Google’s Worst Ever Product
Today I discovered Google’s worst ever product: SearchMash
As it turns out, “Mash” is quite a appropriate – a mish-mash of badly thought out ideas, “new” technologies and rubbish UI. It comes across as one of those god-awful Web 2.0 search engines like A9 that seem to think that search is glamorous, operating under the mistaken belief that people actually want to spend more time on the search engines than the pages they’re searching for.
Let’s have a quick look through their features page. I’ll translate:
- You don’t have to have your cursor in the search box to start typing your query: Great, the day that text input focusing was a feature worth shouting about came and went in 1997
- Click the green URL of a web result to open a menu of options for viewing the URL or refining your query: Do YOU know anyone that really thinks pop-up menus are a good idea? I’d rather not have to have an extra click and move to see the cache, please. This feature has already kicked me once – if I click on a URL I expect to be taken to that URL, not to be presented with an annoying menu.
- You can see the top three image results next to your web results: Way to eat my bandwidth, Google. How often would I want images of what I’m searching for? Hint: not often. If I’m searching for loans, probably the last thing I want is to see people with fistfulls of dollars.
- Click the number next to a result and drag it around to reorder: Thought you’d best bite the bullet and admit your relevancy sucks, yeah? I can’t wait to start abusing this when they use it to help with rankings. A less scrupulous SEO would probably use this to mislead clients. Personally I prefer to reorder SERPS by entering the market
- Click the “more results” bar at the bottom of the page (or hit the space bar) to load more results and automatically scroll down to view them: This is a REAL stinker – we had this in Zippy beta for all of a day before we junked it. For a start it’s very distracting and unweidly, but more importantly it’s totally broken by the back button. Try clicking on a #11+ result and then going back. Nice one GOOG.
I personally filled out the yes/no buttons on the features page. Honestly, I click “yes” to just the first one.
Seems like even Google would rather not be associated with this little stinker – the design bears no corporate branding, and the affiliation with Google can only be found on the whois and privacy page. Come on Google, at least own up to your mistakes.
And in case anyone’s wondering: Yes, they do appear to be using G’s search platform.