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Google Serves Old Search Page To Old Browsers

Soulskill posted about 4 months ago | from the you-get-what-you-get-and-you-like-it dept.

Google 152

Rambo Tribble writes: In an apparent move to push those using older browsers to update, Google is reported to be serving outdated search pages to said browsers. The older pages lack features available on the newer versions, and this policy compounds with the limits announced in 2011 on Gmail support for older web clients. As a Google engineer put it, "We're continually making improvements to Search, so we can only provide limited support for some outdated browsers." The BBC offers a fairly comprehensive analysis.

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Yes (5, Insightful)

fisted (2295862) | about 4 months ago | (#47812583)

Yes! Where? I want it!

Re:Yes (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47812655)

You could have Opera fake your User Agent header in order to masquerade as an older browser, but the Opera team dropped that and every other feature that made Opera remotely useful when they decided to turn Opera into a rewrapped version of Chrome.

Re:Yes (4, Interesting)

gweihir (88907) | about 4 months ago | (#47812913)

That is why I am still on 12.17. Works well and does get security updates occasionally. For the very few pages that do not work, I can always use FF.

Re:Yes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47814449)

The problem is that the "old" search page is

a) Not the last version that worked with that browser, but the "ancient" version designed to work with NCSA Mosaic
b) Still powered by the modern backend and so subject to their modern requirements like tracking every clickthrough and what query it came from. Without scripts to help, that means that every search results in a different URL for the same result hit, so no purple links indicating where you've already visited. Makes it intensely irritating if you need to repeatedly refine searches to find relevant results. You think you have a new set of hits, but it's the same old hits with a blue paint job.

And yes, I'm still on Opera 12.16. It seems to me that once Microsoft installed Elop in Nokia, Google had to join in with having a northern European puppet. Whether the insane strategies were just to bolster Google's position so they weren't "going it alone" with Blink, or to reduce Opera's purchase price for a later acquisition like it was with Nokia.

Re:Yes (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47813159)

You could have Opera fake your User Agent header in order to masquerade as an older browser, but the Opera team dropped that and every other feature that made Opera remotely useful when they decided to turn Opera into a rewrapped version of Chrome.

I use PrefBar all the time to switch User-Agent on Mozilla (Palemoon).

I vastly prefer the old-and-busted Lynx-style Google Image Search. If I'm looking for an image macro of a cat, I want the sidebar with the URL that actually goes to thefuckinglolcat.jpg, not have to page through some link farm's 5000-line-long malware-ridden SEO-optimized clickbait link or a random gigantic forum thread to find the image I'm actually looking for.

With the current GIS (and "current" web browser, even with Javascript disabled), it sucks because it takes me to the page that hosted the image; a page that may not even hold the image at all anymore. With User-Agent set to Lynx, I get the two-frame view, and I can pop the image (whose plaintext URL appears in the right-hand frame) popped open in another tab long my browser has even started loading the "content" in the big left-hand frame.

Please, Google, do continue to not "improve" the experience for "older" browsers. I've had all the UX "improvement" I can take.

Re:Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47812775)

can we get the old google.com/ig back too?
how about the old gmail or old yahoo mail?

this could be Awesome!

Re:Yes (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47813023)

You can get the old Gmail back: https://support.google.com/mail/answer/15049?hl=en

I use it because it loads much faster than the standard page.

Re:Yes (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 4 months ago | (#47812967)

Yes! Where? I want it!

Second that. I currently use Proxomitron to filter out all the unwanted (by me anyway) crap on Google's home page (instant, preview, sidebar, link redirects, etc...) and have to use "nosslsearch.google.com" to avoid https (so I can use my filtering proxy).

Yes, I know I can use Startpage and/or DuckDuckGo, but they're not as fast as hitting Google directly. Seriously, for simple searches, 99.9% of the time the JavaScript and crap (et al) on all these search pages (like Google and Bing) is a complete bullshit. Just my $0.02 anyway.

Re:Yes (0)

cbhacking (979169) | about 4 months ago | (#47813623)

to avoid https (so I can use my filtering proxy).

That's a terrible idea. You are aware that using a proxy with HTTPS is entirely possible, right? Set up the proxy to automatically generate trusted certificates using an internal CA key, import the proxy's CA key as a trusted CA, and go to town. I've used both Fiddler and Burp in this way, and I'm sure lots of other software supports it too (automatically, even). Make sure the proxy still performs cert validation and warns you if the validation fails (it should do this by default).

There. Now you can have your filtering and secure it too.

Re:Yes (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 4 months ago | (#47813739)

to avoid https (so I can use my filtering proxy).

That's a terrible idea. You are aware that using a proxy with HTTPS is entirely possible, right? Set up the proxy to automatically generate trusted certificates using an internal CA key, import the proxy's CA key as a trusted CA, and go to town. I've used both Fiddler and Burp in this way, and I'm sure lots of other software supports it too (automatically, even). Make sure the proxy still performs cert validation and warns you if the validation fails (it should do this by default).

There. Now you can have your filtering and secure it too.

Why is it a terrible idea to do google searches in the clear? Who honestly gives a shit?

Re:Yes (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47813979)

> Why is it a terrible idea to do google searches in the clear? Who honestly gives a shit?

Even if no one gives a shit, the more encrypted traffic becomes the norm rather than the exception the more secure we all are. Kind of like how high gun ownership rates improve the safety of non gun owners too (well, at least the white ones).

Re:Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47814443)

lrn2intarweb

Seriously - encrypt everything you can all the time. At least make the NSA work for it - and if you don't care, just think of yourself as helping someone who does. But you probably should care, as todays innocent search term is tomorrow's "pressure cooker," landing you retro-actively in the permanent sedition and terrorism database.

Re:Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47814299)

Yes, I know I can use Startpage and/or DuckDuckGo, but they're not as fast as hitting Google directly. Seriously, for simple searches, 99.9% of the time the JavaScript and crap (et al) on all these search pages (like Google and Bing) is a complete bullshit. Just my $0.02 anyway.

100% with you. I use Opera (older version) so I can turn javascript OFF. It's amazing how much faster pages load without it. I also use a bit of "content blocking", allow very few cookies, etc.

Try: https://duckduckgo.com/html/ [duckduckgo.com] it's much faster with the "html" suffix and javascript OFF.

Re:Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47813493)

> Yes! Where? I want it!

Firefox plus the user-agent switcher add-on. [mozilla.org] I've been using the older, light-weight google pages for a long time now.

There are other add-ons to spoof your browser, but I haven't found one that gets at all the javascript accessible variables so some websites (particularly ever-cookie type places) can still unmask your real browser identity with those others.

Re:Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47813515)

I get the black bar homepage on Safari 4 on our 10.4 iMac.

Re:Yes (2)

JMJimmy (2036122) | about 4 months ago | (#47813913)

Yes! Where? I want it!

A thousand times this... I'd even take their old search algorithms over their latest "guessing" and "missing terms" crap. In all the time I've used Google I've never had to use anything beyond +/- and "" to find what I wanted... now it's a mess of buggy "search tools", constantly having to switch to "verbatim", a mass of exclusion terms, etc. It's become an absolute nightmare to use. Unfortunately there's no competition to turn to (I've tried the top 6 alternatives, they just can't compete except for Bing which is down right ugly and not much better on its assumptive behaviours)

Re:Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47813991)

Change edit the search engine entry for google in firefox and append " &tbs=li:1" to the URL, I haven't tried it myself, yet, but I read on soylentnews that it forces the search to do a literal match instead of the fuzzy matching that google does by default.

A solution to a problem (5, Insightful)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 4 months ago | (#47812591)

So, I can get good old Google back by spoofing IE6?

Other solutions? (3, Insightful)

Kludge (13653) | about 4 months ago | (#47812675)

But you will miss out on all the bloated javascript bullshit if you spoof an old browser.

If only getting rid of slashdot beta were that easy....

Re:Other solutions? (3, Insightful)

J'raxis (248192) | about 4 months ago | (#47812813)

I have NoScript enabled on Slashdot, too. Only way this site is remotely usable, just like Google nowadays.

Slashdot Beta (5, Interesting)

gargleblast (683147) | about 4 months ago | (#47812915)

The last remaining problem I had with beta.slashdot was its turning up in google results. I solved that with Firefox redirector [mozilla.org] and this rule:

Include pattern ... *-beta.slashdot.org*
Redirect to ....... $1.slashdot.org$2
Pattern type ...... Wildcard

Re:Slashdot Beta (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47813519)

Awesome! I already had the redirector installed to make all NYTimes pages come up with pagewanted=all, it never occurred to me to use it on Buck Feta!

FWIW:

Include pattern ... *nytimes.com/*pagewanted=1
Redirect to ....... $1nytimes.com/$2pagewanted=all
Pattern type ...... Wildcard

it's easy, use this as a bookmark (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47813309)

http://slashdot.org/?nobeta=1 [slashdot.org]

I see the "new" slashdot at work and it throws me.

Re:A solution to a problem (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 months ago | (#47812821)

If this means I can get iGoogle back, I'm rolling back my browser immediately.

Can you imagine, it's been 8 months and there's still no really good replacement for iGoogle?

Re:A solution to a problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47812887)

netvibes.com

Re:A solution to a problem (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 months ago | (#47813695)

Netvibes doesn't come close to the functionality of iGoogle. I suppose it might be useful at the enterprise level, the way they're selling it, but it's just not as good.

Re:A solution to a problem (1)

ohieaux (2860669) | about 4 months ago | (#47812889)

Been using netvibes as a replacement. It imported my xml export of igoogle and that built about 20% of the old page. I've got it about 60% serviceable. Much of the content is in embedded webpages and that seems to work OK.

Re:A solution to a problem (4, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 months ago | (#47813753)

I've got it about 60% serviceable.

That sounds about right. I tried netvibes for a few months after iGoogle went away and finally just gave up and use Awesome New Tab in Chrome. Unfortunately, you can't make Awesome New Tab the home page. You can make it come up automatically when you start Chrome, but not when you click the little house.

I've stopped missing iGoogle like I used to, but I'm still kind of pissed.

Seriously, it was a dick move that iGoogle went away. The problem with the igHomes and the netvibes is that they can't integrate all the google services as well as google. On the bright side, with all my futzing with iGoogle replacements and unsuccessfully trying to recreate iGoogle, I've come to understand more clearly how much of Google services' functionality comes from them invading my privacy. So now I use Epic browser and startpage.com and actively seek to thwart google wherever I can, at least in regard to my participation in its "business model". Sometimes, I use Tor browser just to be a dick to people who want to upskirt my private life. Not that there's anything interesting in my private life, but apparently, there's something there good enough that Google was willing to give me all sorts of free shit just to get a peek at my undies. Fuck them.

I came to understand that when somebody gives you something nice for free, and they're not related to you in some direct personal way, you should be suspicious as hell and look for the catch before putting out your hand. Of course, many of you have long understood this, but I had to get hit over the head with it because I'm a little slow.

Re:A solution to a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47813135)

Even better if it meant that if you use an outdated browser, you could get the "old" search results with all the search hits Google was asked to delete by European lawyers...

Re:A solution to a problem (3, Informative)

ugen (93902) | about 4 months ago | (#47813659)

Yes, and that's precisely what I've been doing. Firefox + UAControl = score :)

I get to use normal-looking and convenient Google maps (instead of the recent monstrosity that shows up in Safari and other "current" browsers)
I can easily remove trackback links (because Google returns them in plain text to IE6 but goes to great lengths to obfuscate them for current browsers)
And otherwise Google looks clean and neat.

This is one feature of Google I happen to love :)

Re:A solution to a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47813809)

This will restore Google maps to the 'normal' version? Awesome, thanks for the tip. The new Google Maps breaks half the time for me and its UI is far worse for messing around with direction settings.

Anti-Trust (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47812609)

Google claims IE11 is an outdated browser. It clearly isn't, but it's just their stupid anti-competitive bullshit.

IE11 beats the snot out of Chrome every day of the week and they're butthurt about it...

Re:Anti-Trust (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about 4 months ago | (#47812691)

Love the Microsoft shills. My daily dose of comedy.

Re:Anti-Trust (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47812875)

Not being a whore for Google does not make you a shill.

Re:Anti-Trust (1)

TheReaperD (937405) | about 4 months ago | (#47813105)

No, it doesn't. But, being an anonymous poster bashing Google five minutes after a post with their name on it and then replying to a comment against you 8 minutes later certainly does not help your credibility.

Re:Anti-Trust (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47813907)

I'm not the fucktard who started this thread. Get your panties unbunched little Google whore.

Re:Anti-Trust (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47814193)

Actually, I lied just then. I actually was the person who started this thread. And I am a douche...

Re:Anti-Trust (1)

slazzy (864185) | about 4 months ago | (#47814303)

Glad the truth is coming out AC

Re:Anti-Trust (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47814067)

Yeah, because google is such an obscure website that it is totally unrealistic for a lot of people to have strong opinions about it.

Re:Anti-Trust (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47813201)

Lying, however, does. I just checked on IE9, and google.com looks the same as on Firefox 31, Seamonkey 2.26, and Chrome 37.

Your outright lie that Google is serving up the old home page to IE11 users has been outed for what it is, a lie.

Re:Anti-Trust (0, Flamebait)

gweihir (88907) | about 4 months ago | (#47812901)

What kinds of morons use IE, regardless of version? Masochists? Or is this some subtle form of "I am dumb and proud about it!"-movement?

Re:Anti-Trust (1)

Narcocide (102829) | about 4 months ago | (#47813211)

Microsoft made a solid business for many years simply from tricking morons into thinking that being a smart, savvy computer user just requires spending enough money on the software. Their power is visibly waning, but won't evaporate any time soon.

Re:Anti-Trust (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 4 months ago | (#47814387)

Yes, indeed. For some reason there is a specific kind of moron that cannot understand that "free" can be better than "costs something".

Re:Anti-Trust (3, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about 4 months ago | (#47814457)

IE has been decent since 9, and good since 10. No reason not to use it these days. I like the UI better than the latest from FF or Chrome, though I hear good things about Pale Moon - need to try that soon.

Re:Anti-Trust (0)

pete6677 (681676) | about 4 months ago | (#47813741)

Any version of IE is outdated. Why does anyone continue to use this POS?

Good thing Google doesn't make toilets (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47812637)

I'd be shitting what I ate last week??

Re:Good thing Google doesn't make toilets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47812725)

I do that every Sunday. What's your point?

Re:Good thing Google doesn't make toilets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47812909)

Well, Google still doesn't make toilets, does it?

Re:Good thing Google doesn't make toilets (1)

Narcocide (102829) | about 4 months ago | (#47813219)

This really confused me. Was there a point?

Re:Good thing Google doesn't make toilets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47813571)

Yes. It's that if your roll of toilet paper falls into the toilet and gets soaked longitudinally, you can use a polar integral to calculate how much toilet paper has been consumed.

Re:Good thing Google doesn't make toilets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47813383)

Better than the other way round ... or is that what you meant?

"Please don't throw me in the briar patch!" (5, Insightful)

J'raxis (248192) | about 4 months ago | (#47812743)

This is supposed to motivate me to upgrade? Right now, on the rare occasion I use Google,* I have JavaScript completely disabled to make Google (search, image search, and news) actually work the way I want it to in my browser. If they're going to help with this by serving me their older---read "cleaner, simpler, faster"---search page, I say, thanks, Google!

* Google alternative [startpage.com] . They use the Google index but don't track their users.

Re:"Please don't throw me in the briar patch!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47813429)

* Google alternative [startpage.com] . They use the Google index but don't track their users.

Thanks for the pointer to StartPage.

Re:"Please don't throw me in the briar patch!" (1)

houghi (78078) | about 4 months ago | (#47814377)

I have a link to the seperate 'older' versions that I want to use. Also use it for the search bar:
https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?output=classic [google.co.uk] to see the old output by default
http://images.google.co.uk/images?q=linux&sout=1&tbs=isz:lt,islt:4mp as search in the searchbar, where here linux is what I am looking for. 4mp is the size of larger images.
If I could use something like that for Bing, I would start using Bing for image searcgh as I hate, out of priciple obviously, that Google filters my images and I have no way to turn off that censorship.

Revert? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47812747)

So what you're saying is, change string to an old browser, so that I can get out of all these awful features you keep introducing?

May be what I need to get off Gmail (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 4 months ago | (#47812771)

It will be interesting to see how this affects me. I'm typing this on a current version of Firefox, but I have an old HP notebook by my bedside that runs 24/7 and that I use, among other things, to check my mail in the morning. The thing is, I dare not keep the Firefox browser current, and I'm using a plug-in that I depend on and is only available for Firefox. I don't keep the browser current because, even though I doubled the memory the laptop had when I got it (to the maximum that the old MB would support), and also replaced the minimal hard drive with a significantly larger hard drive (most of which is sitting empty), the browser drastically slowed down with each Firefox update. While I at first could have dozens of browser tabs open (which I did regularly with no problem), the system has degraded to the point where I can only have two or three tabs open without absurd slow-downs and lock-ups. And on top of that, if I play a video in the browser (intentionally or just by opening a news page that I had no warning included a video), the system will usually crash and reboot. These changes were seen when I accepted new versions of Firefox, so I stopped further browser "upgrades" and have been locked on an old version of Firefox for the last several years.

As I evaluate it, I need the laptop a lot more for the Firefox plug in that I depend on and a few other uses than I need Gmail.

Virtualize (3)

sjbe (173966) | about 4 months ago | (#47813035)

I dare not keep the Firefox browser current, and I'm using a plug-in that I depend on and is only available for Firefox. I don't keep the browser current because, even though I doubled the memory the laptop had when I got it (to the maximum that the old MB would support), and also replaced the minimal hard drive with a significantly larger hard drive

Why not virtualize this system instance? Then you don't have to worry about updating it or hardware failures. I have a piece of legacy software at my work we still need but that I've largely virtualized because for arcane reasons I cannot install it on new computers. Then I can give it as much RAM as I want. Works pretty well if your hardware is vaguely modern.

I have to say though that I've been using Firefox since before it was called Firefox and I've never had problems like what you describe. I'm on the latest version and it runs roughly as well as any other browser including Chrome and IE and Safari. I prefer Firefox mostly for personal workflow reasons but the others work fine too. I tend to avoid Safari on Windows an IE obviously isn't available outside of Windows so I tend to avoid it when possible.

Re:Virtualize (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47813867)

I do, and I even reduced my plug-in usage down to the basic ad blockers. When you have lots of tabs open (and I open hundreds of tabs), but lets say 50 (porn images, wiki research, slashdot articles, whatever), then open a 'modern site' like Amazon, the browser grinds to a halt. I'd swear there's some n^2 or worse algorithms that hit every tab instead of just the current one. The browser gets progressively slower when you open and use more tabs for no apparent reason. It should never take longer than 30 seconds and and 100% CPU to open a tab (like when you have 200 tabs open and 1800 tabs unloaded/hibernating). My only guess is that it's going through every tab and recaching all the tab details. That's completely unnecessary, just add the new details for the new tab.

Imperial Fools!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47812803)

I use an old browser version specifically because the new Google page is a pain in the ass.
This is the only way Google gives me to opt-out of their "improvement".
I would be glad to use a new browser if it didn't mean adopting their new UI.
This is the same crap MS does when they release a new OS and force people into "style" changes.
I may like the technical improvements, but not at the loss of comfort. I prefer to opt-in on my schedule - not yours.
What jerks!

Re:Imperial Fools!!! (-1, Flamebait)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 4 months ago | (#47812951)

Perhaps you could stop paying for your Google subscription if you're not happy with the service.

Wait a minutes, its free. Tough shit.

Re:Imperial Fools!!! (0)

bsDaemon (87307) | about 4 months ago | (#47813101)

Well, the thing is, it isn't free. You just don't pay the price in cash or credit, but in privacy and possibly a little piece of your soul.

Re:Imperial Fools!!! (1, Insightful)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 4 months ago | (#47813315)

So take the "stop paying" option. If you don't like it, don't use it.

Re:Imperial Fools!!! (1)

lgw (121541) | about 4 months ago | (#47814475)

Better option: use startpage or duckduckgo - same search, no creepy stalker peering in through your window.
   

my 1987 Camry (0)

turkeydance (1266624) | about 4 months ago | (#47812851)

runs better than your Windows 95. gourd head, Google. don't do evil.

Why would I care (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 4 months ago | (#47812881)

I want to search, as long as that works (and Google has not very good search anyways, just the largest database), I don't care one bit.

Re:Why would I care (1)

justthinkit (954982) | about 4 months ago | (#47813501)

Because it doesn't work the same. images.google.com, for example, is noticeably worse in "retro" mode. (1) less images (and those in the old spaced-out-grid display), (2) less images vertically, (3) and when you click on an image, you go to the web site (i.e. you are not given the choice to just load the image).

Re:Why would I care (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 4 months ago | (#47814383)

Not an issue. Really. Things work fine for me. Of course there are always those that focus on minor things and blow them up to be disasters. I see Google just as a tool, and not a very good one at that. Whether it is a bot worse or better is immaterial.

Holy cow! Does it also work with Slashdot beta? (1)

Ecuador (740021) | about 4 months ago | (#47812957)

You mean I can get direct links in results instead of redirects, the old and better functional maps & image search etc just by (pretending to be) using an old browser? That would be amazing, I'll try it out now! Also, hear that Slashdot? Google is showing the way, "force" users to upgrade their browsers by NOT serving the beta to them!

It seems they really want to annoy their customers (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | about 4 months ago | (#47812987)

I've already mostly given up on Google for images, because as a resident of North America, I can't completely disable "Safe Search".

I don't spend a lot of time looking for pron, but neither do I want my search engine eliminating some results because there might be a stray breast in the background of images I'd want to see.

TFA indicates there's a lot of problems with what they're serving to people using older browsers...it's much more than just a reversion to the old Google search page (which I loved, by the way).

Looks like I'd better start looking for a new default search engine, because I have no intention of moving past Firefox 22, thanks to that insane new interface they're cramming down people's throat.

Re:It seems they really want to annoy their custom (1)

CODiNE (27417) | about 4 months ago | (#47812995)

Ahem...

Search users are not Google's customers.

Re:It seems they really want to annoy their custom (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | about 4 months ago | (#47814351)

Good point.

Even better approach ... (1)

sk999 (846068) | about 4 months ago | (#47813043)

I have a bookmark to a static copy of the Google start page from the era when it was starkly simple - none of the goofy javascript nonsense that infests it nowadays. If the returned search pages are just as "outdated" - well, that's even better.

Re:Even better approach ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47813791)

Even better than that: just use the search bar if that is all you are using a static copy of a search page for. It seems silly to navigate to a page to search for something when one can just simply search and be served the results. Or, even better than that, use a browser that smartly uses the address bar for searching, since a search bar feels a bit redundant (and disjointed from the UI, as far as navigating to it via keyboard on most browsers go anyway). I prefer the method Midori browser uses: wherein searches are typed into the address bar, then the search engine, or bookmark, can be selected without needing to touch the mouse, though you can certainly use the mouse if you want. The search can even be opened in a new tab, so a new tab does not need to be opened beforehand like some browsers, with ctrl+enter or middle-click on the mouse on the selected option by default. I would use Midori more myself, but it lacks two particular plugins that I use every day.

I want to downgrade to the upgrade! (1)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 4 months ago | (#47813057)

There's a problem at Google right now... it's Y2K search engine is superior to the one that they're offering today. I don't mind the including of AdWords sponsors, but the way they're bossing around the non-shaded parts of the screen is getting to be troubling. Additionally, the major content providers are bossing around Google Search.... I think we need a fresh crawl of the Internet by somebody else.

if you're unhappy about this... (0)

Tumbleweed (3706) | about 4 months ago | (#47813075)

You should ask Google for a refund.

Re:if you're unhappy about this... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47813435)

if you're unhappy about this... You should ask Google for a refund.

Actually, the people who should be asking for refunds are the people who hire the managers of UX departments. Look at this thread. The only consistent vibe is that Google's UX innovations on their websites suck, broken only by mentions that Yahoo's UX innovations to Mail and Flickr suck, and that UX innovations in all web browsers (Firefox more so than Chrome) also all suck.

Windows pre-8. GNOME pre-3. Firefox pre-Australis. Firefox pre-4. Slashdot pre-Beta. Digg pre-Digg 2.0. All strong brands, products, websites, and communities, all destroyed by UX "professionals."

If you have a large installed base, and a successful business, and you value that business, fire your UX team before they kill you.

There are several problems with this (3, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about 4 months ago | (#47813081)

Google says: "We encourage everyone to make the free upgrade to modern browsers -- they’re more secure and provide a better web experience overall."

Bullshit.

First, this simply is not true. Beginning with version 29 (which is now 3 or 4 versions out of date already), Firefox completely fucked up their browser and turned it into unusable garbage. Newer is not better. Newer is demonstrably worse. If I wanted a shitty browser with extremely limited configurability, I'd use Internet Explorer.

Second, you should be able to view any web page using any browser released in the last 5 years. If something doesn't work properly it means you are putting too much fucked up bullshit into your webpage.

Re:There are several problems with this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47813181)

What do you mean? I use the newest with zero issues and I use the classic theme restorer add-on to keep the look I like with disable add-on compatibility check to run add-ons that don't work because of a number in the config file. Any other customizations that may be off can be fixed in the about:config and if you cannot find out how make a list and I'll tell you how to bypass/restore every single one. valhalla@live

As for Google, well it's better than a middle finger.

Re:There are several problems with this (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about 4 months ago | (#47813193)

Just install the "Classic Theme Restorer" add-on and Firefox is as usable as it was before.

Re:There are several problems with this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47813647)

Just install the "Classic Theme Restorer" add-on and Firefox is as usable as it was before.

Damned with faint praise.

Re:There are several problems with this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47814161)

Do you know how many fucking add-ons and tweaks I need to do with new Firefox installs just to make this fucking browser usable again?

6 add-ons, 14 about:config tweaks. And a few more changes.

The world need another Phoenix.

Re:There are several problems with this (1)

BringsApples (3418089) | about 4 months ago | (#47813475)

you should be able to view any web page using any browser released in the last 5 years. If something doesn't work properly it means you are putting too much fucked up bullshit into your webpage.

This can be said every 10 years. All browsers, all web pages.

Re:There are several problems with this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47813947)

Yep. And?

Just tried a search for 'Miserable Failure' on IE3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47813083)

I got George W Bush's home page!

Re:Just tried a search for 'Miserable Failure' on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47813179)

I got King Putt.

YUo FAIL IT! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47813091)

gave 7he BSD counterpart, survive at all

How? (1)

DeVilla (4563) | about 4 months ago | (#47813451)

Does anyone know how to get that with a modern firefox without changing the UserAgent (since that breaks other things)? The current interface is bloated, slow to load and kills my CPU due to something plusone.js is doing. (I already block plusone.js just to keep my idle CPU load below 30%.

Re:How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47814089)

Try adding "&gbv=1" to the URL. That tells google to give you non-javascript version of the page.

I guess I noticed this the other day... (1)

Sanians (2738917) | about 4 months ago | (#47813591)

I noticed a few days ago when using Google's image search that it was no longer giving me an infinitely long page of results, but instead they just quickly loaded and there was a 'next' button at the bottom of the page for when I wanted more. I just thought it was my lucky day or something, as I'd always gotten the infinitely long version before, and so I assume they just mis-identified my web browser as not supporting it and would fix the bug soon. Didn't realize it was a feature I'll get to enjoy forever, due to the fact that Opera will never release a new version of their web browser that doesn't suck.

The only sad thing about this is that I rarely use Google, and so I'll rarely get to enjoy this welcome change.

As for it forcing people to upgrade their web browsers, somehow I don't see that happening. People will upgrade, then search for something, and say "this web browser is way slower than the old version. I'm switching back."

I don't know anyone who enjoys those infinitely long pages of search results. They're the sort of thing that sounds vaguely better in theory, but in practice, the implementation always makes for a worse user experience. Especially Flickr's, which I'm sure someone thought was sexy as hell when it was presented to them as a mock-up, but in practice the javascript is so slow to determine how to fetch, place, and size the images that you can get image search results faster by using Google's web search and just clicking on all of the links and hoping that some of the pages have images relevant to your search.

Re:I guess I noticed this the other day... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47814121)

The infinitely long page of search results is great for the most casual of uses, when you are just farting around without any serious intent.

But for all other use cases, you are totally right, infinitely long pages are just form over function. At a minimum anyone designing a page with that needs to put a "click here to disable infinite scrolling" button right at the top, or even better in a one of those floating buttons that stay in the viewport no matter how much you scroll the page, that way if you ever get sick of the fluff it is super easy to turn off.

Old-Quality Results (1)

brwski (622056) | about 4 months ago | (#47813673)

If the quality of results could be dialed back to 2000â"2004 or so, that would be nice. Also, when I ask for a specific string, that is what I am asking for. Please don't give me something else...

Re:Old-Quality Results (2)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | about 4 months ago | (#47814291)

I often like the "similar meaning" results but not always. Ergo it should be an option IMHO.
For example "Exact:" or something like it.
Or it could simply allow regex with a similar prefix. Then I would have a reason to learn regex.
They already use : as a special string. For example "site:http://www.slashdot.org " only gives results from /. .

Re:Old-Quality Results (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47814367)

My personal favorite is when you try to make the search more specific by giving more search terms, and then Google shows you results that are in the same class as the new search term.

Practical example is looking up how to do stuff in some particular version of Mac OS X. You add "Mavericks" to the search term and you get hits with Lion. "Gee thanks"

Does it eliminate 5-more? (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 4 months ago | (#47813707)

I might actually take some effort to spoof my user-agent if it eliminates 5-more. You know, because "modern" Google assumes that my 1680-pixel wide display can't show me all the top-level options. So it makes up for that by showing the 5 most recently used options, and then "more". Where the fuck did Maps go? Oh. It's under "more" now because I haven't used maps for a while. But at least I can pretend to be on a phone even though I've got 1680 horizontal pixels. I always wanted the imaginary creatures in my living room to think that I was on a cool new tiny phone with a tiny little screen, instead of a boring old laptop driving an external display.

Re:Does it eliminate 5-more? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47814143)

God I fucking hate that behavior. I have a fucking tall monitor just show me the entire damn menu. That shitty UI design goes back decades though, I remember in the 90s first seeing it on menus that were either scrollable or popped off to the side (on macs) despite the fact that I had like 800+ more unused vertical pixels. Man that shit really really pisses me off, such a fucking waste of my time for, I don't know what. AAAAAGGGGGGGGGH!!!

still using google ?!?! (1)

Archfeld (6757) | about 4 months ago | (#47813877)

Anyone still using google gets what they deserve. White list their ad delivery domains and find another search engine. I really miss Alta-Vista, and DEC in general.

Older operating systems... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47813933)

Which means that if you are not using a current mainstream operating system that is supported by Mozilla, then you are out of luck.

I still use OS/2 - eCS for a lot of things that I do. Although there is a user supported Firefox for OS/2 the most current version that I have is I think 10.0 something.

Thanks Google.

OK With Me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47814015)

The older versions have greater functionality, security, usability and less bloat that the current version.

Fuck You Google Gay Perverts in the Land of Fagots.

Ha ha gay ass wipes

Dead as a docket.

I see it as a good thing (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#47814391)

Google Serves Old Search Page To Old Browsers

It's about how you put the words. The alternative would be "Google Serves Broken Page To Old Browsers". Isn't this only offering good compatibility?

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