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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Googling Years Gone By (with the Google of Years Past)

If there are a few Web searches you forgot to do back in 2001, you now have a second chance:  Google is celebrating its 10th anniversary by allowing you to search the 2001 version of the Web with that year’s version of the Google search engine. Monica Hesse uses this as a launching point for an interesting discussion of Web archiving in today’s Washington Post

Not surprisingly, a Google search for “Barak Obama” turned up far fewer results in 2001 (671) than it does today (73 million) and also far fewer than a search for “John McCain” got in 2001 (158,000).  Not that this has much significance for who is more likely to become, or deserve to be, the next president.  “Cole Hamels” got far few Google results in 2001 (only 6) than did “Derek Lowe” (9,090) and yet it’s now looking like he’s more likely to be pitching in this year’s World Series.

Posted by Marc Blitz on October 11, 2008 at 06:05 PM in Culture | Permalink


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Meanwhile, Sarah Palin has zero results. Wow.

Posted by: anon | Oct 12, 2008 7:16:39 PM

No. I spelled it correctly in the search. I just misspelled it in the post. If I had misspelled it in the 2001 Google search as well, it would have produced only 31 results (what you get in the 2001 search when you spell it "Barak Obama" rather than "Barack Obama") compared to the 51 you get in 2001 for "Jon McCain." Just in case anybody's wondering, a 2008 Google Search with the same spelling error ("Barak Obama") produces 1,900,000 results. But thanks for pointing out the errrrorr.

Posted by: Marc Blitz | Oct 11, 2008 7:21:48 PM

Well, that might be partly because you misspelled his name in the search.

Posted by: anon | Oct 11, 2008 6:49:54 PM

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