Yay for Alta Vista, boo for Google!

Apparently my WebCollage screensaver has gotten popular enough that the search engines are actually feeling its impact: the fact that they see a lot of searches like these:

    susceptible curiouser western drank spectacles
    sextillion gubernatorial stagger folder assaulted
    appeals boatsman pharmaceutic groveled submodules
    formalization incommensurate ancestral sloan indictment

had finally irritated them enough to figure out where they were coming from, and send me mail whining about it.

Google nicely asked me to stop. They asked nicely enough that I felt bad saying no. But I asked them to add a URL on their site that would just redirect to a random URL from their database: WebCollage could use that, instead of hitting their search page, and it would all still work, without throwing off their hit statistics. They responded, "Oh, that would be easy. We'll see what we can do." And then ignored my mail for (at current count) nine months.

Recently, I got a similar complaint from Alta Vista. I asked them for the same kind of URL I'd asked Google for. They said, "sure", and it went live on their site two weeks later!

Yay Alta Vista! Boo Google!

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16 Responses:

  1. fo0bar says:

    Heh, when I clicked on a link, this was the first thing I saw:

    Heh. Another thing google has been dragging their feet is RDF feeds for their news, which they said they "might" do. I'd just be happy with a yes/no answer. So I went ahead and did this. (Cheap plug!)

  2. yeah, well, i got THIS and I WANT MY MONEY BACK

    "Gaylord!! Neat huh!"


  3. rahaeli says:

    From a user's perspective, Google is wonderful. I haven't used another search engine in about two years.

    From a webadmin's perspective, Google can suck my theoretical wang. About eight months ago, we started getting reports that Google wasn't obeying the noindex/nofollow directives on LJ. I've spent most of that time trying to get it resolved with them, and it took a threat of firewalling Google's robots by IP to finally get them to even acknowledge that I'd sent the email -- and then another month to get them to understand what the problem was. They kept telling me to add the noindex/nofollow directives. I had to patiently apply the clue-by-four until they finally realized yo, they're already there.

    And they're *still* not doing the right thing.

    But hey, they have nifty logos for holidays.

    • abates says:

      Their image search is cool... unless the page linked to the image moves URL, and they don't update it (since the image itself is still there...)

      And if you use their URL removal system to remove a 404 URL from the index, it hits that URL every hour on the hour, until the request goes through (usually 3 or 4 days later). How 404 does a page have to be?

  4. naturalborn says:

    I get an error -

    Error Occurred While Processing Request

    Error Diagnostic Information

    An error occurred while evaluating the expression:

    page_id = val(listgetat(cgi.path_info,4,"/"))

    Error near line 2, column 7.

    In function ListGetAt(list, index [, delimiters]) the value of index, which is 4, is not a valid index for the list given as a the first argument (this list has 3 elements). Valid indexes are in the range 1 through the number of elements in the list

    The error occurred while processing an element with a general identifier of (CFSET), occupying document position (2:1) to (2:53).

  5. naturalborn says:

    And now the error stopped happening, but it does unveil a bug in mozilla - if it gets a redirect to a site which is unreachable, it doesn't re-get the request when you click on the link again, it just uses the cached redir. It behaves properly if the redir is reachable

    • ralesk says:

         Oh, Mozilla and its caching behaviour...

         I go to my LJ.  I shut down my computer.  Next day, I check my LJ on my computer.  Mozilla shows the cached page. (O_o)  Also, there was a point where it cached "http://www.livejournal.com/users/ralesk/friends" as unreachable (!!!) and insisted several days later that it is unreachable still.  Meanwhile aforementioned."?skip=0" worked as intended :]  Laughworthy :}  This caching algorithm is borked to say the least...

  6. eqe says:

    webcollage is installed in the rotation on at least some default RedHat installs. I suppose that counts as "popular".

  7. bitpuddle says:

    Ha! I didn't know you did WebCollage. That is one of my favorite screen savers. I sit and watch it like a mental patient.