Sunday, April 27, 2008

Google Annoyances

While there are a lot of things to love about Google, some strange annoyances manage to balance the situation. Here are 10 annoyances that are in need for a fix:

1. Every time you go to, Google Analytics asks you to enter your password, even if you are already logged in. One workaround is to bookmark

2. "New features!". Google's products are updated pretty frequently, but sometimes they show this message for months, even if the features are no longer new. Some pathological examples: Google Calendar and Picasa Web Albums.

3. The inconsistent navigation bar. There's no consistency here: some of the links send you to search results, other links send you to homepages. Some of the pages open in a new tab/window, other pages open in the same tab/window. The list of links is different, depending on the current service, and the ordering is not predictable.

4. Search results with tracking code. Because Google needs to track the search results you click on in order to add them to Web History, it replaces their addresses with redirects like: That means you can no longer right click on the link and copy the location. Some workarounds: disable/pause Web History, log out or use a Greasemonkey script.

5. Google Updater. An annoying and intrusive way to install Google software, without providing an alternative for people who like the classic installer.

6. Set Google as my default search and notify me of changes. Every Google software has the mission to make Google your default search option in Internet Explorer (it's already the default option in other browsers), but also to install a notifier that warns you when other software tries to change the default search engine. Usually, the option can be disabled, but Google's wording is vague.

7. Blogger comments. It's hard to create something worse than Blogger's comments: they open in a new page with a different layout, the first option is to log in with a Google account, there's no spam filtering etc.

8. Posting a message at Google Groups. It usually takes one minute for your post to appear on the site, but Google should show it instantly.

9. When you translate a web page, Google Translate shows the original text in a bubble. Google's JavaScript code interferes with other web pages' code and the result is usually terrible. Another downside is that you can't copy the text from a translated web page. One workaround would be to block the JavaScript file, but it keeps changing its address.

10. Google Video has the worst advanced search page. If you search for something and click on "advanced search", your query is lost. The page doesn't put the focus on the first input box and pressing Enter has no effect.

11. Click on a broken link for a Blogger blog and Google is glad to inform you that "the blog you were looking for was not found". Pretty bad for an error message that should've been helpful.

Did you find other Google annoyances?