Is there a way to search the internet in 2024?

Sometimes I want to find articles on blogs I‘ve read in the past, or unusual pieces of information. This used to be easy! You’d search for the terms and they would come up or not. But now all the search engines are trying to interpret your terms so now when I search “hidden door in Sylvan Tale game gear” I get either generic pages for Sylvan Tale, information about doors, or websites that redirect me to Craigslist to purchase a kayak.

Check out these hot Sylvan Tale results.

Does anyone know how to look for things in today's era? Is there a secret functional search?

Some redditors were pushing Yandex and I was taking a look at it until I found out it was Russian. Which is to say I would also like to know, because every feature of now spits out junk I wasn‘t looking for. Even the “I feel lucky” button which only seems to direct to google doodles??? Was that it’s function all along? I‘d never used it before and thought it was a random search generator. Now I don’t feel lucky.

I‘ve been using pinboard pretty meticulously for the past couple of years for stuff I’ve read/think about going back to. Its basically that delicious site if you remember that (I think he actually bought that site after it went away). Anyway,outside of keeping personal bookmarks/tags going forward, I mostly just use DDG/Ecosia (which I think use bing in the background, effectively). The results aren't great but, better than Google for the most part.

I spent a good hour trying to find an article I read about why movie editing sucks and had some examples from Jurassic park among others. I could not find it at all. I found many other articles that were not the one. Wouldn't be surprised if someone here knew it though.

Just to add to your frustration, I am having a hell of a time looking up photo reference without having my results filled with AI generated images.

Whatever can be said of the quality of the Internet before, SEO and generative AI have combined to fuck the Internet into something so much worse in record time.

try adding “before:2023” to the end of the search query, most of the AI sludge that pollutes Google is from 2023 onwards so you can get real results this way. of course this doesn‘t work for anything after 2023, and the issue will only get worse with time, but for now it’s what I tend to do. you‘ll still get generic pages at the top, but I think that’s unavoidable without more specific terms

@“sosadillatron”#p157802 ever since google images stopped being useful I've turned to using flickr for photo reference, because those people are still living comfortably in the stone age.

This is all I got:“hidden+door”+%2B+“Sylvan+Tale”+%2B+“game+gear”&va=e&t=hr&ia=web

Yeah…Google is no good. You have to have an idea of what specific sight might have the information you‘re after and start from there. quotes around key terms (“Sylvan tale” “game gear”) can help to cut out a lot of the noise, but it’s not perfect.

For image searching, if you add -AI, it supposedly flushes AI images. I say apparently because someone told me that after I installed an AI ublock filter. Obviously that‘s no good on mobile but if you search for ublock ai filters, you’ll find a filter that gets updated automatically that removes AI sludge from the image searches.

I‘ve used Duck Duck Go for a while and can confidently say it gives better results than Google, but it’s not immune to the flood of AI generated articles out there.


@“Chopemon”#p157843 but if you search for ublock ai filters

Funnily enough for the thread about search being terrible: If I search this all I get are AI filters for images, like upscaling or 'redrawing' it as a cartoon or whatever.


Me and my friends have noticed this too. Before, a few well placed quotation marks would be good enough. Hard to say if it's the web getting worse or just Google losing control of their algorithms. Can't wait for Google Classic ^tm.

Someone on here recommended marginalia awhile ago. I use it a lot and it‘s helped me find all sorts of stuff I wouldn’t have otherwise, but it‘s still basically a toy. Its index is very small, so for specific search terms like what you gave in your Sylvan Tale example, it won’t work. However, It's specifically designed for your exact use case of finding blogs and unusual pieces of information. Even as is, you might be able to make some use of it! Hopefully over time it can evolve into an even better tool for exploring dark crevices of the internet.

I just searched for Sylvan Tale and it appears to give normal results. Did it change after all of us looked at it? Was it because I used a browser not signed in?

@“DaveedNoo”#p157884 although this is concerning…

The deterioration of search engines has been a boiling the frog situation for years, so it's really shocking that it has not only now become drastically worse, but that the change happened almost overnight. Just tried searching in Google and DuckDuckGo “monkey ball disable timer sound” and got almost nothing related to Super Monkey Ball or even video game sound effects in general

@“captain”#p157892 I was curious to see this myself so copied the exact search into Google and four of the top five were about Super monkey ball, the fifth being sound disabling in a random game

Then I ran the same search using a VPN set to California and got two different results in including a YouTube video and a reddit entry for CoD!

I know Google adapts it's results based on location due to local content popularity, searches and local laws but this seems well out of that ruling. First screenshot is on my French ISP, second is a random IP address in the US of the top three results


Still can't help with your sound issue but interesting to see.

I Bing'd “monkey ball disable timer sound” and they just gave me a long winded non-answer of essentially “mods might exist, probably. Or you could just drown it out with music.”


Yeah, a few years ago I switched over to Ecosia because Google had been serving nothing but lousy and promoted results. Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I decided it was probably the right time to dump Ecosia, and… Google seems to have gotten even worse in that time, somehow, even though it seemed like pure garbage at the time when I switched. I'm not sure there are any good options now, but my partner swears by using an incognito window to search.

Another weird thing I've noticed about search that seems to be unique to Google is that when I search for some specific game information, I'll often get like a dozen pages worth of results, but somehow the first 3 or 4 pages are just... the same exact list of results? And of course most of those links are sponsored! Haha good times.


This is genuinely hilarious, albeit sad