The 2019/2020 updates to Google search parser have probably served the interests of the corporate advertising making up Alphabet Inc’s biggest revenue stream. Fair enough. It’s a pity this focus has collateral damage, downgrading the NLP (natural language processing) of the once-excellent Google search engine parser itself.

Here’s an example.

I search for “how do I use my iphone as a webcam for my mac laptop?”. The results are mostly on point. It correctly identifies I’m asking about an app that’ll turn my iPhone into an extra camera accessible by my Apple Macbook laptop.

Next, I search for “how do I use my mac laptop as an iphone camera?” or “using laptop camera on iphone” or “how do I use laptop camera through my smartphone”. Variations on a theme. I want to search for info on how to access / use the camera on my laptop, through my iPhone. It’s the opposite of the first search. Sadly, this simple request becomes a demonstration of the degraded Google NLP.

No matter what I try, I can’t get Google to search for a solution to using laptop camera through smartphone. Every result is about using the smartphone as a webcam for the laptop. This coarsening of the Google parser is relatively recent and it sucks.

It used to be an art to find good wording, to narrow down search results until they were on point no matter how esoteric the info required. It should concern us all that this trend is infecting across corporatized tech the world over. It’s the opposite of evolution. Tech improves, function degrades.

If anyone reading this is able to get Google to search for using the laptop camera on the smartphone (as opposed to using the phone camera on the laptop), send a message or write a comment.

I suspect what you’ll find is more and more examples of the dumbing down of the Google search engine as Alphabet cuts the fat on its results. The fat being anything that isn’t a product or service or media, or marketing amplifier for a product or service or media.

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