When
· Naughties
· · 2005
· · · April
· · · · 04 (2 entries)

Crosstalk · Dear read­er­s, hon­esty (and the sto­ry I’m about to tel­l) re­quire that I spill the bean­s: there is lots of stuff here on on­go­ing that you can’t see. Since I have a pret­ty good writ­ing en­vi­ron­men­t, I com­pose lots of lit­tle pieces of one kind or an­oth­er and then “semi-publish” them; they’re out there on the Web at an ad­dress that looks a lot like that of the frag­ment you’re now read­ing, but there are no point­ers to them; se­cu­ri­ty by ob­scu­ri­ty, but good enough for my pur­pos­es. Last night I semi-published some­thing and emailed a few peo­ple ask­ing them to look at it. A cou­ple hours lat­er, I won­dered if they had, and checked the serv­er logs. I saw my­self (twice, I’d cor­rect­ed it), and... the Google­bot. What the hel­l? Did I ac­ci­den­tal­ly press “publish”? No. Baf­fle­men­t. Is my brows­er telling Google where I’m go­ing?!? Un­like­ly... ah! Even semi-published pieces have the ad­s, which are a Javascript call­back to some­where in the Google­plex. So, that’s what’s hap­pen­ing... when AdSense dis­plays on a page, at least some­times, it tips off the robot army. So any­one who’s run­ning AdSense gets in­dexed first & fastest. I can’t prove it, but it’s the sim­plest ex­pla­na­tion, and it makes all sorts of sense. [Up­date: If you look re­al close­ly at that robot (for geek­s, at the “User-Agent” field­), it’s not quite the same as the nor­mal google­bot; ap­par­ent­ly this beast is just read­ing the text of the page to fig­ure out what con­tex­tu­al­ly ap­pro­pri­ate ads to dis­play. Thanks to all the peo­ple who wrote to point this out­.]
 
A Cherry-Tomato Winner · The chal­lenge has been met, and the crimson-vegetable award goes to... Google! It can now find im­ages cor­rect­ly based on meta­data; for ex­am­ple Saskatchewan snow with plants, Tanya King, sweet pea shad­ow, Ho­goro­mo din­ner, and so on. Nei­ther MSN nor Ya­hoo search can do this.
 
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