Unsatisfactory results

I hate it when websites have terrible search engines. It seems especially common with sites who should know better. The immediate impetus for this complaint is Salon, whose search provides results in no discernible order and no method of sorting them by date or relevance. And this is Salon—ostensibly a literary magazine whose archive of articles are one of its most important draws.

Many other sites have crappy searches. CNN’s is awful too. I almost always end up just doing a site search via Google (for those who don’t know, here’s what you do: type the keywords you’re looking for into Google, then type “site:X.com” or whatever the website you want to search, i.e., “site:cnn.com”. That will search only CNN for your keywords).

I just don’t understand why any website would have a bad search engine, especially when you can always just partner with Google if necessary. Perhaps Salon can’t afford a partnership? Or there would be a conflict of interest with Google’s advertising? If anyone has any idea what the problem might be, I’d love to know.

Of course, I just noticed my own search—though powered by Google—is a kind of Google-lite, since it doesn’t offer any sorting options. So apparently if you want those you’ll have to do the aforementioned site search on the real Google.

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