Results are negative

Tam expresses a frustration I’ve often felt, though being Tam, she’s far more eloquent than I:

[T]hank you, Search Engine Optimization %^#@*ers, you $#%^ing #@*+ers, for breaking the internet. I try and do a little bit of research, searching for “the history of handgun accessory rails”, and I get page after page of sites trying to sell me cheap-ass Chinese crap to attach to airsoft guns and not a thing about, you know, the history of handgun accessory rails.

Incidentally, if you type $#%^ing #@*+ers into Google’s search box, the first thing it suggests is “ingersoll buchanan.”


  1. Roger Green »

    25 November 2012 · 5:57 pm

    I didn’t look at Tam’s article, but if I were her, I’d limit the search to those that are .edu or maybe see if there are journal articles that might be available as .pdf

  2. Tam »

    25 November 2012 · 6:09 pm

    Roger Green,

    Back before SEO optimization broke the internet, we didn’t have to worry about that. Ask Charles, he remembers. You could type a reasonably carefully worded inquiry to Yahoo! or Lycos about a dog breed through your 56k modem and not have the first seventy-five results be from

    (Which may explain why the sock puppet wound up looking for work, but that’s a tale for another day.)

  3. fillyjonk »

    27 November 2012 · 2:16 pm

    Yeah, I’ve noticed lately that my search-engine-fu is not as good as it used to be at turning up what I wanted. I thought it was me but the SEO not-for-non-dicks (to quote a famous article) is probably the real reason.

    I wonder if there exists – if there COULD exist, given the culture and atmosphere today – a search engine that DIDN’T do that, and truly returned relevant links. (Altavista, which used to be my engine of choice, defaults back to Yahoo.)

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