Sitting here in front of my laptop with browser windows open all over the place and hot-key access to all your features, I am completely and utterly smitten. No other search engine does for me what you do, from the quality of your results to the modifiers that let me customize my search in just about any way I can imagine. Nothing else is in your league. Google, when I embrace you through my laptop, I swoon.
So, why, Google, must you frustrate me so when I’m out and about? My Treo 650, while no longer state of the art, is a really fantastic hunk of plastic and metal and electromagnetic spectrum. While waiting in line at the store or just over lunch, I have the close to the full power of the Internet at my disposal. At least I did.
Then you changed.
Google, you stopped serving my Treo the same pages you offered me at home. Instead of full search results, I got abbreviated “mobile” results. No more “cache” links, no more “related” links, no more “view as HTML” option for PDF’s and whatnot. Just a stripped down link list. And then, as if that wasn’t bad enough, you started changing the way you gave me access to the results I wanted. No longer could I just click through to a web page you found for me. Instead, you started serving up pages that had been “modified” for my mobile. I think you were trying to be helpful, but most of the time your modified pages were much less useful than the full pages themselves. They don’t always load, they break my back button, they interfere with cookies, and they generally show me that you’re getting in the way most of the time for what I need to do.
Today was the prime example of that. Over lunch, I wanted to look up the plain text of a state law. Ordinarily, this takes me two minutes tops, especially in a case like this one, where I knew the citation. But over lunch today, Google, I couldn’t do it at all. Every promising result link turned into a dead end of server errors. Once I got home, I found the cite I needed in less than 120 seconds.
Search isn’t all. You’ve also changed the way you tell me about the news. Frames! You use frames! With nav buttons on them that’s don’t even work! And break my back button! Are you trying to be helpful? Because if you are, this isn’t the way.
The road to hell, as they say, is paved with good intentions. So I wanted to give you a chance. I wanted to tell you to turn off the special “mobile” pages and the frames and the strangely formatted results and just give me the pages. Just let me click through. Set me free.
You won’t listen to me. There is no way to set a preference or click an alternate link. When I use my phone to talk to you, Google, you make me surf in “mobile” mode, and I don’t want to.
I’m starting to think you want me to start looking for another search engine. Google, please, before it’s too late… listen to me. Give me what I want and what I need – not what you think I want and need.