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Dear Google, - Hawk's Eyrie
It's all about releasing your inner sociopath
Dear Google,
Dear Google,

In response to your decision to remove user's ability to turn off autocomplete today: SCREW YOU TOO.

I'm a professional researcher. I've tested the differences between you, Bing, and Yahoo (back when Yahoo was independent). There's really no difference in search responses between the lot of you.[1] The main difference is how the homepage works.

Until you do decide to stop cluttering up my screen with extraneous results (I can guarantee you - my searches are NOT going to come up in autocomplete), I'm gone. Even if you give an option to turn it back off; I might not come back.

Seriously. Give me an option to turn off Google Instant (also annoying), but NOT autocomplete? This might make things faster for some people, but I can guarantee you that for this non-casual searcher it makes my job much much harder.

With Annoyance,


[1]I have found cases where Yahoo might have an answer that Google doesn't, or vice versa, but that's usually the luck of what was indexed in what order (or not removed from caches yet), not an indicator of who has more search pages.

ETA: I have just discovered you CAN turn it off by using boolean logic - i.e. starting your search with a + or - in front of it. I use that logic in many of my searches. Not going to go back to doing it with Google, though, when if I forget/mistype a + it makes the whole search useless. [And watch them remember that they forgot to remove that feature, and take it away in a day or two, anyway.] Ah, Bing - guess you're my new BFF.

ETA2: Ah. This Google page is now my homepage. No more bloody autocomplete! And as I know that Google tracks everything that goes through it, I'm sure that they're noticing a portion of their users are using this instead.

Until it goes away, I'll stick with Google. If it goes away again, off I go to Bing or Yahoo - whichever is less cluttered.

Tags: , , ,
Mood: pissed off

7 talons or Rake your talons?
(Deleted comment)
lbmango From: lbmango Date: September 9th, 2010 06:33 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
yeah, I just ignore the autocomplete and keep typing because I type faster than I read/move my mouse to the correct line...
merhawk From: merhawk Date: September 9th, 2010 07:04 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
I don't need suggestion helps, nor am I ADHD.

Unless I'm ignoring my computer screen completely (which makes having learned to touch type fairly useless), the flickering keeps hitting the corner of my eye. If you haven't noticed this yourself at places where they constantly leave the bloody television on, flickering will draw your eye. It's natural. And that's one of the reasons that they use this feature. So while I'm trying to concentrate on what I want to find, autocomplete is trying to drag my attention to what it thinks I want to find.

Which makes me, as a researcher, exponentially slower.

Others don't like the feature due to the fact that it covers up the buttons, and a lot of people like to use the "I'm feeling lucky" button. I don't use that, either.
(Deleted comment)
merhawk From: merhawk Date: September 9th, 2010 09:12 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
First off:

Autocomplete != Google Instant. They are two SEPARATE features. Autocomplete starts making suggestions in your search box while you're typing. Google Instant starts bringing up potential webpage matches while you're typing. They can - if Google gets its head out of its ass - be used separately if desired. Y'all need to stop combining the two.


This whole post started because I don't have the option to turn it off. So long as I can turn it off (and Google stops expiring their cookies every so often so I have to scramble to turn it off), then I don't care. My fingers might itch to turn it off for you if I see you using it, but that's your choice to use it.


I type 100+ words a minute. How about you? I know for a fast that I type faster than the algorithm pulls up suggestions. That makes it triply more annoying as it's being jerky in the background.


I already acknowledged that some people might want suggestion helps. Those who bounce from topic to topic without a pause and every few minutes do exhibit ADHD behavior, and that's what I'm referring to. If you have that behavior, of course the screen constantly flickering at you isn't going to be the same type of problem. If you don't exhibit such behavior, it can be a distraction. And they've already proved that we multi-task much less efficiently than people claim. This will speed up a certain type of searcher. It will not usually speed up the expert searcher.
kitarra From: kitarra Date: September 9th, 2010 06:37 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
Er...you do know you can turn off instant search just by setting your search preference to NOT use it. They aren't forcing you to use it.
merhawk From: merhawk Date: September 9th, 2010 07:00 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)
Autocomplete != Instant Search.

Instant Search can be turned off. Autocomplete, as of this morning, can not be.
From: ojuang Date: September 14th, 2010 09:50 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)

turn off autocomplete

merhawk From: merhawk Date: September 14th, 2010 09:57 pm (UTC) (Permanent Entry Link)

Re: turn off autocomplete

Thanks for the link. I actually found that a few days ago; just keep forgetting to update my rant on here.

Forced Autocomplete - or Google Instant, if they ever do that - is a dealbreaker. Utterly.
7 talons or Rake your talons?