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Dumb google, insane users January 4, 2008

Posted by dorigo in internet, language, personal.

Just a note to inform readers that I have been forced to remove a recent post from my blog. The post was about some diatriba about a picture appeared on the New York Times, with a succintly dressed lady. The difference between the current year and her birth year was below twice the square of three.

I hope you will pardon my vagueness, but I had to remove the post because of the words it contained and I do not wish to iterate the process. Nothing outrageous, everything beyond reproach. But those words triggered a huge response in terms of traffic by insane individuals in search for illegal material on the web. Google can be as dumb as its users at times, and I do not particularly welcome that kind of audience here.



1. Andrea Giammanco - January 4, 2008

I can’t understand why you react this way.
I am grateful of every opportunity to discover something about reality. Including discovering something unpleasant like the number of perverts on the web.
Your reaction is the equivalent of reacting to the uglyness of the world by shutting the eyes.

2. dorigo - January 4, 2008

Hi Andrea,

while you do not understand me, I pefectly well understand your reaction. I would concur with you, in fact, were it not for the fact that I have two children, and that I sometimes post their pictures on my blog. Is that more clear to you now, why I prefer to avoid directing pedophiles here with red neon signs ?


3. carlbrannen - January 4, 2008

And I think Tommaso did “discover something about reality”. I can only imagine the amount of traffic it generated. An under square of three picture robot even came poking around my site because Tommaso links to it on the right.

4. Andrea Giammanco - January 5, 2008

Uh, I had not considered the issue about your children’s pictures. Right, in this case I have to agree that it has to be quite unpleasant for you.

By the way, have you considered the use of meta-tags?
These are commands used to communicate with the google-bots (or “spiders”), just by adding them to the html source code of your webpage, just as you do when you code html by hand (I use to do that…).
More info:
One very drastic tag can say to the google-bots to just keep out of your webpage. Maybe you don’t want to use it, if you want people interested in science to find your blog via google.
But many blogs prefer to keep google out anyway, since they get their visitors mostly through the links by other blogs with related content, and google is famous for being easily confused by blogs. Since blogs are essentially very long pages with several unrelated chunks of text, it is very easy to form by chance some combinations of text which attract people looking for something else. To explain better: if one of your posts is about “ch1ldren”, and another completely unrelated post in the same page contains the word “p0rnography”, you will still get many visits from the string “ch1ld porn0graphy” (although less than when the two words are consecutive).

By the way, a compromise that I recommend is to use the “nofollow” command explained in the wikipedia entry that I linked above. This will prevent the comments from being indexed (but the main page will still be). This way, you are protected from being a target of “ch1ld pornogr4phy” searches even when your commenters use these two worlds together, as I’m doing here.
(I tried my best to mask them, as you may have noticed.)

5. dorigo - January 5, 2008

Hi Carl, well, objectively more than average, but not altogether huge traffic – I somewhat misstated it. What bothered me most was that my “google search influx” table only contained combination of words such as c***d, s*x, p*c, and the like. I do not wish to control incoming traffic too much, but for sure I prefer if my blog is arrived at through more meaningful searches.

Which brings me to Andrea’s point. Indeed, using meta-tags would be a good idea – but I am not so much versed into that kind of technology. More to the point, I think I would need time to tune my meta-tags to make incoming traffic resemble what I like. I prefer the shortcut I took in this case.
… Old dog don’t learn new trick… uses to say Hans Grassmann, a brilliant mind and a former colleague in CDF.


6. Shakey - March 6, 2009

Guess how I got here?

I googled dumb google searches.

7. dorigo - March 6, 2009

well, not the smartest way to get what you wanted 🙂

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