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Google Makes Its Search System Slightly More Transparent 50

Posted by timothy
from the just-a-gentle-touch-here-and-there dept.
Meshach writes "The New York Times has an interesting article about how Google has revealed some of the inner workings of the Google Search service. The main change is that sites that are not in English will be translated then included in the search results. Google said it has also improved the way it recognizes official Web sites, like those published by the government, and will give those sites higher ranking in search results. Google does not usually reveal such details but the article speculates governments have been pushing for more transparancy."
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Google Makes Its Search System Slightly More Transparent

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  • Summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by CmdrPony (2505686) on Monday November 14, 2011 @05:31PM (#38052712)
    From the summary:

    The main change is that sites that are not in English will be translated then included in the search results.

    From the article:

    One of the new changes will affect searches in languages for which there is little Web content available, including Afrikaans, Hindi and Icelandic. Google will now translate relevant Web pages written in English and show those results, too.

    Complete opposite direction. Go Slashdot!

    • Don't be so hard on him. Even Google Translate (to Hindi, and back again) makes the same mistake. If Google can't write a good bot for this, what makes you think Slashdot can do any better.

      Afrikaans is a language for which there is little web content, including Hindi, and will affect the discovery of new changes in Icelandic. Google translation of the relevant web pages will be written in English and to show those results, too.

    • Re:Summary (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MPolo (129811) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @03:52AM (#38056876)

      They've actually been doing this for a while, and it is hurting my search experience. I prefer to read content in English, but I live in Germany, which means that if I want to buy something online, I want to buy it from a German (or at least European) company to avoid having to go in to the customs office to pay taxes on everything I buy (and so as to receive the products in 1-3 days instead of 2-4 weeks).

      I used to be able to achieve this very easily by using the German name for what I needed, and if that name was the same as the English term, adding "kaufen" (buy) to the search. But with the translation technology, that means that I get all the first results in English, wanting to sell me products out of the U.S.A. I haven't found a really good way around this. Admittedly, I could change the settings for what language I want every time I do such a search, but that is a lot of trouble for me. If there were an option to turn this behavior off, I would do so.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by tr897 (1206300)
        Have you tried using google.de instead of google.com? I expect google.de would give priority to German shops, especially if you search in German.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 14, 2011 @05:41PM (#38052870)

    the article speculates governments have been pushing for more transparancy

    Governments have been pushing Google for more transparency?? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

  • Does anyone have a choice in accepting or rejecting what Google does to their search engine? Businesses and Individuals are so dependent on its services, search being the primary one, everyone will just "get on with it", instead of looking into details.
    • by babywhiz (781786)
      I sometimes miss the days when I could use Google to find all kinds of neat stuff, user generated silliness. I sometimes miss the Google of 1999. I do like the fact that it knows all about WoW search terms, and puts them at the top.....one thing I complained about a lack of back when The Sims was the game of the moment. Of course, back in 1999, I complained about the lack of finding places to shop. Of course, sometimes, it's not a lot better...take the search terms "diet mt dew delivery". I get the 'rankup'
      • by mattack2 (1165421)

        Yeah, that's ridiculously expensive. If you have several grocery stores around you, simply look in the weekly ads. It seems like ALMOST every week, one of the stores has Coke and/or Pepsi products on sale, for $1 per 2 liter or $3 per 12 pack, if not lower.

        Stock up, and you'll never have to pay "regular" price for soda, even if you only buy name brand. (For some of the flavored versions, e.g. diet vanilla, I've never seen generic versions.)

  • Oh good (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Trogre (513942) on Monday November 14, 2011 @08:52PM (#38054762) Homepage

    Does this mean they'll be bringing the + operator back some time soon? /wishful thinking

  • "The main change is that sites that are not in English will be translated then included in the search results." Was this really a problem after Google made location-based searches MANDATORY? http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Web%20Search/thread?fid=7777da521339a9b40004ab2af2c53153&hl=en [google.com] http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Web+Search/thread?tid=03bbc6e63646c7e1&hl=en [google.com] I use duckduckgo.com

Your own mileage may vary.

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