it appears that the SEO optimum is "repeat common search terms but in natural language" and so now every google result for thing like "fix coil whine" or "toilet not filling" are FAQ style posts by domains you've never heard that are like:

How to fix coil whine?
...
What causes coil whine?
..
Can coil whine cause damage?
...
etc

the search situation is dire because sure "toilet not filling" doesn't tend to have misinformation, but if any schmuck can register a 4 dollar domain and get gpt2 to blast out some misinfo that the google algo loves and make bank on advertising (also sold by google) then how am I supposed to trust google when I ask it about things that tend to have common misconceptions or falsehoods like pest remedies or medical symptoms?

here's a hint. if you're on a page you found through google, ctrl+f for the phrase "Amazon Services LLC Associates Program"

I wish archive.org got a full-book search engine like hathitrust

if we assume from now on that google can't source good info, it may be time to move to a "have a collection of reputable sites and use their internal search, or use site:domain"

before you suggest duckduckgo, I don't think their search quality is that much better. I think this is an issue affecting all search engines

maybe the right path is to use a search engine that lets you set a domain whitelist

@SuricrasiaOnline DDG just uses Bing for search data, but the ! searches make it actually useful despite that.

@SuricrasiaOnline @mdhughes ddg calls it "bang syntax" and it just lets you query another search engine, often site-specific, through ddg. all it does is redirect you.

@SuricrasiaOnline @mdhughes it reminds me of the query shortcuts from krunner in kde3.5 except it's curated and in your browser instead of your desktop

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@SuricrasiaOnline if anything, ddg is *worse* at seospam than google, i just can't stand giving google another bit of data so it's worth the sightly shittier results

@_ @SuricrasiaOnline the duck is pretty good at tech and and other "clinical" questions for me at least but with more organic and open ended questions really mess it up

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