Saying No To Google's "Did You Mean" Response

Sep 2, 2009 • 9:02 am | comments (5) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine

We all have seen them at least once in our search life time. A "did you mean" in red at the top of the Google will display for a query where you did mean to search for that. A Google Web Search Help thread asks, is there a way to tell Google, "no - I did mean to search for my search query."

Wouldn't it be helpful to Google and to the searcher (to feel some satisfaction) to have a link to tell Google, no, I didn't mean that.

Did You Mean? Google

Clearly, that clutters up the page, but maybe a little X or "No" link. I know Google can use this data on some level. A searcher who goes out of his way to click "no" says a lot more than a searcher who skips past the "Did you mean" link.

In any event, Google has been experimenting with how they handle such "Did you mean" results over the years. Maybe we will see this as a test one day?

Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help.

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Igor The Troll

09/02/2009 09:07 pm

By not clicking the recommendation, you are saying "No". If Google's algorithm is right, it should record the action!

Barry Schwartz

09/02/2009 09:09 pm

Igor, please read my post before commenting. :) "A searcher who goes out of his way to click "no" says a lot more than a searcher who skips past the "Did you mean" link."

Rob Abdul

09/03/2009 12:01 pm

It appears that the "Did you mean" feature tries to suggest a more popular search possibly based on a trend. I remember reading about this feature and how a prominent professor had developed this feature. Sorry I have no sources or references this is form memory. I have had a good think about this feature. Although it may initially seem prudent to allow for a "no" feedback, ultimately this feature has a purpose. My Rationale: The "Did you mean" feature along with "Google Suggest" and "Searches related to" are I suppose Google's attempt to assist the searcher. The "Did you mean" is more of a semantic check. Even if, Google collected a bunch of "no" feedbacks, that will not resolve what a single individual searcher is looking for. For example a thousand people may have clicked “no” if there was the possibility on giving feedback on a given search buy when I looked at the “Did you mean” recommendation I may think that is exactly what I meant. It is thing anomaly that this feature tries to address is my conclusion. For that reason this feature I presume is the last line of defence in Google trying to funnel you into a search. I hope I have made myself clear and concise.


04/12/2011 02:56 am

The issue isn't one of vanity. The issue is one of specificity of search. Two examples come to mind. Suppose I'm doing a "people" search for "Danae Levy". Yes, "DANAE Levy". I'm most certainly NOT searching for links including "Dana Levy". I want "Danae Levy". However, there are so many "Dana Levy" links, that finding the link(s) I want is impossible. Same if I'm looking for "Arits Sanchez". No, not "Artists Sanchez". Turning off the "did you mean?" so-called feature is an imperative.


07/25/2012 11:08 pm

I really want this. It would be awesome to be all "IN YOUR FACE GOOGLE I SEARCHED FOR WHAT I MEANT" by clicking an X. :D

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