Did You Mean
February 24, 2009 3:35 PM   Subscribe

Google search was great, until now. Now it asks you "Did you mean this" and then populates the first two results with the term you didn't type, but Google thinks you MUST have meant, because they are smarter than you. So, what's a good search engine for someone who loves the old google search simplicity? (P.S. Live and Yahoo are far worse)
posted by parallax7d to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Yeah I wish there was a way to turn that off.

For everyone, always.
posted by aubilenon at 3:41 PM on February 24, 2009

You can use a search engine like Duck Duck Go that syndicates BOSS and Google search results without all the same presentation and feature set. Or you can use the Google API to make one yourself.
posted by doteatop at 3:43 PM on February 24, 2009

Hotbot is still around.
posted by CRM114 at 3:49 PM on February 24, 2009

You might try Cuil.
posted by heliotrope at 4:18 PM on February 24, 2009

Ninja will do the trick for you.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:36 PM on February 24, 2009

If a greasemonkey script in Firefox made the 'did you mean' go away, would you use it and stick with Google? Or is it the principle of the thing?
posted by Zed at 4:36 PM on February 24, 2009

Best answer: Scroogle (Google frontend) omits all the crap and just gives you the results. As a bonus, they kill the server logs too.
posted by neckro23 at 4:43 PM on February 24, 2009 [3 favorites]

Use a plus symbol, and you get exactly what you asked for. Example:

+"vitamin B3"
posted by aquafortis at 4:53 PM on February 24, 2009

Response by poster: neckro23, that's great. Full old school Google Search minus the cruft. Maybe someday Google will release Google Search Classic and get my ad sensing eyes back.
posted by parallax7d at 5:17 PM on February 24, 2009

Best answer: Google has been making suggestions for a long time. Recently, however, it's gotten to a new level of "are you stupid? 'cause I think you're stupid. Here's what you really mean, stupidhead." They started rolling that out in August 2008 as Google Suggest left Labs, but it's been getting turned up a bit more.

It's at the point now where not even '"transformer"' (note the nested quotes) will stop generating results for "transforming."

The URL you're looking for, to turn that feature off for a given search, is http://www.google.com/webhp?complete=0.

Bonus Old School Round: Don't forget the * operator (within a couple of words). They stack, too: A * * B is within a few more words. However, A * B isn't the same thing as B * A, so if you're looking for a NEAR operator like back in the AltaVista days, you'll have to do (A * B OR B * A). That's about as close as you can get.
posted by adipocere at 6:01 PM on February 24, 2009 [13 favorites]

i use aquafortis' thing of putting a + in front of whatever term is being unfortunately smartified, and it works great.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 9:02 PM on February 24, 2009

Response by poster: great tips adipocere, thanks!
posted by parallax7d at 12:37 PM on February 26, 2009

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