Google not so great at search?

Well, google sets the standard for its web search, but try searching on its android market website and you will be disappointed.

Here is a simple search, for anyone thinking about heading to the US, ‘USA Travel Guide’. Click on that link to open a new window. Currently it returns 271 results, but as we will see, the results don’t often have much to do with USA or travel guides.

The first set of results appear below, and it is not until we get to the fourth spot do we see a US travel guide. The first and third are not even travel guides, and the second is a travel guide to Barcelona? Same problem with the fifth entry, which is a travel guide to Bangkok? How do there get in there.

There are 24 entries on the first page, 12 of them are travel guides to completely different countries and cities, from Athens to Zurich, 2 of them are not even travel guides at all, and only 9 are of actual use, and most of them are towards the bottom of the page. The apps that are actual travel guides for the US are US Mobile Guide, New York City Guide, Tourist Eye Travel Guide, Washington D.C. Travel Guide, XLR8R Scion City Guide, Boston Travel Guide, Audio guide Toozla, Triposo Travel Guide and our app USA Travel Guide.

Our app, the app with the exact name, comes in at number 20.

I certainly expected more from Google.

12 thoughts on “Google not so great at search?

  1. Kevin

    We have the same issue. Searching our exact app name, Smart Aisles, returns another app with smart nor aisles in its title. It does not even have the the phrase smart aisles in the description. Apple does a much better job, imagine that.

    1. cakesy Post author

      I know that Apple used to take into consideration the description, and lot of people were scamming sercch by adding in lots of terms, then they limited search to working on keywords, and limiting keywords to 100 characters.

  2. tty

    >I certainly expected more from Google.

    What you mean to say, you expected to outrank other apps solely because of the generic name you’re using and not on the quality, rating or number of downloads.

    1. cakesy Post author

      Well, I imagine that someone searching for USA Travel Guides would rather have my app, no matter how bad it is, rather than a guide to India or Dublin. It would have to be a pretty good app to change someones travel destination.

  3. Steven Don

    Sometimes people tell me I should look at a certain app, but searching for it by exact name will rarely give the intended app as the first result. It is annoying. And even keyword search isn’t very good on the Android marketplace. Your example is a good case in point.

  4. ahmet alp balkan

    Google recently removed its “Exact Match” policy from Android Market search.

    For example, all my apps have keyword “avior” somewhere in them, previously when I search for this keyword, only my apps were shown. However now, lots of apps that don’t even have this word exactly are shown up in the results.


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