Why you shouldn't Google for answers about car problems or vehicle issues anymore

I watched this interesting video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48AOOynnmqU

Now the video doesn’t actually have anything to do with cars. But near the middle it talks about SEO (search engine optimization) and how you can hire writers who know nothing about a topic to write articles that seem to look good and have good SEO. Such content mills tend to focus on topics which are popular. Questions about cars are always near the top as far as popularity goes. That’s why if you search today about a car issue you get so many junk articles.

When searching Google, and to some extent Bing and Duckduck, searching about car topics brings out some of the worst examples of what that video talks about. That’s why I’m posting this here.

Some search engines like Bing and Duckduckgo seem to not do AND keyword matching. If I search fuel tank strap paint on duckduckgo or Bing, many of the results omit the word paint or strap. The word strap cannot be found anywhere in the pages in the results near the top on duckduckgo. Instead I get a lot of pages trying to sell me paint for a fuel tank.

edit0: With Yahoo! search, it seems to be impossible to -exclude words from the search results. It also ignores “all in quotes” exact matches. It otherwise would have been a decent search engine.

edit1: mojeek.com is great but the database is small. Kind of like using Yahoo or Google in 2005. Like Craigslist, It uses & and | instead of AND and OR. - means exclude. marginalia.nu has unique features but it is very small.

edit2: Tip: When using a search engine that still honors excluding keywords, putting -com in the search eliminates a lot of spam, since most of the SEO content mills use the .com TLD. But then cartalk.com is also eliminated.

Google has also stopped searching a lot of discussion forums over the years. They also derank pages with static content and older styling. So the modern SEO stuff written by a person who knows nothing about the topic and is trying to sell something is what you get, and a 20 year old page with the correct information is buried deep in the search results.

Years ago, before working in telecom industry, I worked as a Software consultant to the insurance industry. I wrote a couple search engines for different insurance companies for them to help analyze claims. So, I have some experience with them.

The word AND, OR, them…but are called Noise words, and are omitted when indexing the URL. You can do an exact match by putting it in quotes.

Search engines use an algorithm that basically finds any/all words being searched on any URL. The basic algorithm for priority listing uses a simple math ratio of number of found words to number of words on the URL. It becomes the Tangent (Number of words / Number of words found). The higher the tangent, the higher on the list it will go. There can/is a lot more to it than this…like Dynamic Caching.

After the search list is calculated, then search engines (like Google and Bing) will put to the top of the list PAID advertising. This has become extremely annoying in the past 5 or so years. Do a search on Maytag Refrigerators, and the first 10 or more results may be about LG refrigerators because they paid for the advertising. You have to scroll down 1-2 pages to get more realistic results. In 3 weeks, do the same search again…only now the first 10 or more in the list will be Samsung appliances…Who’s ever paying the most for that time period.

Car searches are by far the WORSE with advertising. Sometimes it can be very annoying getting through the dealer advertising trying to sell you a new car when all you want is a vehicles tire pressure.

In addition, another very good reason to avoid web searches for car problems is that you may be led to a Scotty Kilmer video.



nobody needs that

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This has been pretty much true all along. Why would you suggest people stop using search engines altogether? Then what? As has always been true, you need to look at numerous sources and use your own noodle to separate the wheat from the chaff…

They used to say that statistically, an infinite number of monkeys banging away on an infinite number of keyboards would eventually produce a literary work of art. The advent of the internet has since disproven that notion…


I haven’t noticed this as much for car-problem diy-help, but it seems to be increasingly difficult to find links to home/garden repair & appliance repair diy’er-help. Most of the links seem to now go to a long list of businesses who want to do the job themselves, for a fee. Or to the company that made the product you are asking about, they want to sell you a new one.