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  1. #1
    DF Demi God marcode's Avatar
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    Default Link Between Search Terms `Microsoft' and `Go to Hell' Explained

    PALO ALTO, Calif. (Reuters) -- It has been said that hell has many levels, and apparently some people see software giant Microsoft Corp. at its core.

    At least that's according to the search engine Google, which when given a query for the term "go to hell," kicks back the home page of the world's largest software maker -- a rather humorous result, considering Google's reputation for producing the most accurate search results.

    Microsoft's corporate rivals should not be so quick to chuckle, however.

    The official home pages for AOL Time Warner Inc.'s America Online division and for Walt Disney Co. also come in among the top five results under the "go to hell" query. (AOL Time Warner is the parent company of CNN.)

    But how does Microsoft beat a site called Hell.com for top ranking in the "go to hell" category, on a search engine that made a reputation putting the most relevant results first?

    Microsoft's detractors
    The easiest answer is that Microsoft has a lot of enemies.

    Although Google offered no explanation on the "go to hell" matter, Google's site is famous for its "link analysis" method of producing search results. When users enter a word or term, they get back not just those Web sites containing that term but other sites as well, that are linked to those that contain the word or phrase, in question.

    Microsoft's home page, in other words, may not contain the phrase "go to hell" anywhere, but there are apparently a lot of other sites out there that mention Microsoft (or AOL, or Disney) and going to hell in the same context.

    "I call them Google blips," said Danny Sullivan, editor of SearchEngineWatch, an industry newsletter. "These are the things that happen when Web sites start linking to other Web sites. It just means that there are probably a lot of people who don't like Microsoft, and that is not a surprise."

    Sullivan has tracked the search engine industry for years and has multiple examples of the way links between different Web sites have produced misleading search results.

    Other Web sites targetted
    There were the porn sites whose names appeared when users entered "Liv Tyler nude" or "Phoebe Cates nude," even though the sites in question contained no such photos of those celebrities. Searches of other pornographic terms have sometimes referred users to the Walt Disney home page, supposedly because some porn sites jokingly refer users over to Disney when they respond that they are not over 18. There is even a relatively obscure journalist named David Gallagher who managed to get top ranking above a somewhat better-known teen heartthrob with the same name, by building links between his Web site and others.

    When such erroneous search results appear, it is not always clear whether someone actually set out to manipulate them by building the false links, or, like with the "go to hell" term, there were already some funny links out there. Earlier this year some practical jokers managed to build some links so that the name of a particular Web log publisher appeared when users entered the term "talentless hack" in Google's search box.

    Although it is harder to confirm, false links have also reportedly been used to call attention to political events, or to give commercial sites higher billing.

    Google has in the past pointed out that search results are not so easily manipulated, given the nearly 2.5 billion Web pages it scans. And most people in the industry note that because these false links are accidental more often than they are planned, and playful more often than they are malicious, no one needs to be terribly concerned.

    "I think there are some potential problems that could be developed, but most of the cases are very specific phrases that you probably wouldn't search anyway," said Greg Notess, who publishes the newsletter Search Engine Showdown. "Really, why would you enter the term 'go to hell' in the first place?"

    Likewise, Sullivan of SearchEngineWatch said that while some businesses may try to manipulate search results for economic reasons, like getting their Web site or company to the top of the list, the bigger problem for Google seems to be one of perception.

    Are editors the answer?
    The fact that people may be able to manipulate search results, even if they do not do it that often, he said, raised the question of whether Google ought to have some human editors involved in the search process.

    "I think the biggest weakness for Google may be that it is not fixing these results," said Sullivan. "They are very much in love with technology and they sort of embrace this idea that they wouldn't want to go through and touch the results that their technology produced."

    "But it is not always right. It is an automated system and it comes up with some weird things."



    lol

  2. #2
    ABCMan
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    odd indeed, i just tried it

    no sign of microsoft on that page at all

    Searched the web for go to hell. Results 1 - 10 of about 2,590,000. Search took 0.10 seconds.


    HELL.COM
    no frame no picture..quote Z! sometime last century.
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] - Similar pages

    GO TO HELL...
    Alice Cooper Unofficial Fansite. Webmaster;Bronson Since 3.14.2001 ...
    homepage2.nifty.com/alice_cooper/ - 4k - Cached - Similar pages

    Hell On Earth - Main Page
    ... The Big Explosion A Tale From Hell: The headache had been gnawing at
    him since early in the morning. His shoulders hurt. ... Work was hell. ...
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] - 12k - Cached - Similar pages

    Don't Go To Hell
    Don?t Go To Hell! By Dr. Dale A. Robbins. About the Author?Don?t go to Hell!?
    cried Dick Spiller. ... But most people who will go to Hell will not. ...
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    JOIN US OR YOU WILL GO TO HELL
    From the Irish Mirror, Tuesday May 26 1998: JOIN US OR YOU WILL GO TO HELL.
    Cult?s chilling message to unsuspecting teens. By NICOLA TALLANT. ...
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] - 21k - Cached - Similar pages

    Done
    Welcome to HELL. ... Hell is a JPB Creative Co, Ltd site. Welcome to Hell. home Creative
    Thinking Internet & Multimedia Services e-commerce eThesis Insanity Products.
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] - 6k - Cached - Similar pages

    Homepage from Hell, Michigan
    Welcome to Hell Online!...Hell Michigan that is! A beautiful little town, down in the valley, where it's Halloween all year 'round!
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] - 2k - Cached - Similar pages

    ZNet | Argentina | IMF Go To Hell
    ... refused to leave. On the concrete facade of the house,
    a hand-printed sign said: IMF Go To Hell. ...
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] - 15k - Cached - Similar pages

    Degree/Stuff - Go To Hell Sweepstakes
    The chance to enter the sweepstakes has long expired
    – much like your wardrobe! Back to Stuff, ...
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] - 6k - Cached - Similar pages

    Will all Muslims go to Hell?
    ... Are Martyrs Spared or Will all Muslims go to Hell? From the entry under
    Martyrs in The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam by Cyril Glassé: ...

    i like the idea of the last one

  3. #3
    DF Jedi Aido's Avatar
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    Check out slashdot, there was a massive discussion about the changes Google made to the page ranking system there yesterday or the day before....

    Update - found it...

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  4. #4
    DF Jedi dingle_666's Avatar
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    lol i knew it abc man i feel the same as u do


  5. #5
    DF Jedi BFG's Avatar
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    freakin' ell dingle dude, what screen res u using? 640 x 480?
    It's also a bit concerning that it took you ONE HOUR to daub that red writing on the screen grab... from the time on your system clock to the time of posting... masterpiece lol - looks like Cams best handwriting :signs:
    Last edited by BFG; 8th October 2002 at 04:57 AM.


    Time Flies when you're having fun! A decade of DF - April 2002-2012.

  6. #6
    DF Jedi Cam's Avatar
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    oi!!!

    (17:18:34) (+Cam) i need to mount my xbox hdd in linux
    (17:19:02) (+SpikeWork) youth of today, they'll mount anything

  7. #7
    DF Jedi Cam's Avatar
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    uk google got it right

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    (17:18:34) (+Cam) i need to mount my xbox hdd in linux
    (17:19:02) (+SpikeWork) youth of today, they'll mount anything

  8. #8
    DF Jedi dingle_666's Avatar
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    Originally posted by BFG
    freakin' ell dingle dude, what screen res u using? 640 x 480?
    It's also a bit concerning that it took you ONE HOUR to daub that red writing on the screen grab... from the time on your system clock to the time of posting... masterpiece lol - looks like Cams best handwriting :signs:
    lol @ cams writing

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