Believe it or not, I actually use Google pretty frequently to remember what I myself have said in the past. And I’m not talking about just Google Desktop, though I do use that. I’m referring mostly to Google’s site search, which I use against my blog all the time (mostly because Blogger’s support for blog internal navigation is non-existent–which may actually be part of the problem). I even have a Google search box on my blog. It’s right there on the left, if you scroll down. The problem is, it doesn’t work anymore. And it turns out that, with just a few exceptions, all my pre-March 2005 content is no longer indexed. WTF?!
I’m left to wonder if this is a new policy on Google’s part. If they’re somehow trying to get rid of “stale” blog content. Or if I’ve done something to piss them off, if I’ve pushed the wrong buttons and gotten myself listed as a link spam page or something. Maybe I just need to make an XML sitemap or something. What I do know is that this is the first time Google has become suddenly and radically less useful to me.
What’s really interesting is that different search engines now behave very differently when it comes to my blog. Here’s what happens when I do a site search from various services for the title of a blog post from 2/2005:
|A9 (Google Engine)||1||Fair|
Only Yahoo and Ask.com find the actual page. Google and A9 (same engine) find a post from March, 2005, that just happens to link to the the post I’m actually searching for (which would seem to indicate that either the spider just arbitrarily stopped at that point or that they’re eliminating my results on purpose). Puzzlingly, Google/A9’s image search picks up images from the page, even though the page itself is not linked. True, this search is composed mostly of stop words, but it is a page title. I wonder what the problem is.