Google, what are you doing!?
May 7, 2010 5:12 AM   Subscribe

Online searching has revealed that many many people hate the changes that Google has made to their page and I'M ONE OF THEM. HELP.

Google was so great. Now, when I search for something, all the results are squished to the left side of the page, and to the right of them is a big list of "sponsored results" that I don't give a shit about. Irritating, cluttered, inefficient, annoying. Is there anything I can do to make it function like it did before Google caved in to feral graphic designers or rabid advertisers or whoever made them head down this wrong, wrong path?
posted by crazylegs to Computers & Internet (18 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
You can use Adblock Plus for firefox to get rid of the Sponsored Links on the right side of google searches.
posted by rancidchickn at 5:17 AM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


The results are still all squished to the left, though, even if you remove the ads in the right column.
posted by Ery at 5:32 AM on May 7, 2010


Irritating, cluttered, inefficient, annoying. Is there anything I can do to make it function like it did before Google caved in to feral graphic designers or rabid advertisers or whoever made them head down this wrong, wrong path?

Almost all changes to web-based services result in some amount of resistance from existing users.

For example, facebook opening to non-university users; facebook introducing news feeds; iGoogle redesigning, Flickr introducing video, Flickr being acquired by yahoo, etc. Metafilter's own favorites experiment - changing only a few words per page, and lasting only a month - got people saying they didn't like it, and wanted an option to go back to how things were.

There are some people who suspect that some users will be upset at any design change whatsoever. Some people also note that neither Facebook nor Flickr nor Google have gone out of business or experienced mass user exoduses - implying that average users aren't so upset about the changes as one might think from reading the protest groups.

As such, though Google may further tweak their redesigned website, there is precedent for websites sticking with redesigns in spite of user protests.
posted by Mike1024 at 5:38 AM on May 7, 2010


Opera allows you to associate a user CSS file with a specific web site. In there you could widen whatever element holds the results.
posted by mkb at 5:43 AM on May 7, 2010


This greasemonkey script will make it look pretty close to how it did before.
posted by ish__ at 5:50 AM on May 7, 2010


Use Scroogle which is a results scraper based on Google. No ads, no cartoons, no slop, and no record-keeping (in case you ever want to run for office,I guess.)
I use Scroogle exclusively for web searching.
posted by BostonTerrier at 6:03 AM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Setting search language to Bork Bork Bork works fairly well, if you can deal with the silliness.
posted by reptile at 6:10 AM on May 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


I have a hunch that this was done to improve legibility. Humans are notoriously bad at reading long lines of text, which is why newspapers/magazines are printed into columns, and printed books usually have a narrow column with wide margins.

Once the world adopts CSS3, we'll finally be able to properly do columnized text on the web too, which is becoming a big deal because of the wide range of monitor widths available right now -- it's currently somewhat difficult to make a layout that scales well to both wide and narrow screens without resorting to the (dreaded) horizontal scrolling.
posted by schmod at 7:00 AM on May 7, 2010


I recommend CustomizeGoogle for Firefox.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 7:16 AM on May 7, 2010


Use http://www.google.com/webhp?hl=all instead of google.com to get the old interface back. This article explains how to change your browser search to use the old interface.
posted by calumet43 at 7:29 AM on May 7, 2010 [9 favorites]


I went to Google labs and signed up for the keyboard shortcut experiment. That fixed the annoying and redundant left sidebar issue and lets me navigate--if I want--Google search results via keyboard commands.
posted by subatomiczoo at 7:38 AM on May 7, 2010


calument43 beat me to it.
posted by subatomiczoo at 7:39 AM on May 7, 2010


Use Scroogle which is a results scraper based on Google. No ads, no cartoons, no slop, and no record-keeping (in case you ever want to run for office,I guess.)
I use Scroogle exclusively for web searching.


just to point out, scroogle.com is an 'adult' search engine. I know scroogle.org is the site mentioned upthread but it's an easy mistake to make (I just made it).
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 8:13 AM on May 7, 2010


calumet43, your "This article" link just goes to the old Google interface too. Could you try again? I'm interested in changing my browser search too...
posted by sigmagalator at 8:24 AM on May 7, 2010


I'm using Hide Google Options (a plug in for firefox and chrome) to disable it.
posted by lilnublet at 8:37 AM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oops, here is the correct link to the article to change your browser settings to the old google interface.
posted by calumet43 at 9:05 AM on May 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Just a heads up re: CustomizeGoogle for Firefox: it hasn't been updated since 2008. Many of its former fans are using Optimize Google instead.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 11:00 AM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Easier, for me anyways, way to get the old style output into firefox's search bar:

Go to the mycroft editor.

Import 14909

Change Plugin Name: to whatever you'd like to identify it as.

Change Search URL: to http://www.google.com/webhp?hl=all&search?q={searchTerms}

Change Search Form URL: to http://www.google.com/webhp?hl=all

Click Generate Plugin and then Test Plugin. The latter will load it into your browser.
posted by Mitheral at 4:28 AM on May 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


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