Make Google results less Googley, maybe even better

Google minus Google gets rid of Google-owned sites as part of the big G's search results. Is this a good thing?

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read

Have you noticed the ever-growing number of Google-owned sites that have crept into the search giant's results? Doing a Google search for Diet Coke and Mentos will take you to a results page where half of the items are videos on Google's two video sites: YouTube and Google Video. The same goes for millions of other search queries that are pulling from the ever growing number of Google sites and services.

Is there a problem here? It depends on what you were looking for in the first place.

Timo Paloheimo, a crafty developer/blogger from Finland, seems to think the all-around increase of Google-owned sites in the results is impeding with what the search engine is all about. To remedy this he's put together a Google custom search called Google minus Google that removes all of Google properties from the equation. It's like any other Google custom search, except for the giant handpicked blacklist of Google properties. The previous version, which was launched early last week, kept the blacklist at the beginning of each search query, making it less precise.

Coming back to the original "problem" of having Google's results show up with some prominence, the initial example of the Diet Coke and Mentos is a classic case of where you're likely to be looking for the video that is best known for getting its big break on YouTube. To Google Minus Google's credit, doing the same search puts a Wikipedia article on top, followed by the Eepybird people, who were the creators of the video that's the best known example of the Web phenomenon.

Neither solution is perfect, but it's kind of startling to see the differences with some simple tweaks. SEO conspiracy fanatics will always give Google a hard time since it knows the ins and outs of its own search tool, however the majority of users are always going to want to search as much of the Web as possible.

[via NYT and Lifehacker]