Google would prefer you not use that old browser


#1

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#2

Interesting that they did this Friday night, almost as though they both expected some kickback, and thought that an intervening weekend would lessen the kickback somehow.

If they were that worried about negative press, here’s an idea, they could have not done it.

Some of us are running the most advanced browser our old machines can use, and the prospect of getting a new machine is further away than, say, the prospect of a new job. Thanks for caring, Google!


#3

It seems like most people who would be affected by this will not notice, or are unable to upgrade. Neither will be encouraged to upgrade.


#4

Imma see if I can find that old copy of Lynx.

What does google look like on that? Anybody got a recent screenshot?


#5

Great, now my browser is passive aggressive. The march towards Sirius Cybernetics GPPs is unstoppable.


#6

What do you think you’re missing by having the 2013 (gasp!) version of the front page? Do you know how freaking annoying it is to write fallback code to support old browsers - not to mention that doing so increases the bandwidth load on each pageload for everyone? Why should google bother doing that when you get the same search results irrespective of what browser you use? In any case, irrespective of the browser you use, you can get addons that change the user-agent to whatever you want to pretend to be. Since the differences are mostly cosmetic, I don’t know why you’d bother since the code might render with errors anyway as it’s in a legacy browser.


#7

I was about to say that a major segment of people using outdated browsers are employees who are not meant to browse the web at all, but those are usually stuck with whatever version of IE came with their Windows.


#8

You’re -so- right.

‘‘Go Stick Your Head in a Pig’’

I wonder what browser i would have to use to get a google front page from 2003 or so, one that still used boolean operators and did not return carefully calculated tailored personalized bubble-creating results.

Because I would absolutely downgrade an entire machine to get that back.


#9

I know the cost of doing business when I see it.


#10

I’m right there with you. Google would prefer me not to use that old browser? I’d prefer to get back the Google of 2003.


#11

You know there are a HEAP of search operators now, right?

x AND y = +x +y
x OR y = x OR y
x NOT y = x -y

Plus there’s tons of text operators:
https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/136861?hl=en

wonder what browser i would have to use to get a google front page from 2003

As I mentioned above, you can get browser addons that change your user-agent. I have this one on my machine and it allows you to mimic ie6 (released in 2001). You can replicate this post topic using the addon, but it’s not going to serve you a 2003 version, unfortunately.

I know the cost of doing business when I see it.

I am confused. Are you saying that supporting legacy browsers by coding for them is a cost of doing business that they should wear?


#12

I know that I’m missing reverse image search, not least because it disappeared as I was using it. One search it worked fine; the next search the camera icon disappeared but Google kindly asked me if I wanted to do a reverse image search when I pasted in an image address; the search after that, I didn’t even get that option.

What I don’t follow is how it advantages Google to turn off a service that worked just fine. What needed updating on something that worked, such that they felt it was expedient to piss off poor fools like myself still living in the last decade computing-wise?

Meanwhile, if my browser will work fine just by flying a false flag, then what was the point of Google cutting support for my browser? If, on the other hand, the search won’t work properly under a false flag, then what was the point of you mentioning the false flag extension?


#13

yes. They’re google. They should be capable.

And thank you for all that delicious information.


#14

You’re welcome for the 'fo.

I agree with the principle of what you’re saying, but this isn’t a financial or marketing decision (they’re not crippling newer versions of competitors’ browsers) google is in fact helping users by doing this. They do so in several ways:

  1. Users who are using modern browsers (which should be everyone) will have faster load times as they do not have to push code to support legacy browsers. Some things, like css shadows for example, have to be coded multiple different ways to support the range of old browsers out there. All of that code is usually loaded for every visitor to the site, unless the dev has done something clever like identify the browser type and push a specific stylesheet for that particular browser. As browser tech improves they generally become more uniform as agreed standards replace ad hoc engineering workarounds.

  2. By encouraging users to use a more modern browser they are helping patch security vulnerabilities. There are few worse things you can do for the safety and security of your machine than run old browsers for anything but testing.


#15

You’re obviously not wrong, and I agree that people could upgrade most machines easily, but… the actual highway takes all comers. The information highway ought not require a late model car.

I actually believe that if google can tailor my search results to my individual person, they can probably tailor my start page too. And if they can do the former but then make like the latter is some crazy notion… well, that would make it very clear who is the customer and who is the product… would it not?


#16

Hm… what are your machine specs and what browser do you use?

I know that I’m missing reverse image search

Very odd that they pulled code that worked on legacy browsers, but it’s likely a result of what I just replied to Acer: the code they push now to users with supported browsers is probably leaner thanks to dropping legacy support. Here’s their claimed supported browsers for image search:
https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/1325808?hl=en

^Those browsers are pretty old dude. Furthermore, there’s always the original reverse image search that will work anywhere: www.tineye.com

What I don’t follow is how it advantages Google to turn off a service that worked just fine.

teh googs works in mysterious ways. You’ve clearly not seen their graveyard:

In answer to this question, and to @AcerPlatanoides one, IMO google doesn’t mind positively affecting user behaviour for most users (reserving features for modern browsers in an effort to improve security overall) to the chagrin of a small number of users. The information highway should not require a late model car and I would contend it doesn’t as there’s always a way to make things work. They’re not saying they can’t do it, they’re saying they’ve made a choice not to. We can try to divine the reason by reading tea leaves but google is notoriously stubborn with the finality of the decisions they make.

Meanwhile, if my browser will work fine just by flying a false flag, then what was the point of Google cutting support for my browser?

Because, until I told you that such a thing even existed, you probably didn’t even know it was a thing. Most users don’t. It happens to be part of my job, which is why I have it. If I had not told you about it your only other option is to upgrade, which is precisely google’s desired outcome. They don’t care which browser you use, just that it’s modern.

If, on the other hand, the search won’t work properly under a false flag, then what was the point of you mentioning the false flag extension?

It’s impossible for me to know whether it WILL work for you, as I have mine installed on Chrome 36 and I have NFI what your setup is. All I know is that if I set the user-agent to ie6 it borks the search by image function, but if I set it to ie9 it works perfectly. Instead of snarkily questioning me why don’t you install it and let us know if it works?


#17

Thanks for the links, but I find that the quoted search string takes liberties I find annoying. I often need to find part numbers of components, very specific strings of letters & numbers, and doing a search for “ABC-123” will yield “ABC-123”, “ABC123”, “ABC 123”, “ABC and 123”, “ABC & 123”, “ABC’s 123’s”, “abc/123”, “ABC…123”, “ABC,123” et cetera…It just tries to be too clever. Just give me the EXACT QUOTED SEARCH STRING!

Ah, for the days when Alta Vista would search for “text1” NEAR “text2” on a page.


#18

YW. Yes, yes doing those searches will in fact bring up what you say… that’s why you need the operators :wink:

It’s very simple once you get your head around them. If your desired product was specifically ABC-123 then type the following bold text into the google search box including the quotation marks: +"ABC-123"

The quotation marks mean to google: Exactly this phrase/letter combination. The reason you need the quotation marks is because the hyphen, like the underscore, is parsed as a space by google unless you include the quote marks. The plus sign means to google: must include this.

Any google engineers reading this thread would be pissing themselves with laughter at the yearning for AltaVista. Google has that operator, but it’s even better. Use “AROUND(number)” - AROUND being a stand-in for NEAR and the number in the brackets being a reference to the proximity with which the words are together.

PS; hi google… don’t you want to hire me as your brand ambassador?


#19

“Here’s their claimed supported browsers for image search:”

Well, they’re lyin’, apparently, because search by image no longer works on Safari 5.x for example. And no, it’s not particularly old, unless you’re one of those sorts of people who thinks anything more than twelve months previous was “a long time ago.”


#20

How about DuckDuckGo? It doesn’t keep track of your previous searches, so no bubble there.