Scotts Searching :: A Bad Search Trick :: Screwing Up Over Searching By Ignoring Search Context
Last updated: 8/22/2002; 8:54:29 AM
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Scotts Searching :: A Bad Search Trick :: Screwing Up Over Searching By Ignoring Search Context

It seems like just yesterday that I was writing about Over Searching being a good search trick.  Oh.  That's right.  I'm a goober.  It was yesterday.  Well I guess that makes this even more appropriate.  (Warning – You are entering a potentially bile filled anti microsoft rant zone.)

Over searching, as I mentioned yesterday, takes into account what a user might want in addition to what a user searches for to deliver more results than specifically required by the query itself.  It's a good approach – but – it needs to take into account the context of the user's query.  Or it just results in alienation (and rants like this).  Here's what I just did.

I'm trying to find out how to programmatically insert context menus into Microsoft Outlook for the much delayed Inbox Buddy product that will ship soon (I'll blog why the been delay when it ships; it's always interesting when about as much intellectual effort goes into the installation scripts as in the software itself).  Anyway … I surfed over to Microsoft's developer sites and was searching from the MSDN developer sites and here was my query:

"Outlook "Context Menu" Create" using All words

That's a very specific query – 4 terms w/ 1 phrase and an All Words requirement.  Here's what I got back:


So my best results for a query that includes "Context Menu" are "Shop for Microsoft Outlook" and "Order the 30-day Trial of Office XP".  One word comes to mind:


Another 8 words:

This is an Attack of the Marketing Weenies!!!

(i.e. they are the ones defining how to alter the search results)

Come on guys!  This is a developer site I was searching from – and that makes all the difference!  Look at the query complexity and the referer url and then determine the degree of "insert market droid crap" here.  All you do when you try to hard sell a technical person (and I'll bet than 90+ % of the people doing complex queries from this site are technical folk) is alienate them.  I'll do my searching with Google from now on.  Thank you very much.  As we say in the IM world, "L8R to MSDN".


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