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Should Search Engine Strings Make Sense ?


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"I don't understand the question."

 

This is not a reply that search engines are capable of returning, even if you ask a stupid question.  Instead, they just provide the results that best match whatever you searched for, as a search algorithm is not conscious and cannot know what you intended to search for, but can only know what you searched for and return results that match your query.

 

Would you prefer the opposite, that if you fail to provide the query in the precise syntax required, then the response would be "nothing found"?

 

In fact, it is not the case that google failed to find meaning in your meaningless search query.  Instead, the responses provided had quite a bit of similarity to your nonsensical search string.  If you are requiring google search to correct for your intention, then you are asking it to do more than it can do.

Edited by JMJones0424
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"I don't understand the question."

 

This is not a reply that search engines are capable of returning, even if you ask a stupid question.  Instead, they just provide the results that best match whatever you searched for, as a search algorithm is not conscious and cannot know what you intended to search for, but can only know what you searched for and return results that match your query.

 

Would you prefer the opposite, that if you fail to provide the query in the precise syntax required, then the response would be "nothing found"?

 

In fact, it is not the case that google failed to find meaning in your meaningless search query.  Instead, the responses provided had quite a bit of similarity to your nonsensical search string.  If you are requiring google search to correct for your intention, then you are asking it to do more than it can do.

 

Yes !!!

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I doubt your sincerity, and I am almost willing to bet that you are not old enough to remember a time when your wish was true.  There's a reason why Google is a very profitable company.

 

Regardless, in the example you provided, if you had your wish, the appropriate response would be a null set.  I don't know how this would be a better solution.  Maybe I'm missing something.

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  • 1 month later...

Yes !!!

 

You would be in the minority.

 

1] If search engines kept returning 0 results until and unless the searcher spelled everything correctly, people would get extremely irate.

 

2] What is the down side of producing best guesses when you spell something wrong?

 

Worst case is that it returns stuff you didn't want. Which is no worse than if it returned nothing (you still don't get what you want)

 

So, there's definitely a strong statistical advantage in guessing, and no worse consequences if it doesn't get it right.

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... a time when your wish was true.  There's a reason why Google is a very profitable company.

Indeed. It was horrible.

 

Imagine wandering around in a desert, where you knew there were all sorts of treasures buried under every square inch, but your search tool would give you null results unless you got exactly the right settings.

 

That is what it was like when humans had to learn how computers thought.

 

I celebrate the day when Google realized that the web could be human-friendly and computers must learn how humans think.

Edited by DaveC426913
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