that individual message. Then once that message comes up, I click on View Thread on that message, and up pops the whole thread, like it should have before.

Perhaps being on the top is getting to their CPU's :)

Re:groups/deja is also acting up (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7143163)

I've been seeing the same thing. At first I thought my browser but it did it in IE, Opera and Mozilla so it couldn't be the browser. I have also observed that it happens on different machines too.

Re:groups/deja is also acting up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7143184)

same here. Often, refreshing a few times fixes it.

Re:groups/deja is also acting up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7143246)

yeah, and I use to be able to search through alt.2600.crackz for any software crack or Serial and get it...now I get almost nothing, even on stuff I searched for with success before

Very bizarre results (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7143122)

"first post" - 50,000,000
"post first" - 53,000,000

This must mean something.

Searches no one would try (1, Funny)

Faust7 (314817) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143134)

For further reference, see George Carlin.

"As soon as I shove this hot poker..."

Oh, speaking of crazy searches (-1)

samurairas (666175) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143139)

Try "Popcorn Eyeglasses", "Puppy Helmet" or "Pandora Tomorrow". Cheers to Penny-Arcade.

What's wacky with Slashdot? (1)

jwjcmw (552089) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143141)

While I was checking out the links that were in this story, the story disappeared and then reappeared on the slashdot front page. Very odd. There must be a conspiracy afoot. I think we should spend a large amount of time dicussing this possiblity and trying to find other oddities on slashdot that might clue us in to what they are really trying to do with this site.

Re:What's wacky with Slashdot? (2, Interesting)

dcocos (128532) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143179)

I think it may take a while for the stories to move through the cluster (there is a cluster right) because when I first saw the story the link "Read More" told me that I couldn't view this page unless I was a subscriber. I clicked it a couple more times and the same thing, then I reloaded the first page and I could get through. Probably some kind of concurrency bug involving subscription auth and story posts.

Re:What's wacky with Slashdot? (5, Informative)

jamie (78724) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143223)

Since you asked :)

No, stories don't have to move through the cluster, and there's no concurrency bug. We have a front-end cluster of webheads but they all read from the same DBs. The only "moving through" is from our main DB to our replicated slave reader DBs, but they are typically only 0 to 1 seconds behind reality, so that's not an issue.

In this case, the problem was that Hemos and I were both editing the story at the same time. He added an icon and posted it at 9:36 EDT live, then I tweaked the text and posted it at 9:38 which was about 40 seconds in the future, then around 9:39 I went back and edited its time back to 9:36... so there were a few seconds there where the story went from front-page to subscriber-only and back.

The Slash backend is obviously too powerful for idiots like us :)

Google Whackiness (5, Informative)

BJZQ8 (644168) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143144)

Has anyone else noticed that the "spam" sort of sites that are nothing but link farms and Gator popups are getting much better at finding their way into Google's rankings? I switched to Google back in the day after search engines like altavista became overrun with such sites. Now I've noticed that they occasionally creep into their rankings...I guess entropy is the way of the universe after all.

Re:Google Whackiness (3, Informative)

singleantler (212067) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143207)

I think this is partly to do with the work they're trying on moving blogs back down the rankings, I've had higher rankings on some of my own sites than I expected recently.

The link farms do get caught, I know a local company that got their own and several customers sites banned for everything except the specific names of the companies. Sometimes it takes a while, so if you see something that you think is a link farm, mail them about it or post it in the relevent Google newsgroup, apparently they do check them and it helps them find people who are using nefarious means to get a high ranking.

Demand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7143148)

Soon, someone will see all the Slashdotters' queries for candle truck and start a business... destined to go the way of Enron, no doubt.

Don't trust those candletruckers - they don't play fair.

My results for "candle truck" (completely genuine) (1)

Faust7 (314817) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143151)

Big Red Candle Truck

back up the candle truck

The hardware store was forced to borrow a Colonial Candle truck

Not wanting to kill anybody, we wait until
the last two guys wander up to the candle truck.

scented candle truck accessories

yankee candle truck part

Haven't we forgotten the real victim...? (1)

Sage Gaspar (688563) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143152)

Bike Doc's Biker Java site has now been hopelessly googledotted as millions of potential novelty motorcyle-shaped candle owners are redirected towards an innocent vendor of coffee.

What gives you the right, Google? What gives you the right?!

definetly something fishy (0, Funny)

Eudial (590661) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143153)

Porn: Roughly 5 000 000 hits on google
Google: Roughly 70 000 000 hits on google.

Goolge is bigger than pr0n? Hmm, something _must_ be wrong.

Post Changing (1)

DaHat (247651) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143159)

Speaking of wackyness... I read this article, followed one of the links, hit the back button and the story was gone... 5 min later it was back, followed another link, hit the back button and the story had changed. Hit refresh again, and it changed yet again!

Another thing - what triggers the calculator? (4, Interesting)

fizbin (2046) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143174)

I realized the other day that although searching for 13 - 867 - 5309 [google.com] causes google to go into calculator mode, searching for 123 - 867 - 5309 [google.com] does not cause google to use calculator mode.

All sorts of odd things will both pull up an answer from google's calculator and also do a search - for example, searching for avogadros number [google.com] or hbar [google.com].

So why do searches that might fit US telephone conventions not trigger calculator? Is it because some design decision makes it impossible to trigger both calculator and their phone lookup service. (Yes kids, google is a reverse phone directory, albeit with old data)

Re:Another thing - what triggers the calculator? (2, Informative)

Vann_v2 (213760) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143205)

Perhaps because the second series of numbers has a first member with three digits. It looks like a US phone number.

Re:Another thing - what triggers the calculator? (1)

mekkab (133181) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143234)

So why do searches that might fit US telephone conventions not trigger calculator?

What does the recently created verb "to google" mean? It typically implies to "grep the web", not "dc on the web" ;) (big up my unix geeks!)

So if you REALLY NEED to use google calc to do that, add 100 + 23 + 867 + 5309

Also, I mean, come on! You are asking for JEnny's phone number! [snopes.com] (which, I got off the wall).

On Google buying Kaltix (2, Interesting)

jamie (78724) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143177)

By the way, for info on Google's purchase of the search engine Kaltix, check this controversial Register piece [theregister.co.uk] by Andrew Orlowski. It contains the highly suspect, matter-of-fact comment that "PageRank is now widely acknowledged to be broken," but if you take the PageRank speculation with a grain of salt it's an interesting read.

Canuck Ok (5, Interesting)

Malicious (567158) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143201)

For any who are interested, Google.ca is behaving correctly. All search results listed (that I've tried so far) from googlewack.com are working properly and returning 1-1 of 1, or displaying as they should.
I wish I could compare to google.com, but for the past year or so, google.com automatically forwards all canadian IP's to google.ca

PigeonRank (1)

mcbridematt (544099) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143202)

Nope. Their running out of Pigeons able to compute/peck complex searches.

On the other hand, when the internet gets slower, Google will probably start acting strange.

Google Sellout? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7143208)

I know personally when i've been searching google of late for things like home improvement how to's and the like such as bathtub refinishing it is linking to TONS of commercial sites selling products and service but hardly any online howto's or guides. Granted I realize maybe there just isn't much content for these topics but google seems to be selling out more and more to commercial links. I've also notice this although not nearly as much in looking for other things more and more and some of the searches are for things listings etc which could not likely have a commercial equivalent or likely reason to be on a commercial page.

What's wacky with slashdot? (3, Interesting)

daffmeister (602502) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143210)

Does anybody else see the story change? I'm getting two different versions if I reload. One with the additional lines:

"The order of words matters also, with motorcycle candle revealing different results to candle motorcycle."

"Read the Search Basics, compare your notes to GoogleWhack's"

and one without.

Complete text of the two versions are:

"There are always going to be oddities with any big online service, but this one seems to be persisting. Join the discussion in trying to figure out a pattern. For several weeks at least, Google has been returning zero results or "1-1 of about xxx,000" for common searches. One-word searches seem unaffected, but certain two-word combinations of common words like candle truck or speaker bracelet are affected. The strange thing is that usually the 1 or 2 results found are to commerce sites. Have fun looking for patterns but remember that Google always returns slightly different results for different IP numbers."

and

"There are always going to be oddities with any big online service, but this one seems to be persisting. Join the discussion in trying to figure out a pattern. For several weeks at least, Google has been returning zero results or "1-1 of about xxx,000" for common searches. One-word searches seem unaffected, but there are certain two-word combinations of common words like candle truck or speaker bracelet. Reversing the order can affect searches too: motorcycle candles vs. candles motorcycle. The strange thing is that usually the 1 or 2 results found are to commerce sites. Read the Search Basics, compare your notes to GoogleWhack's, have fun looking for patterns, but remember that Google always returns slightly different results for different IP numbers."

Strange.

another problem.. (1)

deego (587575) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143211)

Of late, when you search for something in google groups, and click on "view thread", it often shows "Cannot display thread"... very annoying :(

anyone else see this too?

Re:another problem.. (1)

ender- (42944) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143253)

Yes, I've been getting this fairly often.

I've found that if you go ahead and view the article, then from the article click 'view thread' it will then show you the thread.

Ender

COMMON searches? (3, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143216)

Ok, now I'm a guy who deals with audio equipment on a regular basis. This, of course, includes speakers. I have never, ever, heard of a speaker bracelet, and can't imagine why one would search for it.

Now this isn't to say that these people havn't perhaps discovered an interesting bug in Google, but trying to play it as a conspiracy for "common" search terms is bullshit. The terms listed are things that no normal person would EVER search for. Hell, they are terms that even someone involved with one of the terms would never search for. Bracelets have nothing to do with speakers. If Google was truly trying to push advertisers, well, they'd be doing a shitty job of it since only geeks with too much time on their hands would discover such things.

Give it a rest, the world is not out to get you. It's either a bug, or Google having some fun (something they are known to do). They are certinaly not trying to pimp a certian manufacturer of speaker bracelets, since such a thing is something that noone would know about, care about or want to own.

For regular searches, Google continues to work great.

"DejaGoogle" Google Groups was broken too (0, Redundant)

green pizza (159161) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143241)

groups.google.com was partially broken for most of last week... searches worked, but the links on the results page didn't. Browsing wasn't much better, many groups didn't even load.

speakerbracelet.com (3, Funny)

D4MO (78537) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143248)

Mwahhahahah!

1. Register speakerbracelet.com

2. Be the top 1 of 2 search results on google.

3. ????

4. Profit!

The real time search monitor (5, Funny)

martingunnarsson (590268) | more than 10 years ago | (#7143255)

I've read that there's a real time search monitor in the lobby of Google's HQ. The nastiest words are removed, but other than that you can se exactly what people are searching for.
They have to be pretty confused right now, when thousands of searches for speaker bracelets, motorcycle candles and candle trucks show up on the display!
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