Archive for the ‘Google Fail’ Category

Google Has Removed “View Customizations” from Results Pages

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

It came to my attention this morning when trying to conduct some research on a client’s rankings that Google appears to have removed the “View customizations” option from its result pages. Here’s an image of what it used to look like:

Image from SEO-e Blog by SEO Advantage

(Full disclosure: I lifted that image from SEO-e’s post about turning off personalized search since I can’t do a retroactive screen grab. Attribution and some effusive gushing about how much I loved the post enough to bookmark it will have to serve as my plea for mercy should anyone over there be upset with me for it.)

From that “View customizations” link we used to be able to see unfiltered results – really handy stuff when trying to counter the effect of personalized search to see where your client really ranks.

And then today, there was no nifty “View customizations” link. There was only this:

No bottom search bar, no “View customizations” link! “Search within results” has also gone AWOL. We’ve checked this on several computers around the office, and all have the same missing elements, though ninja Patti reported getting a bottom search box and the “Search within results” option when Google Instant is turned off. She contributed this screenshot:

We were able to duplicate this across computers across three different locations in two states, so it appears to be a system-wide change.

To summarize:

  • The bottom search box and “Search within results” options disappear when Google Instant is on.
  • “View customizations” is gone entirely.

I’m less upset about the bottom search box than the “view customizations” option being gone. It was nice to have some kind of neutral ground on which to view raw, unfiltered results. Maybe Google thought this view provided a little too much insight into the personalization algo?

Follow-up to “How Do You Say ‘Google Fail’ in Danish?”

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

I’ve run into the Google Toolbar language detection problem mostly in my Salesforce work queue. Depending on the weather in Fiji, the number of times I sneeze, and whether or not the Broncos won, I am told that it is in Danish, Dutch or French. It even tried to tell me that the list of country codes at is in Catalan. (It’s not – but you probably already guessed that.)

I may be the only one in the building with this amusing little poltergeist hanging out in my browser, but it seems that I am far from alone in the world. Google has set up a page where you can report language detection errors and allegedly get them fixed.

That’s nice and all, but I’m torn. If I report it, then there goes a harmless bit of daily amusement. Is the faulty detection actually hurting anything?

Not in my case with my work queue (currently showing “Danish”), but for sites outside of my little bubble, it may turn out to be a hindrance. If I’m trying to look at a page written in German,  and the toolbar for some reason thinks it’s in English, the translation feature may not work at all.

Report Google Toolbar language detection errors here:

How do you say “Google Fail” in Danish?

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

My fellow Page 1 SEO monkeys and I got a laugh out of this recently… Google thinks my Salesforce queue is in Danish! It’s been a few weeks since this first popped up, and I still get the Danish translation prompt at least once a day. To make this story even more bizarre, last week Google briefly wondered if it was actually French instead of Danish, but has since apparently decided it really is Danish after all. Even though the page is entirely in English. Enjoy!

Danish Google Fail

EDIT 12/3/09: Today Google Translate came up with Dutch instead of the usual Danish. But I can kinda see that. They are pretty close, after all. Even if the site is still in English.