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Problems finding exact phrase in a Google search
Thread poster: Kim Metzger

Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 09:24
German to English
May 3, 2006

I use Google extensively for online research and have always appreciated the results I got when I entered a phrase in quotation marks as a way of double checking that the phrase is acceptable in its entirety.

But for the past several days I have noticed that the quotation marks no longer seem to yield the exact phrase in all instances. Just now I entered

"statistisches Amt für Gesundheitswesen"

and got plenty of hits but the exact phrase was nowhere to be found. Has anyone else had this experience and is there a way to correct the problem?


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Robert Zawadzki  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:24
English to Polish
+ ...
I see at least two explanations May 3, 2006

1. The phrase is invisible (ex. in a 'meta' tag).
2. The phrase is in Google's index, while the site itself has changed an Google bot did not visit it since. Check 'copy' under search results. If you find the phrase there, this is exactly what happened.


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 09:24
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
It's happening all over May 3, 2006

This has been a topic of discussion recently on other translator lists that I read. Something has been going wrong lately and Google is "working on it" but no further information is available.

[Edited at 2006-05-03 23:19]


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nruddy  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 09:24
German to English
Thanks for asking. Kim May 3, 2006

I've been wondering myself what's going on. It's very annoying.

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xxxtazdog
Spain
Local time: 16:24
Spanish to English
+ ...
me, too May 3, 2006

I've had the same problem for a while, maybe a couple weeks, but intermittently. It is very frustrating indeed.

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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 16:24
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
Worse with Google and Mozilla Firefox May 3, 2006

I find that this prob is worse with Google via Firefox than Google via Netscape (7.2 and/or 8.1).

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Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:24
German to English
+ ...
Thanks... May 3, 2006

Something has been going wrong lately and Google is "working on it" but no further information is available.


...to you and to Kim for raising the issue. I thought I was the one going loopy with this. Now I am nominally reassured that this may not be the case. The problems one faces in the eternal quest for commercial domination.

Cheers
Chris


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Anne Spitzmueller  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:24
Member (2005)
English to German
It happens to me as well ... May 4, 2006

... and I din't have an explanation. I still don't, but at least there are others who experience the same problem.

It IS very annoying, that's for sure. I hope Google can solve this problem soon.

Anne


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 17:24
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Maybe its time to switch to a new search engine May 4, 2006

Seems its four years since I have used anything else than Google. But results are not so good as they had been once. Hope the European search engine will take off soon, but what in the meantaime?
I tried Altavista. At least the phrases between citation marks are searched correctly, it seems. And it listet me No. 1 when searching for a translation service! Think I will use Altavista for a while.

Regards
Heinrich

[Bearbeitet um 2006-05-04 05:41]


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Timothy Barton
Local time: 17:24
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Have you tried the plus sign. May 4, 2006

I can't say I've noticed this problem, but I just wondered whether you had tried the plus sign before your search term. I know that when you search for a word, Google will normally search with or without accents and even looks for singular and plural forms and other variations of your search term, but if you include a plus sign (which does not mean "AND" as so many people seem to think) it searches for exactly what you have typed.

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Jörgen Slet  Identity Verified
Estonia
Local time: 17:24
English to Estonian
+ ...
Google's indexes have been quite broken for months May 4, 2006

Google's indexes have been quite broken for months. Cached documents are not found etc. I am afraid I am too lazy to switch to another search engine, although I often need more specific search options as well.

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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 09:24
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
How to complain to Google May 4, 2006

On another list where this problem is also being discussed, a translator reported that she found this link through the Google Help Center:


How can I report poor quality search results?

We're constantly working to improve the quality of our search results.
If you encounter results that you'd like to bring to our attention,
please submit a report at
http://www.google.com/support/bin/request.py?user_type=user&contact_type=dissatisfied&submit=Continue


She adds:
At the very end of the "reporting" process, there is a box for comments. If a sufficient number of us complain of the same problem, perhaps they will look at it. We should have some way of forcing Google to search for the precise phrase without all these irrelevant hits. The plus sign does not work either.


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Moofi  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:24
Polish to English
+ ...
Google Tech Problems May 5, 2006

I read the other day that Google recently switched over from using Intel chips in their servers to AMD units. Whilst that in its'self wouldn't cause this problem, perhaps there were some knock-on effects too?

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tectranslate ITS GmbH
Local time: 16:24
German
+ ...
"Artificial Intelligence" May 8, 2006

Moofi wrote:

I read the other day that Google recently switched over from using Intel chips in their servers to AMD units. Whilst that in its'self wouldn't cause this problem, perhaps there were some knock-on effects too?

Nah, no way. Also, the Firefox vs. Netscape use isn't the reason, because the search string is precisely the same.

Google is trying to be "intelligent" and finds things other than those entered, to "assist" us poor soft-brains who can't get their query strings right...

I noticed this over a year ago and promptly wrote a complaint to Google. Received a reply, too: They were always interested in feedback, they said, but they couldn't promise anything.

B


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