it appears that the SEO optimum is "repeat common search terms but in natural language" and so now every google result for thing like "fix coil whine" or "toilet not filling" are FAQ style posts by domains you've never heard that are like:

How to fix coil whine?
...
What causes coil whine?
..
Can coil whine cause damage?
...
etc

the search situation is dire because sure "toilet not filling" doesn't tend to have misinformation, but if any schmuck can register a 4 dollar domain and get gpt2 to blast out some misinfo that the google algo loves and make bank on advertising (also sold by google) then how am I supposed to trust google when I ask it about things that tend to have common misconceptions or falsehoods like pest remedies or medical symptoms?

here's a hint. if you're on a page you found through google, ctrl+f for the phrase "Amazon Services LLC Associates Program"

I wish archive.org got a full-book search engine like hathitrust

if we assume from now on that google can't source good info, it may be time to move to a "have a collection of reputable sites and use their internal search, or use site:domain"

before you suggest duckduckgo, I don't think their search quality is that much better. I think this is an issue affecting all search engines

maybe the right path is to use a search engine that lets you set a domain whitelist

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@SuricrasiaOnline I kinda wonder if I should blame javascript for search being Bad now or if I'm being crazy. Many websites these days don't load much of a document at first and just give some script tags to load the rest through a JSON API. Web crawlers can't parse that, and even worse I've seen some sites have stopped using useful tags for links and instead implement everything through onclick events. More and more information is on closed apps like Facebook or Twitter, so it's mainly the SEO hackers hosting their own sites.

@SuricrasiaOnline just realized the formatting on my instance got rid of the "<a> tag" part lol

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