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More Google Fun

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  • Shlomi Fish
    Search Google for %s and you ll find the homepage of the GNU project as the first link: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=%25s It
    Message 1 of 7 , Nov 26, 2002
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      Search Google for "%s" and you'll find the homepage of the GNU project
      as the first link:

      http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=%25s

      It probably has to do with the huge amount of printf and friends that they
      use in their code.

      Regards,

      Shlomi Fish



      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
      Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
      Home E-mail: shlomif@...

      "Let's suppose you have a table with 2^n cups..."
      "Wait a second - is n a natural number?"
    • Omer Musaev
      -----Original Message----- From: Shlomi Fish [mailto:shlomif@techst02.technion.ac.il] Sent: Tuesday, November 26, 2002 1:09 PM To: Hackers-IL
      Message 2 of 7 , Nov 26, 2002
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        ' -----Original Message-----
        ' From: Shlomi Fish [mailto:shlomif@...]
        ' Sent: Tuesday, November 26, 2002 1:09 PM
        ' To: Hackers-IL
        ' Subject: [hackers-il] More Google Fun
        '
        '
        '
        ' Search Google for "%s" and you'll find the homepage of the GNU project
        ' as the first link:
        '
        ' http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=%25s
        '
        ' It probably has to do with the huge amount of printf and
        ' friends that they
        ' use in their code.

        Cute. But the probable explanation does not hold, IMHO.

        By performing little experiment, I had found that Google search
        silently ignores the percent character when that prepends the
        search phrase. In other words, searching for "s" should bring us the
        same link as searching for "%s" would do.

        Let's test it:
        http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=s

        Well, it does.
        No relation to printfs and friends (and no relation to Ain Rand either.)

        One possible reason may be the huge amount of homepages in style of
        "hey, I am Joe, and I have linked my silly page to GNU software!!!!"

        Another possible reason may be the secret donations to Google made
        by FSF.

        Yet another.... Well, I do not have a clue about it. But the phenomenon
        is cute nevertheless:)

        '
        ' Regards,
        '
        ' Shlomi Fish
        '
        '
        '
        ' ----------------------------------------------------------------------
        ' Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
        ' Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
        ' Home E-mail: shlomif@...
        '
        ' "Let's suppose you have a table with 2^n cups..."
        ' "Wait a second - is n a natural number?"
        '
        '
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      • Omer Musaev
        -----Original Message----- From: Adi Stav [mailto:stav@actcom.co.il] Sent: Tuesday, November 26, 2002 8:10 PM To: hackers-il@yahoogroups.com Subject:
        Message 3 of 7 , Nov 26, 2002
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          ' -----Original Message-----
          ' From: Adi Stav [mailto:stav@...]
          ' Sent: Tuesday, November 26, 2002 8:10 PM
          ' To: hackers-il@yahoogroups.com
          ' Subject: Re: [hackers-il] More Google Fun
          '
          '
          ' On Tue, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:47:40PM +0200, Omer Musaev wrote:
          ' > Cute. But the probable explanation does not hold, IMHO.
          ' >
          ' > By performing little experiment, I had found that Google search
          ' > silently ignores the percent character when that prepends the
          ' > search phrase. In other words, searching for "s" should
          ' bring us the
          ' > same link as searching for "%s" would do.
          '
          ' Hmm. I'd say that this is due to the "GNU's not UNIX" name, which has
          ' the letter S all by itself. Since gnu.org is very commonly
          ' linked to,
          ' it appears as the first result. Look at the other results
          ' for S: all the
          ' top results also have this form.


          Sounds reasonable.

          ' Other letters lead to other pages: C is CNET, D is D-Link, B
          ' is our very
          ' own B'Tselem, and so forth. Fun game.


          '
          ' --
          ' "How come the paper clip doesn't creep up from behind those people
          ' with `it looks like you are trying to type an English document!'?"
          ' -- Ira Abramov, on MS-Word's BiDi user interface
          '
          ' ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
          ' ---------------------~-->
          ' Get 128 Bit SSL Encryption!
          ' http://us.click.yahoo.com/CBxunD/vN2EAA/xGHJAA/saFolB/TM
          ' --------------------------------------------------------------
          ' -------~->
          '
          ' To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          ' hackers-il-unsubscribe@egroups.com
          '
          '
          '
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          ' http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          '
          '
        • Orna Agmon
          ... You are right about the s in that page, but I believe that it is the s Richard M. Stallman s article . You can see that if you go to the cached version
          Message 4 of 7 , Nov 26, 2002
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            On Tue, 26 Nov 2002, Adi Stav wrote:
            > Hmm. I'd say that this is due to the "GNU's not UNIX" name, which has
            > the letter S all by itself. Since gnu.org is very commonly linked to,

            You are right about the 's in that page, but I believe that it is the
            's "Richard M. Stallman's article ". You can see that if
            you go to the cached version google gives:
            It highlights the searched words.

            --
            Orna. | http://tx.technion.ac.il/~agmon

            A cat has claws at the end of its paws.
            A sentence has a pause at the end of its clause.
          • Shlomi Fish
            ... Hmmpf. Yes - you are right. I really hate how Google ignores such queries. Some queries with special characters are practically impossible in Google.
            Message 5 of 7 , Nov 26, 2002
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              On Tue, 26 Nov 2002, Omer Musaev wrote:

              >
              >
              > ' -----Original Message-----
              > ' From: Shlomi Fish [mailto:shlomif@...]
              > ' Sent: Tuesday, November 26, 2002 1:09 PM
              > ' To: Hackers-IL
              > ' Subject: [hackers-il] More Google Fun
              > '
              > '
              > '
              > ' Search Google for "%s" and you'll find the homepage of the GNU project
              > ' as the first link:
              > '
              > ' http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=%25s
              > '
              > ' It probably has to do with the huge amount of printf and
              > ' friends that they
              > ' use in their code.
              >
              > Cute. But the probable explanation does not hold, IMHO.
              >
              > By performing little experiment, I had found that Google search
              > silently ignores the percent character when that prepends the
              > search phrase. In other words, searching for "s" should bring us the
              > same link as searching for "%s" would do.
              >

              Hmmpf. Yes - you are right.

              I really hate how Google ignores such queries. Some queries with special
              characters are practically impossible in Google. That's one of the things
              that sometimes annoys me about it. But very rarely, since most of my
              queries are in English.

              Regards,

              Shlomi Fish

              There is no IGLU Cabal!
              They choose the nickname "%$#@-0=+|[}*/" and so Googling for them became
              very hard.

              > Let's test it:
              > http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=s
              >
              > Well, it does.
              > No relation to printfs and friends (and no relation to Ain Rand either.)
              >
              > One possible reason may be the huge amount of homepages in style of
              > "hey, I am Joe, and I have linked my silly page to GNU software!!!!"
              >
              > Another possible reason may be the secret donations to Google made
              > by FSF.
              >
              > Yet another.... Well, I do not have a clue about it. But the phenomenon
              > is cute nevertheless:)
              >
              > '
              > ' Regards,
              > '
              > ' Shlomi Fish
              > '
              > '
              > '
              > ' ----------------------------------------------------------------------
              > ' Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
              > ' Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
              > ' Home E-mail: shlomif@...
              > '
              > ' "Let's suppose you have a table with 2^n cups..."
              > ' "Wait a second - is n a natural number?"
              > '
              > '
              > ' ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
              > ' ---------------------~-->
              > ' Get 128 Bit SSL Encryption!
              > ' http://us.click.yahoo.com/CBxunD/vN2EAA/xGHJAA/saFolB/TM
              > ' --------------------------------------------------------------
              > ' -------~->
              > '
              > ' To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              > ' hackers-il-unsubscribe@egroups.com
              > '
              > '
              > '
              > ' Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
              > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              >
              >
              >
              > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              > hackers-il-unsubscribe@egroups.com
              >
              >
              >
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              >
              >



              ----------------------------------------------------------------------
              Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
              Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
              Home E-mail: shlomif@...

              "Let's suppose you have a table with 2^n cups..."
              "Wait a second - is n a natural number?"
            • Adi Stav
              ... Hmm. I d say that this is due to the GNU s not UNIX name, which has the letter S all by itself. Since gnu.org is very commonly linked to, it appears as
              Message 6 of 7 , Nov 26, 2002
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                On Tue, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:47:40PM +0200, Omer Musaev wrote:
                > Cute. But the probable explanation does not hold, IMHO.
                >
                > By performing little experiment, I had found that Google search
                > silently ignores the percent character when that prepends the
                > search phrase. In other words, searching for "s" should bring us the
                > same link as searching for "%s" would do.

                Hmm. I'd say that this is due to the "GNU's not UNIX" name, which has
                the letter S all by itself. Since gnu.org is very commonly linked to,
                it appears as the first result. Look at the other results for S: all the
                top results also have this form.

                Other letters lead to other pages: C is CNET, D is D-Link, B is our very
                own B'Tselem, and so forth. Fun game.


                --
                "How come the paper clip doesn't creep up from behind those people
                with `it looks like you are trying to type an English document!'?"
                -- Ira Abramov, on MS-Word's BiDi user interface
              • Nadav Har'El
                ... Orna, the words on that page, and whether s appears in it or not, are quite irrelevant. It s the words in the *link text* to that page that matters, as
                Message 7 of 7 , Nov 27, 2002
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                  On Tue, Nov 26, 2002, Orna Agmon wrote about "Re: [hackers-il] More Google Fun":
                  > You are right about the 's in that page, but I believe that it is the
                  > 's "Richard M. Stallman's article ". You can see that if
                  > you go to the cached version google gives:
                  > It highlights the searched words.

                  Orna, the words on that page, and whether "'s" appears in it or not,
                  are quite irrelevant. It's the words in the *link text* to that page that
                  matters, as people already said.

                  For a longer explanation, here's a part from a message I sent this list
                  in May 2001:
                  --------------------

                  If you're interested to find out how Google works, take a look at
                  http://www7.scu.edu.au/programme/fullpapers/1921/com1921.htm

                  It's an article titled "The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web
                  Search Engine" which explains how Google works. This talk was given in the 7th
                  WWW conference (in 1998), by Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page - then two
                  CS graduate students in Stanford, and now Google executives.

                  The idea is, to put it simply, google doesn't care only about a web-page
                  and the words in it - it puts a lot of emphasis on how many (and which)
                  other pages link to that page, and what text is used to link to this page.
                  So for example, even a very popular condom page (assuming such a page
                  exists ;)) is not likely to be linked as A HREF="..." the latex page /A.
                  So searching for latex, you are likely to get a page which mentions latex
                  (preferably in the title), but more importantly - that many other pages
                  (preferably themselves "quality pages" - see the full article for more about
                  that) link to this page with the word "latex" in the link page.

                  The Google article has a varient of this "latex" test - the "Bill Clinton"
                  test. They say how a person search for "Bill Clinton" on a contemporary
                  search engine got, as the first result, a page containing only the 3 words:
                  "Bill Clinton Suck". After all, 2/3 of all the text of that page was the
                  search terms, so it must be highly relevant. Right? Wrong :) Google finds,
                  as a first result, whitehouse.gov, because it works by finding the
                  Clinton-related site that most people would care enough about to link to,
                  and that is of course not the 3-word page.



                  --
                  Nadav Har'El | Wednesday, Nov 27 2002, 22 Kislev 5763
                  nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
                  Phone: +972-53-245868, ICQ 13349191 |Bureaucracy, n: A method for transforming
                  http://nadav.harel.org.il |energy into solid waste.
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