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Google Groups fixes its long festering search problem

3:55 am on Oct 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I ran across this info on Usenet and thought it would be of interest to those who feature Google Groups on their websites (like me), or just interested in Usenet in general:

Google's Abandoned Library of 700 Million Titles

Update: Google Begins Fixing Usenet Archive

4:29 am on Oct 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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From the second (most recent) article:

"It turns out there was a bug, a specific bug, that affected search within a specific group," Google spokeswoman Victoria Katsarou told wired.com late Wednesday....

Come Thursday morning, we find that Google has, indeed, corrected one of the most serious usability problems with its Usenet search. Searching within a specific newsgroup now works fine.

It's good that Google has now fixed it. But it's a big FAIL that "The neglected archive has been the subject of widespread online discussion for over a year, including in a Slashdot thread in November 2008." It should not have taken Wired's very public embarrassment to get this handled, IMO.

4:56 am on Oct 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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A year after Slashdot called attention to the bugs, the problems with the archive not only haven’t been fixed, but they aren’t reflected in the Google Groups “known issues” page.

Asked if the bugs are documented anywhere, or if Google planned on repairing its library, a company spokesman was noncommittal. “We’re aware of some problems with the way search is working in Google Groups,” said Jason Freidenfelds, in an e-mail. “We’re always working to improve our products.”

(Emphasis Mine)

It took ONE DAY to fix? Huh, What?

I guess maybe they've been working on fixing it so hard for the last year they were almost done when the article was written, because there's no way they left it broken for a year when it only took ONE DAY to fix the problem is there?

The more I think about this, the more concerning it is for those who try to do everything 'by the book' or 'as Google suggests' and then lose their rankings, because it makes me wonder what's really a penalty, what's really an algo change, and what's really a glitch they're just too busy making money to fix?