Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, January 14, 2012

I really hate what Google has done with search.  If I search for the Valley of the Kings of KV64 I looking for something I don't already know, for news.  It's bad enough for Valley of the Kings and even worse for KV64 because my News from the Valley of the Kings is the top blog on the subject and I have written much of the material about KV64.

Google's new personalised search algorithm makes matters worse.  It shrinks the world.  So as well as News from the Valley of the Kings, half of the images shown are photographs I took and the front pages adds my review of Nick Reeves' Complete Valley of the Kings on Egyptological.  Far from helping me to find new material it shrinks my world, not just down to things I already know, but down to things I have written.  You'd have to be extremely narcissistic to like a search that works like that.

Fortunately it only works if you are logged in so I work with two browsers and only log in to Google on one of them, the other I use for searching.  I can see the advantage of geo-searches.  If I type in Sutton cinema, I like the fact search shows me the programme.  That is useful.  But not search which makes me the apparent centre of the World Wide Web.

It's irritating because there is news of a discovery in the Valley of the Kings expected in the next few days.  I was scanning for it.  I don't know yet whether it is relatively minor or the discovery to rival Carter's discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun many of us believe will be made one day.  We will have to wait and see, although I suspect somewhere in between the two.  I'm desperately busy for the next three days so I am also hoping it doesn't break until the middle of next week.

5 comments:

Roger Pearse said...

I didn't know they were doing this! And I noticed how the searches were getting worse. Drat the thing!

Andie said...

Thanks for the tip - I've now started using Google in Safari rather than Firefox and it does make a difference.

Ron Lankshear said...

Two browsers makes sense

You could try Google Alert but it might be slow to tell you

Something like
"Valley of the Kings" KV64 -Phizackerley 2012

might avoid your own site
but it looks like you have to force the search. It defaults to without the quotes. I have feeds in Bing in FeedDemon for some spellings of my name group like Lankesheer but it decides to search for Lancashire....

I tried my suggested string in Google News and had to strip off everything until just "Valley of the Kings" before I got any hits

Ron Lankshear said...

It all happened over my night time - anyhow the Bing search with that string came up with Jane's post and of course my normal RSS feed on Kate's blog

G said...

There's a button to de-personalize search. It's in the upper-right corner of the _results_ page: looks like a little globe, and it's near the gear symbol.

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