Strong opinions, weakly held

The ways people use search engines

Marco Arment lists the ways people use search engines and talks about how spam has taken over each of them. I think his categories of search types are pretty accurate and agree completely that spammers are systematically taking over each of them. I find that going to Amazon or other trusted retailers and looking for reviews is much more useful than looking for product information on Google these days. I also find that I use site: searches more than I ever have before. Trusting Google to return results for the whole Web just isn’t very effective any more.


  1. I can’t remember a time I ever used search engines for product reviews. I used epinions, then Amazon, and Ask Metafilter as starting point but for in depth information it’s always better to find a specific website or community dedicated to that product (e.g. Tomshardware, DPReview). Google was and still is a useful gateway to find those specific sites.

    Incidentally if you search for the exact terms stated as examples on that blog post, the top few results are very relevant so I’m not sure what the problem is. If results 11-360,000 are spam I don’t care in most cases.

  2. I have switched to http://duckduckgo.com/

    I tried all the examples in the post you linked to and the first or second results were the relevant ones.

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