I have long noticed that Google (as surprising as a search engine) and Amazon, as well as other large search platforms, still have difficulties producing relevant results when they search for specific version information. Why does it seem that this is still such a difficult feat?
For example, let's say I would like to know how to install rvm on ubuntu. Here is the search you could perform:
"installing rvm ubuntu".
I find it strange that, by default, the first results are all for Ubuntu 16 or 14 … articles that were clearly written several years ago; especially considering that I am searching from an Ubuntu 19.10 machine. It seems that it would be taken into account.
I have also noticed oddities when looking for specific version problems. In particular, Apache, MySQL, Ruby, PHP (PHP searches are horrible with Google) and Python is also quite bad.
I've even had a few times when I entered a non-version question and received a fairly dated set of results; Then I decided to clarify by adding version numbers, and I ended up with an even more outdated result set.
That, combined with the fact that Google should know my searches quite well for now. After years of development-related searches, shouldn't I be quite up to date with the versions I'm currently using and what I'm looking for?
Amazon also has a remarkably frustrating peculiarity; Returning the exact model numbers you are looking for seems to be something that is very difficult for you to do. For example, a search on Amazon to
"256gb ssd" 90% of the results on the first page are NOT exactly that. If this is something that you have implemented on purpose, then you are not doing exactly what is there for you. The only thing I can think of is that there is some technical obstacle that has not yet been completely overcome.
I am curious to know why this is still a problem if it is not, in fact, an expected "feature."
I understand that Google is complex, and is probably beyond my ability to understand exactly what you are doing behind the scenes. In no way am I hitting it. However, given that these strange results still seem to be so abundant and similar in megalithic search and query systems, I suspect that it is probably a technical obstacle that we have not yet collectively discovered.
What exactly is that obstacle? Why do these search technologies seem, from the user's point of view, to continue having such a difficult time with seemingly basic search requirements?