A Quick MTBF Search Reveals Distressing Results
I was preparing to write this article and wondered how many search hits would appear for MTBF? So, opened Google and did an MTBF search. It is a common if misunderstood, acronym.
Beyond the 5,200,000 Google search results, it was the first page results that got me thinking. Keep in mind that Google often serves up a combination of what it thinks you are seeking and which sites have been useful for others.
Let’s break down what you find when you do an MTBF search.
MTBF Search Autocompletion
First, Google does not try to correct the spelling of MTBF, even when I use lower case letter. Apparently, MTBF is in the search giant’s dictionary.
Second, the search window shows a popup with common search phrases. Just typing the four letters, the popup contains:
- mtbf calculation
- mtbf meaning
- mtbf hard drive
The one that is a bit encouraging is the third, mtbf meaning. At least others are looking for the definition. The sad part is often the definitions found with that link suggest MTBF is an important reliability metric (which you know is misleading).
The First 3 Search Results
Wikipedia appears for my first 2 search results. One for the Mean time between failures article and the second result for Failure rate article.
The third result is for What is MTBF (mean time between failures)? and suggests MTBF is “a measure of how reliability a hardware product or component is.” The site What Is.com article then notes:
“Most sources define this term to mean average time between failures.”
Going with the crowd, I suppose.
The search results then included a “People also ask” box with the following suggestions:
- What is mean time between failures?
- What is MTTR and MTBF:
- What is failure rate?
- What is the meaning of MTTF?
According to site search engine optimization improvement suggestions, I should write articles titled and clearing addressing these questions. This may just be my next four articles.
Well, I’m not the only one trying to find an answer to the meaning of various terms.
Next to each question is a drop-down window that shows a snippet of answers to the question.
The Rest of the First Page of Search Results
Having to scroll down a little reveals the rest of the first page of search results. There are 4 PDF documents either providing an overview or set of definitions, 2 calculators, an informative article from Weibull.com, and the last two are articles shared to Google+ from the NoMTBF.com site.
Yeah, made the first page of results, or it’s just Google knowing it’s mean and sharing some of my own articles.
Related Searches List
After the last first page search result is a listing of “Searches related to MTBF” Google suggests:
- mtbf calculation
- mtbf formula
- mtbf ssd
- mtbf hard drive
- mtbf example
- mtbf failure rate
- mtbf cisco
More on the calculation and definition type stuff. Again these may make good phrases f future article titles.
Your Results May Vary
I didn’t take any precautions to search shielding my search history from Google. I read somewhere that Google tries to deliver search results that are helpful for the person searching. It works for me most of the time.
There are ways to search without your history influencing the results.
While I did hope at least one article or the homepage of NoMTBF.com would appear in the results, I wasn’t surprised. The sad part is the top results tend to propagate the myth of importance of usefulness of MTBF.
What search results do you see when searching for MTBF? When you search for MTBF, which I hope you do not have to very often if ever, what are you looking to find? Please leave a comment below, would love to hear from you.