I also cache the server motds, though it's unlikely that google would find that information useful to Joe user.
Hmm, maybe not MOTD, but what about channel topics? Often channel operators on IRC put useful/interesting links in IRC topics. My theory...
Google gets a listing of all channels and topics on an IRC network. When it sees a URL in the topic of a channel, it enters the channel. Once it's in, it gets a list of all users.
It then performs analysis on this information to determine the importance of the link. If a channel has just one person in it, then it could easily be spam so it won't have much importance assigned to it. However, if that channel has close to a hundred users, then the link in the topic would be more important.
Some people are drawing parallels with IRC and news groups. However, you must keep in mind that news groups are posts sent to servers, then distributed across the internet to all the news servers who want it.
IRC messages are messages sent to a server and then distributed to all the other servers in that network
It's understood that your post will be seen by anyone who wants it. IRC discussions are meant only for the users within the channel.
It's understood that all IRC messages, even private messages are sent across an open network and can be intercepted by nosey network administrators
Users on IRC tend to be a little more technical in nature than those elsewhere on the net.
Surely you mean arrogant, not technical?
I know this is a generalization, but IRC use requires a little more knowledge than entering a url on your web browser, or typing out an email.
USENET used to be just as hard (if not harder), before Google broke the clique and made it easy to use.
At any rate, privacy is an important aspect to all of this. Let me give a few examples: Mrs. Henderson (the name is made up) is in a support channel for battered women. She's speaking about her husband to the support group. Imagine her horror if she then found out her discussions were published on the web for all to read?
Now you're just showing your ignorance. There's plenty of support groups on USENET, and it's easier to be anonymous on USENET than it is on IRC.