Can we still trust Google search?
Sunday, March 20, 2016 by Dave Winer

Last night I was searching Google for an article I wrote earlier this year, the way I always do it. I couldn't find it. Not only that, searches that should have turned up hundreds of hits, only showed one or two. 

Google has been thoroughly indexing my site for many years. I remember when they first started, how nice it was, but today I take it for granted. If they weren't doing such an excellent job I would have had to write my own site search function.

The thought has occurred to me that this is Google taking its push to HTTPS to a new level. No, I don't want to support HTTPS on all my sites. I have a huge number of them. I've been creating new sites since 1994. And of course they have the right to index or not index whatever they want. And I have the right to stick to HTTP for my sites.

Of course this could be:

  1. A bug.
  2. My imagination.

But they have said they play games with the search engine that have nothing to do with the actual relevance of a site. And this isn't even about relevance, I'm prefixing the searches with I'm specifically searching on my own site.


  1. I need to raise the issue publicly. Done.
  2. We need to replace Google now, because if this isn't the time that they turn the lights off on my site, that day could well be coming. I have trusted Google since they started up in 1998. Clearly I don't trust them anymore if I have doubts about whether they're deliberately downgrading the search quality of my site.
  3. The day of Google being the default search engine may be coming to a close. 

Note: To be absolutely clear, for people who skim, I am not talking about other people finding my content or them reducing the rank of this site, I'm talking about using Google as a utility to help me find stuff on my own site, something I absolutely need to be able to do, reliably. 


I tried searching with DuckDuckGo instead. What I found:

  1. It appears to have a much better index of recent posts on Scripting News than Google does. 
  2. However I was not able to find the post I was looking for. That might imply that the writer's memory of where he wrote this is imperfect. ;-)