Sunday, 9 September 2007

The Searchers Vrs Google

One of The Searchers

Let us say for example, that an event was to take place somewhere in Our Country, that would outrage the nation. And let us say that for whatever reasons, it was not reported in the main stream media or the local press.

But then let us say that a nationalist blogger picked up on the story and published it on his blog. Great you would think. It is out there in the public domain. Well, it is and it is not.

Google has changed the way they index pages for their search engines and it means that unless your site is a top rated one, then the chances are that the bloggers story(page) will be filed under their Supplemental Index (read the comments) and then never be located by the Search Engines.

So the report of the outrage would only be known to those who visited the original blog site and then passed the story on. Not good news for freedom of information is it?

Let me give you an example. Go to the Google Blog search area and key in "Nelson Mandela Petition green arrow". You will find nothing. Up until fairly recently, you would have had a link to this page here where you would have been able to read the Green Arrow take on it. Now unless you visit the site, the information is hidden to the world.

Try this one. This is something that was reported by bloggers around the world. Key in "Keith Brown British National Party". We know how many blogs reported that. But check out the low search result. Supplemental Index is kicking in.

Now there are ways to avoid (with great difficulty) this happening to your postings but it is made doubly difficult if you use Google Blogger to pass on information.

They have implemented on their site a file called robots.txt that the bloggers are unable to access or change. It is is a just a few lines, but these few lines are choking the flow of information.

User-agent: Mediapartners-Google

User-agent: *
Disallow: /search


What that line, User-agent is saying is to all search robots, that we depend on to get our information out is. Do not search the supplemental index where all low rated pages (and most bloggers stories are) are filed. And so the Searchers find nothing. Even though the information is there. Enough to make anyone give up. Unless of course they are True Brits.

Now not all bloggers will notice this, as when they start off, their stories will be stored in the main search index until a limit is reached (not sure what) but then their stories will start to be filed in the supplemental index and information effectively hidden. I may have some of the technical bits wrong but that is broadly what happens.

Now the American Government have picked up on this and started hiding information from the public searchers by including sensitive files in their robots.txt files. I have sadly lost the blogger link to the Washington Newspaper that reported this. I found it by accident. The blog page was not rated high enough to show up in search engines. So now remains lost.

Now you and I call this censorship but not the American Government, their argument is that they have discharged their obligations to the public by publishing the information and that it is there for them to view. If they can find it. Without search engines it is like looking for a needle in an haystack.

Now I do not know if there is a deeper reason for Google doing this. They say it is to improve the efficiency of Search Engines. I am sure it will. Bound to be faster if they do not search but this has a massive impact on small businesses and bloggers alike.

So it seems that all Nationalist Bloggers who want to get the truth out will have to work a little bit more closer in the dissemination of information we find.

Will this post make the main index? Only Google knows.


rob said...

do you know a searcher which doesn't censor the way google does?
I am fed up of the google domination.

The Green Arrow said...


My understanding is that if you have your own domain, ie not a blog site then you can edit your robots.txt and tell the search engines to find everything.

If you are on blogger, you are stuffed.

However I do believe that Wordpress blogs let us edit the robots.txt also but have not had time to find out.

Take it from me it is causing loads of grief and not just for bloggers.

If you have any luck please let me know.

It is damn frustrating and not seeing your work turn up in the Search Engines. Get subscribed to the google webmaster site and you can see exactly where the engines go on your site.

good luck