Google backtracks on desktop search redesign blurring ads from organic results

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I thought I had somehow messed with settings on my desktop and that was what made Google results look all squirrelly. Also I was getting nastygrams from my company IT dept. because I was clicking on so many ads that my account got flagged.


When I first saw the redesign I immediately had the same impression as a lot of other folks: “Wtf, everything is ads now?!” Which something tells me was exactly the goal, and they didn’t think people would be annoyed. Which goes to tell you how clueless these idiots are, and how many decades we’re behind in regulating the shit out of tech industry.


Yep, entire top half of the page was now ads. Which made me think that I may have to finally change to duck duck go as my goto search engine.


Is there a setting to turn off rich snippets? It significantly reduces the number of returns on a page and adds nothing to improving the search.

Anyone who decides to ‘improve the desktop experience’ by adding elements drawn from the hellscape of mobile design is either either in the grips of madness or an enthusiastic pawn of dark powers.

I’m sure that this whole episode is just one round of a cynical frog-boiling exercise; but it’s chilling to see this excuse being trotted out.


For anyone still using Google for search, it’s very easy to switch to DuckDuckGo as your default engine. They respect your privacy. They identify their ads in their search results. And because they don’t track you, you aren’t contributing to polluted search results.


Is it good? Compared to the better aspects of Google, which at the end of the day, I still consider to be one of the most amazing things humans have ever built. It would be so nice, if the company itself wasn’t so sketchy on so many levels…

i almost never use google unless duckduckgo can’t find the gif i need

(image search is one area google is actually superior in imho, mostly due to their ability to throw big iron at parsing images in cool ways, but i strongly suggest folks check out DDG, you can always use !g bang command to fall back to google)

Edit: sorry I didn’t see @jaded also plugged DDG before me


I use DDG on my mobile. I dont have that choice on my desktop.

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I switched probably ten years ago, back when they first launched. The initial results weren’t so great, but they rapidly improved and for the last five years I literally only use google as a last result. Even then, I go through ddg using ddg’s handy bang notation, such as !g or !gi: !gi grumpy cat

At this point I trust ddg much more for shopping than I do Google. Google’s results are so heavily tampered with that they’re not trustworthy. Search google for any product and your top results will be from whoever paid the most for SEO.


I’ve actually been running into an almost opposite problem lately. Without realising it, I’ve begun subconsciously filtering all ad results - even with the iconography style.
On a couple of occasions where I had been googling a large company or government site, this led to me being unable to find the result I was looking for despite the fact that it was sitting right there in the top of my search results - because it was labelled an ad. Didn’t even glance at it long enough to know what it was.


I run a google scraping application for SEO purposes, and when the original DOM change came in I was concerned that it had broken but it looks okay. Now that google are taking part of that out, I am worried again…

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I think you will find that DuckDuckGo works just fine for the majority of your searches. It’s easy to use Google for times when DDG isn’t doing it for you, but leave DDG as your primary. I switched years ago and have never had to resort to Google ever since.


I tried going all in with DDG then StartPage but found the results to not be as good as Google so recently switched back. I might give DDG another try, especially since learning about the bangs (thanks @anon2148050)

To be honest i want to leave Google altogether but Gmail and Gdrive are so integrated into my life that it’s impossible…

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I don’t have good gdrive suggestion (I back up to encrypted usb hd) but I enjoy protonmail as a mail provider, and use iCal for calendar stuff since it’s not in the cloud.

Signed up to Protonmail last week and like the look of it so far. Not actually started using it yet though.

I won’t lie it’s a little bare bones. But they encrypt data at rest, and swiss law means no fishing expeditions.

(NSA still snarfs when you email others)

I know some say no ethical consumption under capitalism but IMO denying google business is a good start. We can take our business elsewhere if we wantm and should while we can.

DM me if you have Qs I’ve been using longer

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I don’t understand… you can’t change the default? You could go to and use it I think? Never seen it blocked on a corp network…

Thanks! Appreciate it. Just noticed and downloaded the Protonmail iOS app so i think i’m going to give it a try. Calendar on the way too.