Is that an enemy, or can we use it instead?

So, I put on this server almost a week ago, 21 April. I didn’t blog actually that much, although it’s in line with my average blogging lately. I also had lot of work to do.

It’s not yet aggregated on Planet Gentoo, it’s aggregated in OSGalaxy tho, and this pings Technorati, so it’s doing some noise of its own in the mean time. Also, I didn’t use my real name (Diego Pettenò) as the name of the blog as it was before.

(Please cope with my egocentric content later on, this post does have a point, just let me explain it ;) )

One might, at this point, wonder how well the search engines took this move. Having installed awstats on the server (restricted to local IPs upon authentication), I could see that the bots of the main search engines already scanned the site. Yahoo’s Slurp! quite often actually, less often MSNBot, and third in the list GoogleBot.

So first round, looking up for “flameeyes”. Yahoo reports a decent list of entries about this, my CIA stats page, my website, my old blog on blogspot that’s now a placeholder, and then Gentoo site and OSGalaxy.

MSN Search gave good results, too: my site first (good), the CIA page, both mine and Gentoo’s, this blog. Note that Gentoo is just after that with an IRC log, and then comes my planet blog, SourceForge.net and so on.

What really upset me was the result with Google. First something that doesn’t really share anything with me, a part it used to be on a flameeyes domain; second place my website; third, my old website that’s down for more than an year now (dead provider), the host doesn’t exist anymore, either; then the CIA stats page, a site of some friends of mine, and my wikipedia page. What about Gentoo? The first reference for it is on the fourth page, and it’s not even the site, but just a list of ChangeLogs from mirrors.

Okay, maybe this was just a case.. the next search is for “Diego Pettenò”, that’s my real name. I won’t quote it, as it might be represented as “Pettenò Diego”, too.

Again Yahoo is decent with the results, first of all my old blog (that’s titled, exactly, “Diego Pettenò”), then my website, and a post from the above blog (why separated while both MSN and Google groups them? no clue), then the CIA stats page (that’s titled “Diego Pettenò – CIA”, too), then some indirect references to gentoo and to my old blog on blogspot. Not that bad.

Google finds one of the PDF I have on my site, a presentation about Ruby, and then the another one about Gentoo/FreeBSD, not a direct link to my site; then it shows two times about the interview with DaemonNews, and then shows me…. quotes from wine mailing lists. The CIA page is almost at the end of the first page, while my Planet’s blog (that again has the title identical to the given search string and contains my name numerous times), is just at the end of the page.

Also for this search, the one that gives the more decent output is MSN Search that, albeit asking me if I was looking for petting (err no, I’m not, damn you!), shows my old blog, the blogger profile, randomly present three time the above cited interview, then my website, and again this blog; the direct Gentoo references are in the second page, starting from a pointer to Gentoo Alt project. It also shows the Gentoo/FreeBSD Wikipedia page and the libcdio project I’m involved in.

Okay so back to the point of this post. What does the above results tell me? That the PageRank stuff from Google might work correctly in some ways, but MSN and Yahoo are catching up, and rather, they can provide more valuable information when the web is polluted by references (see the amount of ChangeLogs all over the web in Gentoo mirrors that contains my name or my nick); they also aren’t easily distracted by “instantaneous” phenomenon (like the interview), providing good references at least when looking for a person.

Although for technical information I still rely on Google, I’m probably going to try out using MSN for generic searches for a while, it seems it’s really remains on-topic while looking for generic terms.
Should we consider Microsoft the source of all evil, or it’s this the moment to compromise and decide that you can get what you really want also from evil sources?

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