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March 25, 2013

Google Shows Results for Similar Searches

Google has a new feature that shows results for different versions of your query. Usually Google removes one or two keywords from your query or replaces them with similar keywords if there aren't many relevant search results for your original query.

For example, when you search for [google maps flash html5 api v4], Google also shows results for searches like: [google maps flash html5 api], [google maps html5 api v4], [google maps flash api], [google flash map api]. It's interesting to notice that the first page of results shows 2 results for your query and 8 results for related queries, but the numbers are different depending on the query.


Here's another example: [gingerbread install chrome browser manually]. This time, Google returns 4 results for your query and 6 results for related queries. Obviously, you can't install Chrome in Android 2.3 and Google's results should help you find this information.


This feature used to be an experiment, but now it should be publicly available. Unfortunately, Google shows results for too many different queries and not all of them are useful. Some of Google's suggestions remove important keywords from the query and that's a mistake. For example, removing "gingerbread" from [gingerbread install chrome browser manually] returns results related to the desktop Chrome. Maybe Google could automatically detect nonessential keywords and show results that don't include them instead of cluttering the list of results with so many options.

10 comments:

  1. This is particularly annoying as Google will often give only one or two relevant results before filling up the rest of the page with similar search results. This means you have to scroll down and go to the next page to get the results you're actually looking for.

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  2. I do not enjoy this feature at all and find it extremely unhelpful, I wish there was a way to disable it. If I set my search results to show 50 results, I want it to show 50 results. Instead it shows 4 results from my search and 9 results for searches similar to mine. I have to constantly click on the 2nd page so that I can begin to filter through the results.

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  3. And to follow up, I just found out a way to sort of "disable" the feature. Details are here:

    http://productforums.google.com/d/msg/websearch/BJdYZPCl4X8/LGQ4gEIfEXQJ

    Essentially enter your search terms then filter results by verbatim. Or encase each word in quotes.

    I then went into Chrome's search engines and added the following as my default search:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=%s&num=25&hl=en&newwindow=1&tbs=li:1

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  4. Turning down Google Reader, and one week later adding such an unnecessary, probably unwanted "feature"?!

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  5. This is a horribly unpopular feature. Please give us a way to disable it.

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  6. They are getting big company attitudes. Google is not here to help you, it is here to milk opportunities provided by it's users, to make money for Google. An example being the inability to block results from Ehow.

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  7. This is a seriously frustrating feature and we should have a way of disabling it - why would Google NOT let us turn it off?

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  8. "Maybe Google could automatically detect nonessential keywords and show results that don't include them instead of cluttering the list of results with so many options."

    Perhaps Google could search for what you actually type (I don't mind it making spelling suggestions). Frankly, all my keywords are essential or I wouldn't have wasted my time typing them in.

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