Google knows best.

Have you been finding it harder and harder to get accurate searches with Google? Were you starting to think your SearchFoo had withered on the vine? I’ve been getting that feeling, but had a growing hunch that the search results were having less and less to do with what I was searching for…

You aren’t going to get the same search results as I do, you’ll have to read on to understand why…

I’m trying to figure out how to identify a specific CPU from Linux /proc/cpuinfo output. So I happily plug the values into Google

Search: cpu family 15 model 4

and get a bunch of not-very related results. For a start, I know this is a Xeon CPU, and the first page of results are all AMD CPUs.

Ahh, I think, need to make my search more specific.

Search: “cpu family 15” “model 4” +GenuineIntel +Xeon

The result list is a little different. For a start, the last entry on the first page now mentions Intel. But the top of the list are all still AMD pages.

So I try

Search: What process is this? “Intel(R) Xeon(TM) CPU” “cpu family 15” “model 4” +GenuineIntel +Xeon

Entries 1 and 2 are still AMD specific, with no mention of Intel or Xeon either in the live page or the cached copy.

So I try a completely different search.

Search: How to identify your CPU from “/proc/cpuinfo” for Intel CPUs

I’m then baffled by the fact that all of the results I get on the first two pages … are about AMD CPU processor identification.

“Maybe this is a bug in the live search stuff” I think. So I restart the browser, and plug in:

Search: How to +identify your CPU from “/proc/cpuinfo” for +Intel processors

The top two results are the same, then I get some intel software development forums links, and then it carries on with a mix of AMD and Intel.

Also, every last damn one that actually has anything to say about using cpu family and model links to cpuz – the windows app. UGH.

Wait a second! Duh. All I need is to tell it NOT to return results with AMD in them!

Search: -AMD identify your cpu from cpuinfo for +Intel +Xeon processors under +Linux

Entry #1: Wiki list of AMD cpus. Entry #2 Wiki list of Intel CPUs.

Uhm. I thought -AMD meant “not AMD”. Ok. Maybe I need to step it up.

Search: -AMD identify cpu from cpuinfo for +Intel +Xeon processors under +Linux -AMD

Entry #1: Wiki list of AMD cpus. Entry #2: AMD list of AMD CPUs. Entry #3: Discussion of whether to buy an AMD or Intel CPU for a server.

Ok. This is getting stupid, I think. I know that I’m being messed with here. I’ve heard people talking about Google thinking they know what you are looking for, and “obsessing” about unrelated pages. And I do notice that many of the same unwanted links keep recurring. Like Google thinks that – because I clicked them – they are relevant. If they were relevant I wouldn’t still be searching, would I????

Ok. Time to put this to the test. Restart the browser.

Search: “Intel” “Xeon” “Linux”

  1. Sponsored link to AMD.com.
  2. Sponsored link to Intel & IBM.
  3. Sponsored link to HP.com/servers.

Then the regular links:

  1. Using the Intel Compiler on Ubuntu.
  2. AMD Server Platforms.
  3. Pogo Linux.

And after that, it starts to blend in the links I’ve clicked through from my previous queries above.

So, I close the browser down, delete the browsing history and cookies. Start it up again, try the same search. I get the same results.

So I go to my Google account settings > Web History and delete my search/web history. I try the same search. YAY! I get Intel/Linux/CPU related results, at last!

So – back to the original query.

Search: cpu family 15 model 4

Google’s lapse in memory seems to have been very short; I get pretty much the exact same result set as the original effort.

Enough! Break out the lap top, fire up a different browser on it that isn’t logged in to my Google account…

Search: cpu family 15 model 4

Apparently Google is factoring my IP address or something, because I get a very similar looking result set.

One last try. Back to my main PC and Chrome logged in to Google.

Search: what cpu is this? intel xeon cpu family 15 model 4

Result #1

So I head on over to Bing.

Search: what cpu is this? intel xeon cpu family 15 model 4

Result #1

Now – here’s the freaky thing. I did that in Chrome – which sends the queries up to Google as you type em.

I go back to Google and try the same query.

Result #1

Google: I need an “old school” button or a “brand new search” button, or you need to rename the “Advanced Search” button to “lets play word association and pretend I’m paying attention to what you type in rather than guessing based on what you searched for in 1999”.

8 Comments

When I put “cpu family 15″ “model 4″ +GenuineIntel +Xeon in I didnt get a single AMD result on first page. When I put +AMD instead of +GenuineIntel +Xeon I get all AMD results.

That is odd. Same here searching google via Firefox I got all intel Xeon results back with no AMD at all.
I tried it on default google.co.uk and com just to see if any differences.

All intel links.

Yep – today I get a totally different set of search results. Like I say, “Google knows best” :(

Also – when I do searches by manually typing something like +xeon “family 15” “model 4”, I get completely different results now than if I use the “Advanced Search” page.

I wish I could be able to research searches, with out the results of buying shat, that would be a huge time saver. And it seems to be getting worse as time goes on.

Stang, why are you using Google to search for things that you can’t buy? I thought that was what Google was all about?

All search engines are the same, they’re out to steal your details and sell them for profit.

I’d like to see Google add a ‘Social’ category, so you could restrict your searches to Social sites like Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and such.

I’ve started going direct to websites I know work well for me, I like places like Stack-Overflow.

I just had some similiar problems.. then I noticed that on Google mainpage there was something about “version history” (in finnish), and ability to turn off sorting results based on previous searches.

(As you pointed out in OP, why would I want the same results if I keep on searching..)

I wasn’t even logged in with Google account, but the option was still there.

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