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delirium happy

Just keep on trying till you run out of cake

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Google part 2
delirium leaving
And now the followup to my last entry about google blogsearch, for those of you who are playing along at home.

Apparently the whole thing was a big accident, and google are going to be playing nicely soon. Leaving aside the "I'll believe it when I see it" aspect, this is hardy encouraging. It would seem to suggest that google aren't evil, just grossly incompetant! I mean really, this sort of concern is basic, and if a company like Google -- with its size, resources and experience in the field -- can't even get that sort of thing right, then it realy doesn't bode well.

And then I got a reply to my email:

Hi Rachel,

Thank you for your note about Blog Search (beta). We understand your
concern in this matter. As you mentioned, we do not index blogs that have
the appropriate robots.txt file or meta tags to block access from robots.
In this instance, you may want to contact LiveJournal's support team to
learn how you can enable these options on your blog.

Many blog hosting companies provide their customers with options to
prevent robots from crawling their pages. If you're still having
difficulties enabling these options, please let us know. It would also be
helpful if you could provide us with the URL to your blog so we can
investigate further.

The Google Team

This seems to lend credance to the "incompetent" theory. Or more likely to the "support monkeys who are perfectly capable of answering realy basic questions, but have little to no understanding of any more complicated issues" theory.

I'm currently debating the issue of whether I care enough to try to take this any further, and generally coming down on the side of "no".

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You need to pwn those muthas! Tell 'em like it is, and make them cower. Oh, yes. They must cower before the mightiness of rho...

I find it grossly disturbing that Google didn't bother telling anyone that this was coming, implemented it badly, and still seems to be indexing friends-only posts (yeah, I know the prevailing theory is that they were not-FO at first, then became so, but I don't think that's the case).

.... How would they have access to Friends-only posts if they were never public? :P

I don't know-- that's the problem. But there are just too many people who've had them indexed for it to be a case of rampant human error.

in my personal playing with LiveJournal recent entries feeds, which I am quite certain are done correctly, approximately 10-20% of entries I randomly select are friends only by the time I get to them, minutes later.

I think that rampant human errror is a lot more likely than you'd think.

Too bad you're no longer doing Support, or else you could reply with "Dude, I *am* LiveJournal's support team" :P

Oh, I'd have absolutely no trouble in coming up with a cutting response, if I wanted to. For instance, I could point out that I wrote some of LiveJournal's documentation on how the "block robots and spiders" option works.

I'm heeding the golden rule of tech support though (the person on the other end probably seems dumber than they actually are). I mean, I'm sure that whoever replied is a Very Nice Person Really, and doesn't deserve the sort of sarcasm that I'm tempted to unleash.

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