Microsoft Offers To Break The Web In A Desperate Attempt To Get Somebody To Use Its Widely-Ignored Bing Search Engine

from the opportunistic-much? dept

One of the key battles surrounding the EU Copyright Directive involves the threshold at which upload filters will block the use of copyright material in things like memes and mashups. A year ago, Germany was proposing ridiculously tight restrictions: 128-by-128 pixel images, and three-second videos. Now, it is framing the issue in terms of uses that aren't "automatically" blocked by upload filters. The proposed limits here are 15 seconds of video or audio, 125K graphics, and 160 -- yes, 160 -- characters of text (original in German). Even these tiny extracts could be subsequently blocked by upload filters, depending on the circumstances.

The worsening situation over upload filters has obscured the other bad idea of the EU Copyright Directive: the so-called "link tax", which would require large Internet companies like Google to pay when they use even small amounts of news material. One worrying development in this area is that the idea has spread beyond the EU. As Techdirt reported, Australia is bringing in what amounts to a tax on Google and Facebook for daring to send traffic to legacy news organizations -- notably those of Rupert Murdoch. In July last year, the Australian government released a draft of what is now dubbed the "News Media Bargaining Code". One of the people arguing against the idea is Tim Berners-Lee (pdf):

Requiring a charge for a link on the web blocks an important aspect of the value of web content. To my knowledge, there is no current example of legally requiring payments for links to other content. The ability to link freely -- meaning without limitations regarding the content of the linked site and without monetary fees -- is fundamental to how the web operates, how it has flourished till present, and how it will continue to grow in decades to come.

He concludes: "If this precedent were followed elsewhere it could make the web unworkable around the world." This, indeed, is the danger here: if Australia and the EU go ahead with their plans, it is likely to become the norm globally, with serious consequences for the Internet as a whole.

In response, Google has threatened to pull out of Australia entirely. That's probably just part of its negotiating strategy. In a blog post from a couple of months ago, Mel Silva, VP for Google Australia & New Zealand, wrote: "we strongly believe that with the practical changes we've outlined [in the post], there is a path forward." Similarly, Australian's Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, is now talking of a "constructive" conversation with Google's CEO, Sundar Pichai. But that hasn't stopped Microsoft sensing an opportunity to make life harder for its rival in the online search market. Microsoft's President, Brad Smith, has published the following intervention:

Microsoft fully supports the News Media Bargaining Code. The code reasonably attempts to address the bargaining power imbalance between digital platforms and Australian news businesses. It also recognises the important role search plays, not only to consumers but to the thousands of Australian small businesses that rely on search and advertising technology to fund and support their organisations. While Microsoft is not subject to the legislation currently pending, we'd be willing to live by these rules if the government designates us.

And here's why it "fully supports" this misguided link tax:

Microsoft will ensure that small businesses who wish to transfer their advertising to Bing can do so simply and with no transfer costs. We recognise the important role search advertising plays to the more than two million small businesses in Australia.

We will invest further to ensure Bing is comparable to our competitors and we remind people that they can help, with every search Bing gets better at finding what you are looking for.

That is, in a desperate attempt to get someone to use its still largely-ignored search engine Bing, Microsoft is apparently willing to throw the Web under the bus. It's an incredibly short-sighted and selfish move. Sure, it's legitimate to want to take advantage of a rival's problems. But not to the extent of causing serious harm to the very fabric of the Web, the hyperlink.

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Filed Under: australia, bing, competition, google tax, link tax, links, news
Companies: google, microsoft


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  1. identicon
    Bobvious, 4 Feb 2021 @ 12:47pm

    Step One - Embrace

    While Microsoft is not subject to the legislation currently pending, we'd be willing to live by these rules if the government designates us.

    Microsoft will ensure that small businesses who wish to transfer their advertising to Bing can do so simply and with no transfer costs.

    Of course we could always troll them - "we remind people that they can help, with every search Bing gets better at finding what you are looking for. " Anyone who has access to Bing should send it a crapflood of search requests for Google (Or Netscape), or Jimmy Hoffa's body.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Feb 2021 @ 1:15pm

    with every search Bing gets better at finding what you are looking for

    People must’ve been searching for a hell of a lot of porn, then, because Bing Video is exceptionally good at finding that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    crade (profile), 4 Feb 2021 @ 1:30pm

    You've got it all wrong.. Microsoft and google are in cahoots on this and M saying "hey you can always use bing" is part of google's negotiating strategy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2021 @ 1:32pm

    Basically, the entertainment industries, or oarts of it, at work again! The aim has always been and still is to take complete control of the internet as it's the best media distrbution method devised to date. The problem being it is too good and the industries missed the bus! They want all yhe earnings the 'net can give them but they want it all and for no one else to have any!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    crade (profile), 4 Feb 2021 @ 1:48pm

    Re:

    News orgs are more sad than the music and movie guys.
    They want things to go back to how they were before.. Before communication was instant. News travels too fast now, but unlike the others they know it doesn't "belong" to them so they can't keep people from repeating it completely.. Someone is still needed to do the journalism, but not really for the dissemination anymore which is where they made their money. They are lost.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 4 Feb 2021 @ 2:23pm

    Have at it boys and girls

    If Microsoft is willing to pay for links then it sounds like any newspaper or site should feel free right now to send invoices for being listed on Bing, at which point Microsoft either pays out or they show that they were lying.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    Norahc (profile), 4 Feb 2021 @ 2:44pm

    If Microsoft gets their way, they should be required to change Bing to Bong so we can all sing, "Bing Bong the web is dead."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2021 @ 3:25pm

    Bing is better than Google for searching for videos,
    It's nice to have a choice, even if the choice is
    Limited to bing duckduckgo etc
    It's a pity Facebook has an iron grip on social media.
    When article 17 filters etc go's into effect in the EU
    It will effect the Web alot more than what happens in Australia

    Australia has a small population compared
    with India or China
    Australia politicans have an extreme view of the Web
    They have attacked any online service that uses
    encryption to keep users data private and safe from hackers
    Tik Tok and zoom show there's space for new
    apps to appear without the help of Google or microsoft
    Australia is a tiny part of googles revenue
    It is right to stand up to laws that basically
    Force it to pay to link or list a website in a search irl
    It is standing up for basic Web standards
    and freedom to link

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2021 @ 3:38pm

    Re:

    Yeah Microsoft is likely to backtrack on this.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2021 @ 3:39pm

    Re:

    Thing is they will never take complete control of the internet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 4 Feb 2021 @ 3:44pm

    This is a Tears For Fears song.

    Everybody wants to destroy the internet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 4 Feb 2021 @ 3:45pm

    Bing's image search is useful

    I use it to look for larger versions of an image, or other pictures of the same event.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2021 @ 3:51pm

    Re:

    Ever heard of word wrap? :-/

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    TRX, 4 Feb 2021 @ 6:58pm

    "Tempest in a teapot."

    Just buy or invest in The Bogan Weekly Fishwrap for pocket change, sign up for the usual AP, Reuters, etc. newstickers, and you have the exact same McNews off the same wire that all the other news sources are using. Make that your top search result for everything. If there are no hits at Bogan, use only links from non-Australian news media. Bogan becomes the only news out of Australia, at least for Google users.

    bonus: Bogan Weekly, being massively pumped by Google hits, becomes a profitable news powerhouse in its own right. You could even close the original operation and go completely online with only a handful of low-paid admins maintaining the web site.

    "Tax me some more, please."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. icon
    PaulT (profile), 4 Feb 2021 @ 10:13pm

    Re:

    Are you saying that you keep getting porn when looking for something else, or are you just saying that you find it an invaluable tool when you have the need?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. icon
    techflaws (profile), 4 Feb 2021 @ 10:20pm

    As Techdirt reported, Australia is bringing in what amounts to a
    tax on Google and Facebook for daring to send traffic to legacy
    news organizations

    Right, and they caved to French demands, which Techdirt still hasn't reported on, or have I missed this?

    It's an incredibly short-sighted and selfish move.

    IOW, it's par for the course for Micros~1. They haven't changed: they're less relevant thanks to Apple but they're still acting like pricks. Opening pages from Win 10 with Edge despite having set another default browser, anyone?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Glenn, 4 Feb 2021 @ 11:40pm

    Google has launched its News Showcase for Australia...

    looks like "caving" to me...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2021 @ 5:36am

    I'm starting to think at some point Google, Facebook and whatever should maybe begin to proactively remove all links to sites that complain about being linked to.

    Without even waiting for them to pay off enough politicians to get these nonsense laws up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 5 Feb 2021 @ 6:32am

    Re: Re:

    "Yeah Microsoft is likely to backtrack on this."

    Oh, the very second there's a risk Bing gets subjected to a link tax MS will do their usual old "skedaddle sideways, hoping to leave the stage unnoticed" routine of dodging the bullet they set themselves up for.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. icon
    PaulT (profile), 5 Feb 2021 @ 6:32am

    Re:

    "I'm starting to think at some point Google, Facebook and whatever should maybe begin to proactively remove all links to sites that complain about being linked to."

    Google tried that in France, IIRC, and they responded by forcing them to keep news links active.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 5 Feb 2021 @ 6:34am

    Re:

    "The problem being it is too good and the industries missed the bus!"

    Not so much that as the fact that adapting to the internet means to trim those gross profit margins down by a sizeable amount. The internet has simply done to the middleman industry what the automobile did for the buggy whip manufacturers in their time. As the result of which Red Flag Act legislation is lobbied for in increasing desperation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. icon
    crade (profile), 5 Feb 2021 @ 8:30am

    Re:

    duckduckgo is really impressive.

    Google tried to make a facebook competitor but it sucked, facebook doesn't really have any iron grip on anything though, nothing keeping competitors out and if the duckduckgo of facebooks comes along that provides a lot of the best features without all the baggage I think facebook would be in worse shape than google is to deal with them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2021 @ 8:43am

    Re: Re:

    Newspapers/news organizations who do the 'dissemination' also have the resources, connections, and so forth that allow journalists to write pieces that they simply wouldn't be able to otherwise. We need them to stick around in some way, shape, or form.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. icon
    crade (profile), 5 Feb 2021 @ 9:24am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Exactly, thats why they are in just a sad state right now.. The music and movie companies are just on the wrong side and just feel entitled to be forever paid for anyone seeing or hearing stuff they inherited or scammed off creative people back in the 60s..

    The news orgs have a legitimate burden to bear, and less and less resources all the time.. They aren't exactly evil (like the riaa is), they just don't know what to do. Being dependent on google for what amounts to forced charity is barely a bandaid and isn't going to save them.. No one would link to them if they had to pay and were given the choice, you can't try to lock down facts, the news will be everywhere quickly anyway. They need to figure out a new legitimate model to support journalism without relying on being gatekeepers of the result

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2021 @ 10:55am

    Maybe I will comment a bit off topic here - but I would like to ask fellow visitors about the impact on the news quality, if anyone would like to. Techdirt and we commenters discuss a lot of the economic perspective, negotiations etc, with different ideas about the impact on the news flow that these laws would generate. But I do not recall comments about the quality of the news vs the proposed regulation - eg what regulation (obviously not this one, but maybe somehow and I don't see how?) could improve the dissemination of constructive and educative news vs the flood of click-baiting trash that the medias are more and more pushing into the internet? What regulation would make Google less of a viral culture for fake news? In my opinion the current model of free propagation of content ranked by views is one of the reasons behind the loss of confidence in the msm as a whole.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. identicon
    Rekrul, 5 Feb 2021 @ 10:56am

    I actually like Bing's image search better than Google's. However, for reverse images searches, I still use Google. Bing's interface for reverse searches is kind of unintuitive.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2021 @ 11:32am

    The only way I'll ever use Bing is when the government forces me to have complete webcam coverage of my house, and my testicles are attached by crocodile clips to the PC.

    Even then I'd rather just avoid search engines and try to remember URLs manually.

    Calling Bing a Dumpster fire would be insulting to dumpster fires that could provide warmth to the homeless.

    They even tried to FORCE cortana to open edge and bing whether you liked it or not.....

    Your system isn't good if you have to TRICK your customers into using it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2021 @ 1:41pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The sad thing is that they have been shits about it and going downhill at least since the 70s, long before internet or Google, et al. They keep doing themselves in, and this current assault looking for money that isn't theirs is just another step in the same direction.

    It's awful because there are really good journalists, and probably editors, still.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2021 @ 1:45pm

    Re:

    No regulation can do what you seek.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2021 @ 1:46pm

    Re:

    Well... so many people have been tricked into using Windows 10, i don't see much difference.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 5 Feb 2021 @ 7:20pm

    Getting porn when looking for something else

    This is a beef I have with Google and DDG image searches. Either I will get no porn hits or only porn hits, revealing that the engine, when set on don't filter is definitely filtering. Instead the engine first decides if I do want porn or don't want porn, and then gives me hits consistent with that assessment.

    One of the games I play is to find out how suggestive a search term I can make before it flops over to porn, or how ambiguous I can make a ribald search before it flips to non-porn. Spreads between 10% porn and 90% porn are conspicuously rare.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32. icon
    PaulT (profile), 5 Feb 2021 @ 11:00pm

    Re:

    "what regulation (obviously not this one, but maybe somehow and I don't see how?) could improve the dissemination of constructive and educative news vs the flood of click-baiting trash that the medias are more and more pushing into the internet?"

    Frankly, none. There's two major problems there. First is the business side. Clickbaiting trash, celebrity gossip and "opinion" are far cheaper to produce and far more profitable than actual journalism. The other problem is the consumer side - the general public tend to seek solace in warm fictions rather than cold truths, and seek things that reinforce rather than challenge their preconceived world views. Neither of these things can be changed via regulation.

    The only change seem to be coming from the courts. Due to the months of right-wing baiting of alleged (but never even remotely proven, despite promises that the evidence is available and clear) voted fraud, the companies being lied about started to file defamation lawsuits. This has started to have some effect - Lou Dobbs had his show removed from Fox yesterday despite being a ratings winner, while there's a hilarious clip doing the rounds of Newsmax desperately trying to stop the pillow guy ranting about fictional voter fraud until one of the hosts has enough and walks off.

    Whether these are long term effective solutions remains to be seen, but that's going to be the way forward - you can't regulate out of a naturally effective business model or the behaviour of customers, but you can hold them accountable when they overstep the line.

    "In my opinion the current model of free propagation of content ranked by views is one of the reasons behind the loss of confidence in the msm as a whole."

    Hint: if you're referring to the total media landscape as "MSM", you're probably getting your news from a less than reputable source. Stop that.

    Oh, and "content ranked by views" is what's traditionally called "sales" or "ratings", and media networks have been doing that since the first newspapers were published.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 6 Feb 2021 @ 8:55am

    Re:

    Google (& "Big Tech") =/= Murdoch, Alden Global Media, Gate House/Gannett - the ones that are actually the biggest scourges against quality news.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2021 @ 1:54pm

    The MSM in Australia (Papers, Radio, TV, free or pay) have lost advertising revenue to Alphabet & Facebook all this century & instead of owning the online advertising (Real Estate/Vehicles excepted) they have others taking the cream off the top. This used to be their "Rivers of Gold".

    Murdoch's Australian newspaper empire loses money 'hand over fist' every year, yet for political purposes keeps them going as it is still fun to make politicians squirm & do your bidding even though you don't really need or miss the revenue from Australia (why have power & not use it?). Some other local media companies have come on board, because in Australia Murdoch rarely picks losers, either pollies or legislation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35. identicon
    Rekrul, 9 Feb 2021 @ 1:08pm

    You know what would be REALLY nice? A search site that actually returns pages that match what you searched for instead of trying to guess what you wanted and showing you pages that have f***k all to do with what you wanted.

    Case in point: I have an old Windows program called Icon Shop 1.13. I wanted to see if there was a newer version, so I searched for;

    "icon shop" windows

    Google gives me tons of results for "shop icon" and Bing gives me "Icon Workshop", neither of which is what I searched for!

    And no, putting a plus "+" in front of it doesn't do a damn thing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36. icon
    PaulT (profile), 9 Feb 2021 @ 11:25pm

    Re:

    "A search site that actually returns pages that match what you searched for instead of trying to guess what you wanted"

    So... a site that returns links with no sense of context? I understand wanting better ways of guessing context but I don't think that you'd still get what you want.

    "neither of which is what I searched for!"

    They have no way of knowing that, of course, since the name is so generic that it directly matches people looking for a shop containing icons as well as an application. It also potentially matches file names and descriptions of programs rather than actual titles.

    In short, the search engines have to make a guess on your behalf with the information provided to you, and as the alternatives will be much more likely to return results and be more popularly searches for than some obscure application you apparently don't even know is developed any longer, they guessed the more likely results.

    In your case, you had several better options to search rather than search for some massively generic words and hope that what you wanted was returned. One would be to open the program and go to the help or about menu. There, you will normally see the name of the developer, and often a link to their website. So, use the link to search for the developer, and you'd get what you wanted.

    The other better option would be to search for the older version first, then go from those results to the most up to date download page for the developer. However... I tried this for you on several search engines and that's not happening. A search for "icon shop 1.13" brings up a tiny handful of people mentioning the program on foreign language forums (I got Japanese and Belgian, nothing in English), which link to dead links on non-official FTP sites to download the program. If the developer is still online with an official download page, none of the forum posters bothered to link to it instead of their own uploads.

    In other words, it seems that the program you're searching for is so ancient that no longer is it no longer developed, but no currently active site is even mentioning the version you have. You might get better results searching for developer, but judging from the screen shot I saw on one forum, it seems to be a horrifically outdated program whose functionality has long been superseded by other applications freely available online.

    This isn't simply a case of you choosing a relatively poor set of search criteria, then complaining that Google are guessing the wrong thing based on the non-specific information you tried giving to it. It actually seems to be that the reason why they didn't return any results is because there's nothing online to return. I hope you have better luck searching for the developer, but if I understand the application correctly, you'd be far better looking for something that is currently being developed by typing ".ico converter" - which returns a lot of relevant results.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37. identicon
    Rekrul, 11 Feb 2021 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re:

    So... a site that returns links with no sense of context? I understand wanting better ways of guessing context but I don't think that you'd still get what you want.

    Context is fine, but I can't count the number of times Google has shown me search results that don't have what I searched on the page.

    When you enclose words in quotes, Google is supposed to return matches that contain that exact phrase, even if the context is wrong. For example, if "icon" is the last word in a sentence and "shop" is the first word in the next. However many of the results I looked at didn't have those two words in that order. For example;

    5th result
    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/502221795922417321/
    6th result
    https://www.flaticon.com/free-icon/shop-with-cart-in-window-inside-a-circle_38538
    7th result
    https://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vectors/shop-window-sign-board-vectors
    9th result
    https://www.softicons.com/web-icons/shop-icons-by-newidols/bag-icon

    If I hadn't used quotes, those matches would be perfectly understandable. I used quotes specifically to try and filter out matches that don't contain that exact phrase, but Google (and Bing) ignored them. Googole ignored +"icon shop" as well.

    In short, the search engines have to make a guess on your behalf with the information provided to you, and as the alternatives will be much more likely to return results and be more popularly searches for than some obscure application you apparently don't even know is developed any longer, they guessed the more likely results.

    Things like enclosing words in quotes and adding plus or minus in front of various search terms is supposed to at least partially override the guessing and force it to confine the search. Except that those don't work. It just ignores them and pretends as if the quotes and plus/minus aren't there most of the time. Minus works for filtering out some stuff, but plus rarely seems to narrow down the results very much.

    I'm not asking for them to make a 100% literal search engine because I know that people would quickly grow frustrated with it, but it would be nice if the tools for confining the search actually worked like they're supposed to.

    In your case, you had several better options to search rather than search for some massively generic words and hope that what you wanted was returned. One would be to open the program and go to the help or about menu. There, you will normally see the name of the developer, and often a link to their website. So, use the link to search for the developer, and you'd get what you wanted.

    Yup, tried that. :)

    The other better option would be to search for the older version first, then go from those results to the most up to date download page for the developer.

    Tried that too. :)

    In other words, it seems that the program you're searching for is so ancient that no longer is it no longer developed, but no currently active site is even mentioning the version you have.

    Yes, I came to that conclusion. I was hoping to see if maybe he had released later versions before he disappeared. I thought maybe it would turn up on an archive of old software. You can still find collections of DOS programs on the net.

    but judging from the screen shot I saw on one forum, it seems to be a horrifically outdated program whose functionality has long been superseded by other applications freely available online.

    Typically when I want to browse/extract the icons contained within other files I use Icon Snatcher. It's not so much that I wanted this specific program, I was mostly using it as an example.

    A friend had asked me about creating/managing icons and I was going through all the icon programs I'd collected over the years to see what I had. As some of them were quite old, I thought I'd check for newer versions and that's when I got annoyed at Google and posted here.

    It actually seems to be that the reason why they didn't return any results is because there's nothing online to return.

    To be clear, If I had typed;

    "icon shop" windows

    Into Google and all the search results contained the words "icon shop" in that order, along with the word Windows, I wouldn't have posted. (you can believe me or not, I know I have a reputation for complaining) But when I click on a result, do a find for;

    icon shop

    In the page and the browser says those words don't exist in that order, I have to wonder why it's showing me that page. That happens quite often. Google does not say that it couldn't find a match, but it shows me results that don't contain what I searched for. Sometimes it ignores whole words. I can't think of an example right now, but I swear it happens. I'm searching for something specific, I click one of the links, press CTRL-F, type in the word I want to find and the browser tells me it's not on the page.

    I get that it tries to give people what they want, even if they didn't enter exactly the right terms, but why does it show me results that don't have what I searched for when I specifically told it to limit what it shows me?

    If you were to search for "Tom Cruise", would you expect to get results that have "Cruise Tom Playland" in them? Obviously, Tom Cruise is famous enough that that would never happen, but you get the idea.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38. icon
    PaulT (profile), 11 Feb 2021 @ 11:14pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Yup, tried that. :)"

    "Tried that too. :)"

    Well, then you should have confirmed through this process that the reason why Google was not returning information about the program is because it's not there to find, especially if you tried this through multiple search engines, and not a problem with Google assuming your ambiguous search terms might related to the thousands of results that do exist.

    "I was hoping to see if maybe he had released later versions before he disappeared. I thought maybe it would turn up on an archive of old software. You can still find collections of DOS programs on the net"

    You can. But, when you're searching for a very specific program, use several methods to confirm that the developer is no longer online and that the last prominent record of it existing is a forum post from 2005 - it strange to then get angry at Google for misinterpreting the ambiguous terms you typed as maybe being related to something that actually exists online.

    Oh, and did it ever occur to you to actually go to one of those well known DOS collection sites and search them, in case they have Google crawlers blocked, the program is listed under an alternate name that doesn't turn up on Google searches, or something else?

    "To be clear, If I had typed;

    "icon shop" windows

    Into Google and all the search results contained the words "icon shop" in that order, along with the word Windows, I wouldn't have posted."

    Well, that happens when I type in the search term. Those words are present with "icon" and "shop" next to each other. They just have nothing to do with the obscure program you¡re looking for, but those words are being returned correctly.

    I agree that this can be variable, but your insistence on not only continuing to use Google rather than its competitors, while simultaneously complaining that it's not finding things that are not online for it to find - and daring to suggest things that are online! - is quite strange.

    "If you were to search for "Tom Cruise", would you expect to get results that have "Cruise Tom Playland" in them?"

    If Tom Cruise was an obscure nobody that nothing had been written about online since 2005, while Playland was a popular theme park in recent years that appears in a lot of places, then... yes?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39. icon
    fairuse (profile), 17 Feb 2021 @ 10:10pm

    Google results has a feature that makes refine easier.

    Must include "term'"' and missing "term" they are clickable,

    Reckon that is new + and - commands.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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