• Avid Amoeba
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    1164 months ago

    Perhaps it’s becoming clear that search needs to become a common cooperatively managed infrastructure similar to Wikipedia. That this is in the best interest of everyone but advertisers and spammers.

    • Bizarroland
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      634 months ago

      Too bad the Mozilla foundation didn’t pivot to that instead of whatever the hell they’re doing with AI

      • Avid Amoeba
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        244 months ago

        Truly. I wonder if ActivityPub could be utilized to create a resilient search engine that shares the cost among federated instances. We already have something like that in Lemmy and Mastodon where federated data can be search from any instance. If the data is pages crawled by some automatic crawler which is then federated across instances which in turn allow to search through it, perhaps it might resemble a search engine. Page ranking beyond text matching could even be done by peoples up/down votes instead of some arbitrary algorithm. Similar to how voting works on StackExchange or Lemmy. 🤔 I’m sure someone is thinking about this.

        • @[email protected]
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          364 months ago

          The answer to your question is no, federation is not an appropriate model for internet scale search.

          • @[email protected]
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            54 months ago

            Yeah I think you need a centralized system with decentralized ownership, so that no single party can fuck it up by themselves

          • Avid Amoeba
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            4 months ago

            Just to be clear, what I’m referring to here is that a search would occur on a single instance. E.g. searches on lemmy.world occur on the lemmy.world instance, and load lemmy.world’s servers. The federated part is in the building the database on lemmy.world. E.g. a crawler or a user on lemmy.ca adds a new web site and that record is federated to lemmy.world to add to its database. Another user on feddit.de upvotes a search result and that upvote is federated to lemmy.world so that the search result shows higher for users searching on lemmy.world. In this kind of model individual search instances could in fact be very large based on their usage. If there’s no limit to what’s federated, that would put a lower bound on the size of instances. If there’s a limit (something dumb like federate only search records for *.fr domains) then that would allow for smaller instances that don’t have the compute and storage for the complete index.

        • @[email protected]
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          24 months ago

          the biggest question would be how to defend it from spammers and corporations with potentially much more money.

          • Avid Amoeba
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            4 months ago

            One answer that’s proven to work is by involving a lot of people’s labor in the editorial/curation process. Similar to how posting/commenting/voting/moderation work on Lemmy, how it’s worked on Reddit and other human-driven platforms. Corporations have proven on multiple occasions that paying for this labor is not feasible and so a system that depends on it should be corpo-resistant or capital-resistant.

            • @[email protected]
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              4 months ago

              well reddit did that and was full of shills and bots, vote manipulation, and more, this approach completely failed for them.

              and they do put a lot of money into it.

  • fmstrat
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    914 months ago

    It’s been said before: Google does not find you the best result for your query. Google finds you the result that makes them the most money from AdSense and has words from your query.

    If Mozilla wasn’t funded by Google, the best thing they could do is include a helpful/unhelpful ranking for websites, then filter Google results by that. Search should be social, not commercial.

    • @[email protected]
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      464 months ago

      Google’s method of ranking results has clearly had a detrimental effect on website content and structure as well. I can’t believe how much nonsense junk padding there is on all the top results. You can understand why people are happy to have an LLM sift through the junk and make up an answer, even if it’s wrong half the time.

      • @[email protected]
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        24 months ago

        Even a junk made-up answer would be an improvement over the results I recently got after trying both Google and DDG to search up a random question that came to me. I wanted to find a list of animals with vertical pupils, and all I got were pages with headlines like “Why do some animals have vertical pupils?” that didn’t answer my question or even the question in the headline!

    • @[email protected]
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      54 months ago

      Search should be social, not commercial.

      this would be gamed by companies in the same way social media is used to advertise businesses.

      • fmstrat
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        44 months ago

        Potentially, but there is a reason adding “Reddit” to the end of a search is so common. It’s basically up-voted search results.

  • @[email protected]
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    734 months ago

    Wow

    alt-text: Google results for “best air purifiers “dotdash meredith”” showing People, Better Homes & Gardens, and a dozen other brands showing up, all reusing the same low-quality content

    Thanks a lot for sharing this.

    • @[email protected]
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      354 months ago

      Honestly, right here, that’s the beauty upside of the fediverse, we are slightly bigger than the general internet bubble and that’s enough to watch content not bound by it, Iyk what I mean.

    • @[email protected]
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      4 months ago

      As far as I know, rtings.com is a decent one for tech products.

      It at least tells you what tests it does, has the results and doesn’t seem to be cobbled together by an LLM from press releases.

      Edit: There is also Which? magazine which is pay for and is kept alive entirely by 70 year old men like my dad who have never got round to cancelling it despite not really reading it.

    • @[email protected]
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      194 months ago

      Wirecutter used to be good, but they’ve pretty much entirely sold out to whoever pays them I think. The Spruce Eats seems maybe slightly better than them these days for that sorta household stuff?

      TechGearLab and OutdoorGearLab are still good.

      Project Farm on YouTube is top tier testing for tools and whatever else catches his eye, though I wish it was a little easier to see the results in a spreadsheet instead of having to screenshot the video.

      • @[email protected]
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        14 months ago

        I still think Wirecutter is testing and better than the fake review sites but yeah I’d agree that I think they tip the scales from time to time.

        One example, Fitbit has been their fitness watch recommendation forever and their charge watches have been ewaste garbage for years.

  • @[email protected]
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    374 months ago

    If it’s any consolation, I haven’t used Google in years and I still haven’t heard of this site.

        • @[email protected]
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          54 months ago

          Duck Duck Go is repackaged Bing and Yahoo for the most part. - Said as a duck duck go user

          At some point I should really try out one of the paid search options…

          • mac
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            34 months ago

            I was skeptical at first, wondering why the hell I’d pay for search. I set up the trial of Kagi, and it’s fast like the pages load instantly, the result knockouts are almost always useful and the standard results are usually highly relevant and useful.

        • @[email protected]
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          54 months ago

          Was bought out by dotdash a few years ago. Been on a steady decline ever since. The old content is still there, so it still works as a reference, but the new stuff is not of the same quality

        • Cris
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          24 months ago

          It doesn’t seem like anything happened with them, they’re just published by a company that also spams seemingly hollow search results for reviews. Reviews it seems like they may not have meaningfully conducted. But serious eats isn’t actually implicated in anything other than being published by them as best I can tell. Dotdash Meredith also seems to publish a bunch of other food/recipe sites too.

    • @[email protected]
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      34 months ago

      Be cool if we had a browser extension that automatically told Google to filter out results from these sites specifically

      • wanderingmagus
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        24 months ago

        ublacklist is a must-have extension for blocking whole lists of sites from search results.

  • @[email protected]
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    204 months ago

    I have no idea about air purifiers, but Meredith (and better homes and gardens DO have a test kitchen in Des Moines and I wouldn’t be surprised if they test other stuff there. My dad worked there and as a kid we got to come through a and try out recipes they were thinking of publishing sometimes.

    But ANY site running these review articles at this point, be it for hotels or air purifiers or food kr *30 under 30" lists, are all just paid shills. I don’t really have any reason to think “housefresh” is any different either. I don’t even really trust consumer reports at this point after seeing them shill really shitty products a few times. Maybe ifixit is ok?

    Go to Amazon and filter by one star, then try to ignore the crazys.

    • @[email protected]
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      84 months ago

      Go to Amazon and filter by one star, then try to ignore the crazys.

      This is underrated. This is where you find out management switched over and changed policies, that quality is great but they have trouble delivering, or their returns require arcane rituals on the third blood moon.

    • @[email protected]
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      24 months ago

      There is a dodgy car rental brand in australia, nz, usa and canada that i had used, and exclusively markets to overseas tourists, but not locals - presumably because locals would know that they should not rent a car that failed the technical inspection and is illegal to drive, which to the surprise of nobody happens a lot with cheap, 20 year old rental cars. It’s very hard to find organic customer reviews of the company, because their own SEO drowns out any authentic customer voices:

      • Their links come from “paid blog posts” (they pay the blogger to write some fluff piece) in private travel blogs, advertising banners, forum posts and articles on big travel sites like trip advisor

      • Their own “travel tips for #country#” websites which offers the same info as other tourist sites, but where they exclusively mention their own business. They have a whole network of their own sites, each for a different country they opperate in, a different language for the customer nationality they are targeting and the age group/price level they want to serve

      • social media channels of course

      • In forum posts where the company is mentioned in a bad way, some new account pops up defending the company, or the thread is deleted soon afterwards.

      • Same with online reviews on google maps, where the company sits at a 4.5 score, but some bad reviews about deposits not being paid out after the car was returned have magically disappeared.

      tl;dr: the internet is all ads!

    • @[email protected]
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      14 months ago

      I can’t believe I ever trusted consumer reports after I read up on how they purposely distorted their Suzuki samurai testing. The CR own record video shows they were determined to roll it.

    • @[email protected]
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      434 months ago

      It is.

      Their complaint is legit though. Their niche is being invaded by crappy sites that pretend to do what they do, the layperson can tell no difference, and Google pushes them all to the top anyway.

      Testing products is expensive and nobody is really willing to pay for somebody else to do it. Google has just made it completely unviable to survive on clicks. At this point they might as well just be generating all the content with an LLM and keep the money for themselves.

    • @[email protected]
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      384 months ago

      That’s irrelevant here because what they’re describing is happening in every market, not just their niche.

  • @[email protected]
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    164 months ago

    Nothing in that article is a surprise, its almost as bad just looking up general info lately. I have been doing some searching in both google and yandex and often get better results in yandex.

    • @[email protected]
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      64 months ago

      I was looking forward to seeing more reviews from the company, then saw they only have reviews of air purifiers, humidifiers or dehumidifiers, and a few sensors. That’s pretty niche, and even if they maybe should be used more they probably need to branch out into more categories to get more attention. But it looks very thorough and useful if you need those items.

      • @[email protected]
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        64 months ago

        I definitely went down the rabbit hole after reading the article posted, which was very well compiled. Their testing and reviews are very high quality and it looks like they can apply their test results to multiple curated use cases. Their tests also seem repeatable, which is important for this niche. To branch out, they would have to build out very specific testing environments, which is not a small investment, depending on what they are testing. If I ever need an air purifier, I know where to look now I guess. Like some say, if your going to do something, focus on doing one thing and do it well.

  • _NoName_
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    4 months ago
    • Ban commercial Ads from the web.
    • Illegalize selling of user data without consent, at minimum.

    The majority of online enshittification stems from profit motivation. Removing the incentive will fundamentally change how the internet is used and will likely change it for the better.