July 24, 2013

Top 5 Google Usability Failures

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google-minusWe love Google, but the following are some things which we wish they would improve.

Google started as a clear, easy-to-use one field search engine. They’ve come a long way, but not without some costs to the simple usability which made them a household name. Let us know what are your pet peeves about Google’s usability (or lack thereof!). Here are ours:

  1. We’ve discovered that we have several Google Plus Accounts for our business.jtown-gplus
    When we asked Google about this, they suggested that these were probably created from Google Plus, Google Places, Google Maps and other Google Assets.

    In fact, we discovered there are even two listings on Google Maps for J-Town at the same address.

    jtown-maps

    These appear to have been created by Google Places and Google Maps and are different than our primary Google Plus Page (note the new logo):
    google-plus-j-town

    While Google does offer help on this subject, the solution they suggest is apparently “only available in certain countries” and guess what, we don’t see it available to us – frustrating!

    So while we continue to struggle with at least three listings for J-Town in Google, we have yet to figure out how to merge them into one.

  2. Everybody hates when they use a search engine (Google), click on a link and the page is not found. To me, there is no excuse for this – Google knows the page is not there so why do they allow the broken link to be clickable. Google writes,

    “No matter how beautiful and useful your custom 404 page, you probably don’t want it to appear in Google search results.”
    https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/93641?hl=en&ref_topic=2370420

    Yet, I find Google 404s in Search Results!

    For example, one of the results when I searched for “blogger” took me to the following:

    google-404

  3. What is worse about the case above, is that Google does not follow their own advice:
    1. The URL which once existed should have a 301 (permanent redirect) to a current page according to Google’s own guidelines
    2. The 404 page should follow Google’s own suggestions for creating useful 404 pages (page not found) error pages. We especially like the Google 404 widget (which Google doesn’t use, but we do!).
  4. When reading a blog using Blogger (owned by Google) the language of the interface is based on the user’s IP address so if you are in Israel, for example, the interface is in Hebrew:
    blogger-hebrew

  5. If while on Blogger, you try to change the language, the interface is in the language as determined by your IP. So, for example, if you are an English-speaker in Israel and you do not understand Hebrew, the following page is what you see and of absolutely no use to you.
    blogger-hebrew-change-language

    Number One Suggestion To Google: On Blogger, the interface language should be based on the user’s language preferences which are part of his/her user profile, not the user’s IP address.

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