I have found Google Groups to be one of the best tools around for finding source code examples and documentation. However, recently I have found the results returned from searching Google Groups to be skewed and inaccurate. For example, I was looking for an example of how to capture command line arguments from VB.NET. None of the results returned from searching the Google Group home page were helpful.

I tried all sorts of search strings to no avail and wasted lots of time. I was still operating under the assumption that my trusty search tool was working properly. I even began contemplating posting a question to microsoft.public.dotnet.languages.vb newsgroup. However, I kept thinking someone else must have already posted about how to capture command line arguments from VB.NET. I continued tweaking my search string assuming it didn’t quite line up with what I was trying to find. Finally, I had enough and decided to post a question to the relevant newsgroup (microsoft.public.dotnet.languages.vb). Using proper etiquette I searched this group before posting just to double check that I wasn’t missing something. After all I didn’t want to get flamed for asking a question that had been already answered. I was surprised to see that the results were helpful and contained just the information I needed.

Therefore, be cautious using the Google Group home page, it appears that its results are hopelessly skewed. Instead, drill into the relevant newsgroups and search them. Hopefully, Google will correct this issue. I noticed that Google Groups is currently in beta and this is the first time a Google Beta has disappointed me.