Google is no longer a search engine

This is old news, but it’s a useful demonstration of what absolute garbage Google has become as a search engine. It is now an ad engine.

The scenario: I need to set up WordPress Multisite. I’ve done this several times, but since I only have to do the initial setup once every 2-3 years, it’s not something I have memorized. So… I google it! That’s what you do in the 21st century.

So, I went to Google and typed:

'WordPress Multisite installation' Google search

Now, the real solution to this that a smart search engine, which was designed for maximum usefulness as a search engine, would be to provide a link to the official WordPress documentation on the topic.

Is that what it returned? Of course not, silly! It returned four ads, which, depending on your window size, could take up the entire screen:

Google ad results
But then, the first “organic” result should be the official documentation, right?


The first organic result is a page from the dreadful, which is overflowing with the most verbose, poorly written, surface-level articles that are designed not to be genuinely useful but to ensure that Google’s search algorithm places them exactly where it did in these results.

Yes, of course, I did click the link, because I always do, and then I get annoyed with myself for falling into their trap. And is not much better… and also always near the top of the results.

Then, of course, before we finally get to the page I really was looking for, Google makes one last ditch effort to keep me from going where I want to go, by inserting its “People also ask” block, with quick answers scraped from real websites, designed specifically to keep you from actually venturing any deeper than Google’s search results page itself.

Thanks Google for doing your part to make the Internet suck.

P.S. What do you think happened when I clicked “I’m Feeling Lucky”?

The Lorax: shockingly bad

I was not at all shocked that the new Lorax movie is bad. But I was shocked at how bad. Without question, Dr. Seuss has always been my favorite children’s author, ever since I filled the entire checkout card of my elementary school’s copy of The Cat in the Hat with my name. Yes, I just renewed it over and over, because I loved it. (And, apparently, my mom did not, or she’d have just broken down and bought me my own copy.)

Over the years I read a lot of Seuss books at the school library, but none made such an impression, both immediate and lasting, as The Lorax. I loved it like nothing else, and I still do. I loved the book, and I loved the 1972 animated TV special, which not only captured and expanded upon the spirit of the book, but did so with the kind of funky music that only could have appeared in a children’s television program in that decade.

Therefore, it was almost a given that I would hate the new CGI animated feature film adaptation. But I was not prepared for how much I would hate it. OK, the notorious Mazda commercial gave me a clue, but I had been lulled since first staring gape-jawed in disbelief at the audacity of a car company claiming that an SUV with a standard combustion engine was “Truffula tree approved” into thinking that maybe the movie wouldn’t be so bad, after all.

Oh, how wrong I was. I was wrong — as were the filmmakers — in so many ways that I can barely begin to catalog them.

Fortunately I don’t have to. In his Vulture review, The Badness of The Lorax Is a Shock, David Edelstein says it all for me.


We disagree over whether the source material is any good, apparently, and Edelstein seems to like most the part of the movie I hate most — the tacked on conventional family movie chase sequence in the final 20 minutes. I found it so gratuitous and unbearable (and frankly just plain boring) that I excused myself to go to the bathroom, but I really just wanted to get the hell out of the theater so I didn’t have to witness any further abomination.

Please. Do not see this movie. Read the book. Or watch the 1972 TV special four times instead.