Google Breaks Relevance with Scholar

My first Google Search today:


The problems are many:

1) The results are not relevant

The first result is an article titled, “Present Status and Marketing Prospects of the Emerging Hybrid-Electric and Diesel Technologies…” isn’t an exact match. Sure, there is “hybrid” in the title, but this is absolutely not a product comparison.

The second result isn’t really about hybrid cars at all. Its something about the Department of Public Works Garage Vehicle Acquisition Policy.

The third result, and probably the best of the bunch, talks about Hybrids in general, but again is not a comparison.

2) The results don’t work!

Clicking on the first article lands me at a Google error page stating, “Your search – author:”Burke” intitle:”Present Status and Marketing Prospects of the Emerging Hybrid-Electric and Diesel Technologies t” – did not match any articles. ”

The other two articles are PDF, which is just hard to deal with, doesn’t fit within the screen size appropriately, and is difficult to search.

3) Google’s native results are better

The regular old web search engines include reviews from Motor Trend, Edmunds, etc. Much much better.

This is sort of like Donald Trump’s Apprentice with “Street Smarts vs Book Smarts”. The fact is, that Google results are best served by real web pages rather than this scholarly stuff.

It will be interesting to see how long Scholar stays up top. From my perspective, Google just broke the relevance of their top-placement result by putting this in at all. Why not just let the scholarly articles sort to the top like any other web page? If they are linked to a lot, and have the right keywords, promote them. But why artificially boost junk?

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