The Honking Goose

something to honk about

we need an alternative to the search engine

Google is the most widely used search engine for finding information on the world wide web. Archie, launched in 1990 was the first. There have been and still are others, Ask Jeeves, Bing, Yahoo, etc.

google yahoo bing search engine logos

I am not convinced, though, that search engines are the best way to locate items and surf the internet. I’m surprised there isn’t already an alternative. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is already something in the works, being developed at Google or MIT or some place like that. A better way to navigate the world wide web.

I think there needs to be map. Like a global road map, but organized by related information, not by physical location. I don’t know how this would work. I’m not the person to build it. I know that for sure. I won’t be invited to be on the team that does build it. That is okay with me, as long as there is a team.

Surely a list of results thousands of numbers long is not the best way to travel around the internet and find what you are looking for. When we use any search engine to look something up, we say we are googling it. I like Bing so I usually google it on Bing, whatever it is.

I’m sure we’ve all heard the story about how Google was named after “a googol” literally 10 to the 100 power (or 1 followed by 100 zeros). And that is exactly what googling something is like, a nearly endless list possibly somewhere containing precisely what you are looking for. But which item on that list of a googol returns is the best answer to what we searched?

wood sign pointing one way for lost and another way for found

I have an article in my email in box which has been waiting for me to read for months. It is about enhanced search strategies for googling more specifically and more effectively. It is 13 pages long. You can see why I haven’t gotten to it yet. Do I need a freaking doctorate to be able to successfully search on the web? There must be an easier way.

By the way, I’m aware that I’m using world wide web and internet interchangeably. I have been notified that there is a difference. But the explanation didn’t really clarify things that much for me, so I’m going to keep pretending they are the same for now, thanks.

I think there needs to be an alternative, a better way, to navigate the wealth of information out there. What do you think? What is your favorite search engine for googling? How do you find virtual things and places? Are you one of the intelligent doctorate-having team members working on building the virtual map I want to use? How cool!

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59 comments on “we need an alternative to the search engine

  1. Mr Ben Groom
    November 13, 2014

    2 suggestions. The first isn’t right, but DuckDuckGo is quite nice, Google but without adverts, so things actually appear in a coherent order.

    Secondly, have you seen DMOZ? (http://www.dmoz.org/) It’s a directory of the internet that is set up purely by human input. It has flaws (many, many flaws) but has potential!

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 13, 2014

      DMOZ is something like what I had imagined – like a phone directory, but for the internet. Thanks for sharing. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  2. dbp49
    November 11, 2014

    Just a suggestion my friend, it may help, it may not. First, you will have to go to my article”  
    Invisible vs Dark vs World Wideย Web
      “. Then, scroll down until you come to the link that will take you to 10 Search Engines for Exploring The Invisible Web. The search engines you will be taken to don’t work like the World Wide Web engines like Google and such, but rather, like University library searches, which is a good thing considering the Invisible Web is 4-5000 times larger than the WWW, and with almost none of the crap, since the information it contains is usually locked in databases that are maintained by major universities, research labs, think-tanks, and all that kind of stuff. I know it’s not exactly what you asked about (it’s still a search engine) but if you master it’s use, because of it’s lack of garbage, you may find it works almost like what you were hoping for. If you go to the Intuit search engine, it also offers 50-60 step-by-step tutorials on how to use those kind of search engines. Just a thought to try and help out one of my favorite Bloggers.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 12, 2014

      I’ll check it out, thanks. Nice job with that link, by the way.

      Like

      • dbp49
        November 12, 2014

        Thanks, I had a great teacher, and I still messed up the positioning on the parenthesis. But I’m getting there. Thanks again.

        Like

  3. Quest Sickle
    November 11, 2014

    Hey, I use Bing, too! It’s amazing right? You can search with emojis now!
    Anyway, I think you’re right–there should be an alternative to search engines. I guess it should be like using the WordPress reader: like, all the art stuff under art… But there’s still a lot of art stuff anyways…I think that would be hard…

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 11, 2014

      It would be totally hard. But that’s why I’m not trying to be responsible for making it or anything. I have a good feeling that somewhere in a garage, right now, some brilliant person is developing the alternative already.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. PsiFiGal
    October 31, 2014

    This reminded me of something that happened the other day (week? month? IDK!) I was sitting with the ‘puter on my lap and my sister said to me “look up X for me” I use “X” because I cannot for the life of me remember what it was. I knew from experience with her that I needed to get some more info, so I said “tell me exactly how you want me to type it into the search bar” so she did, and I did, and lo and behold — did not get the results she wanted, she is telling me that she would have found it by now etc. (even though I put in exactly what she said) But I did not relent and give her the laptop because A. It is mine, not hers and B. I know she will get side-tracked by something, go on to facebook or whatever and hours later I might get the laptop back. Anyway, I hope someone can come up with something like what you talked about, and maybe you could get credit for inspiring it!

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 31, 2014

      I’m sure I’m not the only one who has had these thoughts. I would only want credit if I actually had a good idea and the knowledge to help create it. I don’t. I just want someone else to figure out that part. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  5. Swarn Gill
    October 30, 2014

    Strangely I’ve never really had a problem. Lot’s of times when people can’t find information on something I seem to be able to find a clever way to get the information I need by putting in search terms that I know are more effective. I know that for instance librarians at our university, part of their knowledge base, is how to find information and there is a skill to it. That being said, should everybody have to take such training probably not. But the problem is not only associated with Google not doing it’s job properly, but webmasters have to work to make their sites more visible. Just because you create a website with some incredibly useful information doesn’t mean it’s easily found. Google also puts to the front sites that have a past history of people visiting them, because in general that’s what most people want. In fact Google tries to take into account people who can’t spell and who are highly confused which is perhaps why someone like you has a harder time, because most people can’t spell or are highly confused. lol But usually if the top 10 sites listed aren’t what you want, then you know you have searched for the information you need incorrectly and need to change your approach.

    Today I was trying to find out how much a casino in my county makes in a day. I wasn’t having much luck. In this case my search was too specific as I typed in “How much does the Meadow Lands Casino make per day?”. I then gave up that search and decided to take a look at how much revenue is brought in by state through casino gaming. Low and behold I found a report by the gaming commission that listed such statistics and in that document I found the information on the very casino I was looking for. Since the document was a PDF I don’t think that Google is able to access the PDF for keywords, so it only pulled up the keywords that were based on the title of the document. So some information is rare or not in HTML also making it harder to find. Afterwards I was like…okay that makes some sense though…if the gaming commission puts in a state by state report, then within that report I might have a chance of finding the casino of interest. Sometimes I have found that a broader knowledge of what I’m looking for is required to find the appropriate information. Usually if the information is out there, one can find it with an appropriate search term of phrase. I would be interested in seeing a visual map like you described though, I imagine it would be great for some subjects, but some that are extremely broad it would be hard. Also it would probably just be full of hits to porn sites in the end. lol

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 30, 2014

      “most people can’t spell or are highly confused” – lol – not being one of those people is not usually a problem for me (which you can read either way I guess, that its not a problem because I am one of them or not being one of them is not a problem)

      I totally see what you are saying about knowing how to search better and honing in on how best to look for what you really want (html that lead to the right pdf and so on). But we can’t all be experts. And though I think that someday I will read that 13 page paper and maybe even remember and learn from it, I haven’t yet.

      Plus, there is just so much out there, volume wise, on the internet. I always have this sense that there is something a little or a lot more relevant to what I’m actually looking for that is not showing up in my search results. And it could be a combination of ineffective searching and ineffective web design/content organization that prevents those sites from showing up on my search results.

      So, it would be nice to have more options. Not that search engines should go away or be obsolete, just that there are multiple possibilities for ways to navigate the internet, yet all we’re using right now is search engines and bookmarks.

      Like

      • Swarn Gill
        October 30, 2014

        Haha…I agree. I wasn’t applying that you are one of the confused and poor spelling people…but that those people are using all of a search engines research and ruining it for the rest of us. LOL

        Like

        • thehonkinggoose
          October 30, 2014

          I was implying that I wasn’t one of them too, but then I read my sentence with a different emphasis and it worked that way too. And I certainly have my moments of being confused or misspelling things. ๐Ÿ™‚

          Like

  6. mewhoami
    October 29, 2014

    I use Google for all of my searches, but you are right that it would be great to have a good/better and less intrusive alternative.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 30, 2014

      Yes, it would be nice to have an alternative. Search doesn’t have to go away, but there could be other methods as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A.PROMPTreply
    October 29, 2014

    I am so glad to find someone else that speaks my kind of language…..internet = web, Google = Bing. No, this is not the most efficient system I can imagine, but then I could never have imagined the current state of things when I was 20 years younger either. Currently, I’m mad at Google over all the privacy invasions they’ve done and are still doing though I still have to use them from time to time because so far at least I’m more proficient using it. But I do employ other browsers where possible.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 30, 2014

      It is interesting to me that Google now encrypts search terms, so they won’t show up on our WordPress stats, but other search engines terms do still show up. In that way Google is providing more privacy for people, but less tools for us, the bloggers and web developers. I don’t know which is better. I know people want privacy protections, but that search term data is valuable, useful information to have.

      Like

  8. MEN HEAL
    October 29, 2014

    A search engine that searches for objects is better. A list of webpages in a set of search results is poor. Imagine instead searching for a Blue Mercedes from 2010 onwards, the search engine would return objects where each object represented a car for sale.

    There could be people objects, objects to buy, geographical objects, information objects / fact objects etc.

    The only problem with this is that it’s harder for Google to make money from so they don’t do it. The ideas been around for quite a long time. As far as I know it was called the Conceptual Web. I came up with the idea independently several years ago, and indeed the idea for a social network before they came out. So have been known to be a visionary in regards to the internet!

    I remember once telling a nurse about the idea of social networking before they came out and she thought I was having a manic high, as it seemed so ridiculous and unbelievable to her. I always wonder if she ever remembers me telling her about it!

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 30, 2014

      My husband is like that too – very visionary and comes up with ideas at the same time as similar ideas are just coming to fruition elsewhere. Unfortunately less brilliant people who hear his ideas tend to not understand them at first and then after a little time goes by, they think they’ve thought of it themselves. :/

      That nurse you mentioned probably thinks that SHE thought of social networking before it actually happened.

      Liked by 1 person

      • MEN HEAL
        October 30, 2014

        So true! People either consciously or unconsciously thieve other people’s ideas. Even the founder of FB stole the idea! Pass my respects on to your husband. I find it so frustrating.

        I can imagine having amazing conversations with your husband, and I’m sure with you both.

        Like

        • thehonkinggoose
          October 30, 2014

          I’m sure people that are that insightful have a hard time finding others who can keep up with their mental acrobatics in a conversation. I try to be that for my husband, but I’m more of a great listener and on a good day a ‘spotter’ (in keeping with the acrobatics metaphor). ๐Ÿ˜€

          Liked by 1 person

          • MEN HEAL
            October 30, 2014

            It sounds like you have amazing listening skills. Good listeners are an asset to society.

            Like

  9. ร‰ilis Niamh
    October 29, 2014

    I like the idea of the map… as long as whatever new thing comes about isn’t completely visual. Honestly, new ways to navigate technology often scare me as it usually means that people who are visually impaired, like myself, are not thought of in the creation process and miss out substantially. I use Google and only get frustrated with it occasionally. It’s not good for looking up specific information such as information on prehistory or institutions that practice generosity and gratitude, and it fails with numbers miserably. So I think I’d like to see changes, but only if they are made to be as inclusive as possible.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 29, 2014

      That’s interesting. NotAPunkRocker suggested a flowchart, question and answer style interactive navigation system, which I thought was a great idea and seems like it would work for someone visually impaired as well.

      Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 29, 2014

      Do you have a computer that reads the text for you so you can hear it?

      Like

      • ร‰ilis Niamh
        October 29, 2014

        Yeah, I do. ๐Ÿ™‚ I use a screen reader called JAWS, but there are others as well.

        Like

  10. Jim woods
    October 29, 2014

    I google, but I get frustrated searching through those endless lists to see the same things repeated time and again and never really find what I am looking for

    Like

  11. NotAPunkRocker
    October 29, 2014

    My favorite search engine for googling is google. I am guessing google is like xerox, right? it’s the function, not the item?

    I think there just needs to be a massive flowchart system to use for us to find data. Yes/no, whatever, then we get to an end result.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 29, 2014

      FLOWCHART! I like that idea, you could really be onto something. We should probably contact someone at MIT or Google with that idea. Know anyone?

      Like

      • NotAPunkRocker
        October 29, 2014

        If I did, I would not be here (where I am physically, not WP world).

        Like

        • thehonkinggoose
          October 29, 2014

          They’re probably super expert web searchers anyway, and they;ll look for search engine articles and read this and see your idea and use it someday without telling us. But, that’s only if they haven’t thought of it yet, themselves.

          Like

          • NotAPunkRocker
            October 29, 2014

            I’ve already changed my tactic anyway. ready?

            CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE/RESULT

            Think about it…it’s like a flow chart, but cooler.

            (yes, I am a bookwormy nerd)

            Like

  12. Very Bangled
    October 29, 2014

    I completely agree with you. It shouldn’t be so hard to find the information that you are looking for, you know? Especially when there are so many results. For example, I was looking for contact info for a shoe store that used to exist in Manhattan. It was called “The Shoe NYC” so why then was it impossible to find? I had the address, the name, the city and still Google kept giving me general shoe stores in New York. There was no way to sort it to my needs.

    Okay, mini rant done. If anyone knows how to contact the former boutique owner of The Shoe NYC, let me know because I’d like to order another pair of purple pumps.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 29, 2014

      I suspect the answer to your problem, and others like it, may lie in that 13 page document I was sent. I keep telling myself I will get to it someday. If only there were a better way…

      Liked by 1 person

  13. ljaylj
    October 29, 2014

    Your thought of a universal map is close to what is already there. Information is stored in numerous databases within numerous data warehouses. All those digits and numbers and words you see in a url is the route (if you will) to that information. There are a few of reasons for search engines. First, they’re designed to navigate the map routes to locate the requested information; and second, databases are set up so that information can be stored until retrieved. And the main reason for search engines: so searches can be tracked in order to advertise to your possible likes and or needs. That’s the simple in a nut shell. If you use a “map” to point and click, you’d still have to know what and where you’re looking and it would still be held in a database but it would look cooler.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 29, 2014

      Mark my words, there will be something better. Probably within the next 5 – 10 years. I can’t wait!

      Liked by 1 person

    • annj49
      October 29, 2014

      Cool info! I’ve always wondered how that worked!

      Like

  14. onehundredtwentythreedays
    October 29, 2014

    I am pretty proficient with Google. I can dig up even obscure buried information. I probably should have been a P.I. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

  15. advocare distributor
    October 29, 2014

    startpage.com, ixquick, duckduckgo.com are also good alternatives and focus on privacy.

    Like

  16. Yoshiko
    October 29, 2014

    Even I am struggling in the search. Everytime and everywhere people always say “just google it”. Sometimes, I can’t find it due to my words. Irksome ๐Ÿ˜ค I miss the connections of asking the about something and find it together physically instead of myself.

    Like

  17. John
    October 29, 2014

    Good point, but what alternate method could there be? Somehow it doesn’t seem possible. I’ve thought of the internet as a depository for the sum of human knowledge. The human condition. An alien intelligence tapping into it may not be impressed.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 29, 2014

      IDK! That’s what the uber-intelligent doctorate people are supposed to figure out. I can’t do everything, man. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Like

      • John
        October 29, 2014

        that is what my wife says… ๐Ÿ™‚

        Like

        • thehonkinggoose
          October 29, 2014

          she’s smart

          Like

          • vvuureoc
            November 21, 2014

            Aardvark was quite good and it worked to sentence
            ie

            Aardvark Building tanks for keeping fish living in cold water

            Google cold water fish tank building

            If you use tin brain logic building is more important tan cold ! ! lol

            Google took it over just as it was taking leaps not steps and it was discontinued

            Like

            • thehonkinggoose
              November 21, 2014

              It figures Google would do that. They have the money and the power, but only as long as there is no stronger competitor.

              Like

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This entry was posted on October 29, 2014 by in Nerd Corner and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .
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