Journal: News & Comment

Tuesday, May 20, 2003
# 3:46:00 PM:

Why you can't find it

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Do you wonder why, when you search for something with Google or another search engine, you don't always get the results you expect? Why an article you remember reading in the New York Times or the Vancouver Sun or some other source doesn't show up, but a bunch of webloggers commenting on the same article does?

It's not the fault of Google or the webloggers. Many newspapers and other traditional media don't put their stuff on the Web. You may think they do, in that they have the stuff accessible from their Web sites, but too often you have to register to get it, or have to pay for access, or can only see it for a little while before it disappears into paid "reprints."

Guess what? Google can't see things that aren't freely accessible on the Web. That's why you can't find them when you search. Think of Google as a really, really big and popular Web user who reads only text, can't see most images or animations, and never enters a user ID, accepts a cookie, or pays to view content.

If you want people to find you, act accordingly, and put the stuff you want them to find online without access restrictions. Simple.


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