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

Follow

a search engine that only searches wikipedia, hathitrust, archive.org, github.com, and maybe stack exchange. that would be hype. any other domains?

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this is quite bad for net neutrality, unfortunately

@SuricrasiaOnline I feel like it doesn’t have to be, if it lets the user choose sources they want to use…?
Maybe it could allow rating quality of results for sources to help highlight good/new ones? Idk

@SuricrasiaOnline i know kagi.com is trying to be normal but i haven't used it enough to know

@catalina I like how I clicked "random websites" and got the main page for a tilde server populated by people I know

@catalina @SuricrasiaOnline ha, I searched "how to fix a toilet" and got an art project I'd never heard of by a friend of mine about how people use search engines

@SuricrasiaOnline archwiki, tvtropes, etymonline, dict.org, something with all the man pages, memory alpha, emojipedia

@brennen @SuricrasiaOnline all pages created before <date when SEO sites became a thing>

@SuricrasiaOnline here u go: easrng.github.io/no-shit-sherl
it's a google custom search engine but i added some js before loading it that makes it so the ad script doesn't load even without adblock
it searches wikipedia, wiktionary, wikimedia commons, wikidata, all the SE sites, github, gitlab, sourcehut, codeberg, archive.org, hathitrust, project gutenberg, unsplash, and pexels for now

@SuricrasiaOnline ok i added a few more sites (MDN, css-tricks, old.reddit, emojipedia, dict.org, etymonline, emojipedia, arch wiki, debian.org)

@easrng @SuricrasiaOnline probably better to use a custom centrality algo (like custom pagerank) centered around a few certain sites you deem to be the “Ideal Archetype” of the content you want and then use huerestics to adjust the weight of a site. Huerestics could include:

How much Readability strips
How much uBlock Origin filters (Teclis.com does this)
Manual actions
JavaScript and tracker weight (Marginalia does this)
Structured data (FairSearch, Google, Bing, Yandex, and maybe Petal do this)

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