Using your penis to highlight bad search engine practices

grab bag, wackiness

Let me start by saying that this is actually an at-least-somewhat serious entry about the relevance of search engine results. No, really!

There’ve been many jokes about how some search engines serve up ridiculously goofy results for some queries. Take Google’s AdWords program, for instance, which has recently served up eBay ads for everything from Greed to Guilt (“Guilt for sale…”)

I know eBay (and its affiliates) must bring a whole lot of moolah to Google, but this seems to me as disturbing as it is amusing. Whatever happened to AdWords’ relevancy requirements?

Worse yet, though, are some search engines which provide ONLY such listings! Since I recently heard about a new search engine, “GenieKnows,” I decided to try it out with a number of queries (such as my name, of course :D) and was annoyed to see a similar pattern: “Buy Adam Lasnik…,” “Find Adam Lasnik.” Real useful.

Therefore, I’d like to highlight what dicks the folks at GenieKnows are by sharing some of the search results for “your penis“:

– “Find your penis.”

Gee, I didn’t know I had lost it. Frankly, I’d think that if my penis went missing for any appreciable lack of time I’d not be wasting time typing queries into an obscure search engine.

– “Shopping for your penis”?

Uh oh, I hope it doesn’t have particularly expensive tastes!

– “Find Your Penis at eBay”

Wonderful… at least now I know where my penis has gone shopping. And thankfully it’s at eBay rather than Tiffany’s or Neiman Marcus, so perhaps my credit card bill won’t be quite so enormous.

– “your penis: Find more information here.”

Isn’t that sort of a privacy violation?!

– “Search engine and Directory: Your penis listings”

Great. So my penis has started taking out classified ads? I think it’s trying to tell me something, eh? I never should have discontinued my Match.com membership, apparently :|.

– “Your Penis in the Free Online Encyclopedia.”

Oh my! I mean, I can imagine Wilt Chamberlin’s penis being so famous, but my humble willy? I’m shocked, yet strangely honored.

and lastly…

– “Find your penis Using the RedZip Toolbar!”

aaaaaaaaaaaah! :O “Penis” and “Zip” in the same sentence is, IMHO, totally a no-no. What was the Genie thinking?!

* * *

But seriously, folks… I’ve used this (hopefully) memorable set of examples to highlight the issue of search engine results relevancy. While the eBay and related examples with AdWords are, at worst, a notable annoyance, the horrendously lousy search engine results highlighted above are beyond the pale. Why anyone would search at such a site — at least more than once — is completely beyond my comprehension.

And why would eBay (or any eBay affiliate caring about ROI) advertise on such a site? Sheesh.

3 comments… add one
  • semanticist Apr 13, 2005

    Good stuff! (Rather, bad stuff reported well.) One wonders how many pennies these advertisers must lose before they cease their blanket coverage of useless terms. -S

  • MYNIPPON Apr 15, 2005

    This is so funny.  In fact any thing you put in the search engine these days, someone is selling it.  I put my name on it and the next thing you see that eBay is selling it.

  • BLAAAAAAAAAH Oct 3, 2006

    Well when you search for “failure
    ” at least you get the right result. George W. Bush 🙂

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