Reminiscent of shovelware
This entire project reminds me of something we used to call "shovelware." This is a term coined in the early days of the CD-ROM when publishers would take existing content and "shovel" large quantities of it onto disks that they then offered for sale. Sure there was a huge amount of content on the disks, but it usually was rendered useless by a poor user interface. And generally the content itself wasnt so hot to begin with. Lets see how this adds up: Google is making a huge amount of material available, most of it not very timely or if it is timely not in full-text. And at the same time, Google is increasingly unable to produce high-quality, easy-to-use search results.Click here to read another commentary on the degradation of Googles results. My Google searches today are significantly less useful than the searches I made just a year ago. This is partially a reflection of the ever-increasing size of Googles collection, but it also shows how information providers have learned to spoof Googles robotic system. The amount of commercial content that comes up as search results has dramatically increased. Im not talking about the paid listings, but unsponsored stuff that looks like a result but is actually just a sales pitch of some sort. Google gives me less of what I am looking for every time I use it. And the useful results seem to be appearing farther and farther down the list. Id rather see Google concentrate on getting search right than trumpet how much is being added to its sea of information. Some of us already feel swamped by Googles results. The companys first task should be throwing us a line, not building a bigger ocean. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis in Web services. For more insights from David Coursey, check out his Weblog.
I wish that along with the libraries announcement that Google had demonstrated some great strides it had made in improving search results. Right now, Google seems closer to its goal of indexing the universe than to providing access to that cosmos.