Mysteries of Google Dept.

In the past two days or so, more than a thousand people who have Googled for search strings including the words “Kerry” and “Fonda” got sent to an empty trackback page for NYT Falls for Hoax Kerry-Fonda Photo instead of to the article itself. I have no idea why. (If search string weirdness appeals to you, check out the Discourse.net Zeitgeist.)

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3 Responses to Mysteries of Google Dept.

  1. fnord says:

    The Register carries an article that may give you, or at least lead you to, the answer. -g

  2. Michael says:

    Interesting, especially the link to Trackbacks to Destroy Google. I can certainly put my mt directory into my robots.txt file….but isn’t that a sort of unilateral disarmament? It won’t make substantive posts google any better, and it takes off the stuff google likes …. which might at least lead people to the substantive stuff…

  3. fnord says:

    More fun with Google.

    I’m not familiar with MT, so I don’t know to what extent it is configurable at that end, but here are a couple of links regarding the syntax for robots.txt: 1, and 2. It may just be possible to disallow google from the relevant sub-directory.

    Doing a google on: Kerry+Fonda+discourse.net I assume it is the second link you are speaking of, google shows as:
    http://www.discourse.net/ mt/mt-tb.cgi?__mode=view&entry_id=634

    which is different than the first (proper) link provided by google. So perhaps a Disallow of /mt-tb.cgi would do the trick. There is a syntax checker here, also see the robot tracking link.

    And just for grins, here is the robots.txt for whitehouse.gov. They sure don’t seem to want robots visiting IRAQ (one wonders what IRAQ ghosts lurk there or what level of security would be breached by retrieving an IRAQ valentines history quiz). Actually if you prepend whitehouse.gov to the …/text entries you get something, for ../iraq you don’t.

    BTW, MT, which just got some good press, looks horrid via the MS Internet Explorer 6 browser, text on one line crowds into the next, the center column partly overlays and obscures the right-hand column, font sizes range from too large down to (in this comment box) too small, and more. I know this is likely MSoft’s fault but.. . It does look fine in Mozilla. -g

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