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Google, Barney
#89408 03/24/2004 11:48 AM
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(from NY Times)

In Searching We Trust
By DAVID HOCHMAN

Published: March 14, 2004


BEN SILVERMAN is what you might call a Google obsessive. A producer and a former talent agent best known for bringing "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" to American television, Mr. Silverman Googles people he is lunching with. He Googles for breaking news, restaurant reviews and obscure song lyrics. He Googles prospective reality-show contestants to make sure they don't have naked pictures floating around the Web. And, like every self-respecting Hollywood player, he Googles himself. Competitively.

"Guys all over town are on the phone saying, `I bet I can get more Google hits than you.' " he said recently. "It's become this ridiculous new power game."

It's more like the new kabbalah. With an estimated 200 million searches logged daily, Google, the most popular Internet search engine, "has a near-religious quality in the minds of many users," said Joseph Janes, an associate professor at the University of Washington in Seattle who taught a graduate seminar on Google this semester. "A few years ago, you would have talked to a trusted friend about arthritis or where to send your kids to college or where to go on vacation. Now we turn to Google."

The Web site that has become a verb is many things to many people, and to some, perhaps too much: a dictionary, a detective service, a matchmaker, a recipe generator, an ego massager, a spiffy new add-on for the brain. Behind the rainbow logo, Google is changing culture and consciousness. Or maybe not — maybe it's the world's biggest time-waster, a vacuous rabbit hole where, in January, 60 million Americans, according to Nielsen/Net Ratings, foraged for long-lost prom dates and the theme from "Doogie Howser, M.D."

"In one sense, with Google, everything is knowable now," said Esther Dyson, who publishes Release 1.0, a technology-industry newsletter. "We were much more passive about information in the past. We would go to the library or the phone book, and if it wasn't there, we didn't worry about it. Now, people can't as easily drift from your life. We can't pretend to be ignorant." But the flood of unedited information, she said, demands that users sharpen critical thinking skills, to filter the results. "Google," she said, "forces us to ask, `What do we really want to know?' "

Google delivers information that can radically alter one's self-perception. About a quarter of "vanity" searchers — those who search for their own names — say they are surprised by how much information they find about themselves, according to a survey by the Pew Internet Project.

Sometimes, they're really surprised. When Orey Steinmann, 17, of Los Angeles, entered his unusual name on Google's query line, he discovered that he was listed on a Canadian Web site for missing children and told a teacher. After an investigation, county officials took him into protective custody last month and federal marshals arrested his mother, Gisele Marie Goudreault. She has been charged in Canada with parental abduction, said Barbara Masterson, an assistant United States attorney in Los Angeles. Canadian authorities are seeking Ms. Goudreault's extradition, and Orey is deciding whether to contact the father he never knew.

Then there are the Google miracle stories. The morning after five left-handed electric guitars owned by Robert McLaughlin were stolen from a storage room at his San Diego apartment complex last year, he searched Google's image library for guitar photos to use on a reward poster. Instead, he found the stolen goods. "The thief was selling them in a live auction," he said. "In the past, my report would have gotten lost in a mountain of paperwork. Because of Google, the cops recovered four of the five guitars that week."

While some compare Google's reservoir of six billion documents to the ancient library at Alexandria, it often feels like the shallowest ocean on earth. "Google can be useful as a starting point to research or for superficial inquests," said James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress. "But far too often, it is a gateway to illiterate chatter, propaganda and blasts of unintelligible material."

The trouble is, despite those queries that return 753,000 Internet links in 0.34 second, Google is by no means a fount of human knowledge. It is short on history, since most Web pages have been created since 1995, and it is overloaded with sex, sports, conspiracy theories and pop stars. Its algorithm for indexing search results is based on popularity, not necessarily accuracy. The more links a Web page has, the higher its rank on Google. Type "apple" and expect to wade through dozens of results out of more than 28 million before arriving at a Web site even closely related to the fruit.

"That you found it on Google doesn't make it right," said Leon Botstein, the president of Bard College and music director of the American Symphony Orchestra. He is concerned that Google is a ticket to procrastination, a vehicle for intellectual fakery, a forum for crackpots and conspiracy theorists. He said "Google padding" is replacing true research in classrooms. "In general, it overwhelms you with too much information, much of which is hopelessly unreliable or beside the point. It's like looking for a lost ring in a vacuum bag. What you end up with mostly are bagel crumbs and dirt."

It's probably safe to say that most people aren't using Google to stay abreast of the writings of Jacques Derrida. A link hidden on Google's jobs page charts nearly 600 different misspellings of "Britney Spears" detected by the spelling correction system. And no one needed the Google Zeitgeist page — at Google.com
/press/zeitgeist.html — to know that Janet Jackson was the top emergent query for much of February.

But Google's own role in the zeitgeist is still indeterminable. Theoretically, at least, all that rampant Googling must be an improvement over mindless channel flipping and utter ignorance. Surely, the curiosity that brings one to a Google search must serve some higher cultural purpose.

In matters of creativity, there is no question that Google can transport users to unexpected places. While shooting a Jay-Z video at the Marcy public housing project in Brooklyn last month, the director Mark Romanek wondered who Marcy was. A quick Google search on his wireless laptop unearthed William Learned Marcy, a 19th-century governor of New York, which inspired Mr. Romanek to insert a portrait of Marcy into the video. "I recently bought a larger computer screen," he said, "essentially so I can have Google open on one side and whatever script I'm writing on the other."

People on the dating scene are just as smitten. Old lovers are reuniting via Google, and new ones are checking each other out. "By the time someone asks you for dinner," said Rael Dornfest, an author of "Google Hacks," a 300-page manual for advanced Googling, "you can easily know a big chunk of that person's life story." In January, a New York City woman ran a suitor's name through the search engine only to learn that he was wanted for fraud by the F.B.I. A few clicks later, the man was apprehended at an Applebee's restaurant on Long Island.

"Google makes it harder than ever to escape the past," said Lawrence Lessig, a Stanford law professor and a leading thinker on the Internet and the law. "If you went to a state school before you enrolled at Harvard Business School or if your sexual orientation is something you kept private but someone discussed it on a blog, those facts are now in the permanent record."

And of course, everyone is fair game for those inquisitive types who track people down and insist on filling their e-mail "in" boxes with lengthy updates about what they have been doing since nursery school. In Britain, a former mathematics student named Dave Gorman has created a popular play, a book and a television series based on his "Googlewhack" adventure, in which he chased down 54 other Dave Gormans, all while trolling you know where. "We haven't developed effective norms yet for all the relationships that develop" because of Google, Mr. Lessig said. "The expectations are, if I find you and send a five-page e-mail, you must reply. That's an extraordinary burden."

The bigger burden may be on Google itself and on beefing up the content and organization of the information it presents. "The terrifying and wonderful observation about Google is that people these days are using it as an information resource of first resort," said Brewster Kahle, chairman of the Internet Archive, which is preserving hundreds of millions of Web pages for their historical value. "Unfortunately, many of them also believe if something's not on Google, it doesn't exist."

Google's new headquarters in a quiet corporate park in Mountain View, Calif., is what graduate school would be like if all the students were rich. The 500,000-square-foot center, known as the Googleplex, is an unflagging emblem of Silicon Valley's vaunted geek-chic aesthetic. A volleyball court is outside. Doodle surfaces are the size of billboards. Puppies waddle in and out of conference rooms. The Grateful Dead's former caterer dishes out free lunches and dinners of seitan veggie kebabs and Chateaubriand.

The company was founded in a Stanford University dorm in 1998 by two doctoral students, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and later moved to a Palo Alto garage. Its initial offering of public shares, feverishly anticipated by investors, is expected soon. "Search was underappreciated for so long, but people now recognize all Web searches aren't alike," Mr. Brin said. This month Forbes magazine added him and his partner, both in their early 30's, to the list of the world's richest people.

"Google's major limitations have to do with the devices you access it with today," Mr. Brin said. "The Web is an infinite improvement over the library, but in the future, people won't hold off on searching. Ideally, you'll access the world's information almost as easily as you access your own memory."

Google watchers are reserving judgment on that. Joseph Janes asked the students in his Google seminar to observe themselves searching. "I wanted to know if life is more satisfying in a Google universe," he said. "Most of them decided it's pretty helpful most of the time. Yes, you can find sites that tell you Texas was never a state or that the cure for Hodgkin's disease is to drink bat guano, but if you want to know the capital of Bolivia, go to Google and out it will come."

For its part, Google does not claim to be the last word on anything. "Does it change the world?" asked Craig Silverstein, Google's director of technology and its first employee. "Not necessarily. But we think Google makes conversations richer and more fruitful. With it, you improve the quality of discourse. Or at least have bar arguments that are more well-informed."

Susan Wojcicki, whose garage sheltered Google in its early days and who is now director of product placement, says the simple pleasures are what keep Googlers Googling. "I was able to figure out what my ex-boyfriend's wife looks like," she said. "That was really satisfying."


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Re: Google, Barney
#89409 03/24/2004 11:48 AM
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Quote
quote:

And, like every self-respecting Hollywood player, he Googles himself. Competitively.

"Guys all over town are on the phone saying, `I bet I can get more Google hits than you.' " he said recently. "It's become this ridiculous new power game."
Searched the web for "BEN SILVERMAN". Results 1 - 10 of about 4,860. Search took 0.53 seconds.

Searched the web for "AllenAyres". Results 1 - 10 of about 29,600. Search took 0.47 seconds.
Searched the web for "Allen Ayres". Results 1 - 10 of about 3,680. Search took 0.15 seconds

tipsy


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Re: Google, Barney
#89410 03/24/2004 2:14 PM
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Allen == celeb!


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Re: Google, Barney
#89411 03/24/2004 2:15 PM
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Searched the web for Ian Spence. Results 1 - 10 of about 88,900. Search took 0.27 seconds

w00t

Re: Google, Barney
#89412 03/24/2004 7:20 PM
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I type Like navaho
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Searched the web for "Ian Spence". Results 1 - 10 of about 3,790. Search took 0.20 seconds

tipsy


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Re: Google, Barney
#89413 03/24/2004 7:28 PM
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3790 > 3680

Double w00t!

Re: Google, Barney
#89414 03/24/2004 7:32 PM
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Searched the web for "IanSpence". Results 1 - 10 of about 28. Search took 0.15
Searched the web for "Ian Spence". Results 1 - 10 of about 3,790. Search took 0.20 seconds

28 + 3,790 = 3,818

=============================================

Searched the web for "AllenAyres". Results 1 - 10 of about 29,600. Search took 0.47 seconds.
Searched the web for "Allen Ayres". Results 1 - 10 of about 3,680. Search took 0.15 seconds


29,600 + 3,680 = 33,280

33,280 > 3,818

tipsy


- Allen wavey
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Re: Google, Barney
#89415 03/24/2004 7:33 PM
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heheh wink


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Re: Google, Barney
#89416 03/24/2004 7:40 PM
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Gizmo = Results 1 - 10 of about 612,000
Gizzy = Results 1 - 10 of about 9,180

Got you all beat! But then again their all loosers who use the name cas of Gremelins (I'll admit that I love the movie, but I've used the nick prior!)...


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Re: Google, Barney
#89417 03/24/2004 7:43 PM
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Allen, that's just cheap frown I've never used IanSpence anywhere, where as you use it everywhere (AllenAyres that is).

Searched the web for "Weird Al". Results 1 - 10 of about 397,000. Search took 0.13 seconds.

Don't make me change my name back wink tipsy

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Re: Google, Barney
#89418 03/24/2004 8:07 PM
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James Corthell -> Results 1 - 10 of about 1,880


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Re: Google, Barney
#89419 03/25/2004 11:32 AM
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Searched the web for tackaberry. Results 1 - 10 of about 12,000. Search took 0.34 seconds

Searched the web for tacks. Results 1 - 10 of about 354,000. Search took 0.22 seconds.

Re: Google, Barney
#89420 03/25/2004 11:48 AM
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Searched the web for Allen. Results 1 - 10 of about 28,900,000. Search took 0.22 seconds

rockband


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Re: Google, Barney
#89421 03/25/2004 11:51 AM
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wink

laugh


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Re: Google, Barney
#89422 03/25/2004 5:46 PM
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cheater!


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Re: Google, Barney
#89423 08/06/2004 12:00 PM
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:sniffle: in a GoogleFight between "James Corthell" and "Allen Ayres", allen win's by a landslide...


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Re: Google, Barney
#89424 08/06/2004 12:35 PM
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http://www.googlefight.com/cgi-bin/compare.pl?q1=Ian+Spence&q2=Allen+Ayres&B1=Make+a+fight%21&compare=1&langue=us

lost by 300

Re: Google, Barney
#89425 08/06/2004 1:02 PM
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Re: Google, Barney
#89426 08/06/2004 1:40 PM
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Did I ever mention that if you google my name you find instances of PinkJazz using my name as his username on a Power Rangers board?


Picture perfect penmanship here.
Re: Google, Barney
#89427 08/06/2004 1:44 PM
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http://www.googlefight.com/cgi-bin/compare.pl?q1=LK&q2=Charles+Capps&B1=Make+a+fight%21&compare=1&langue=us

I'm still the champion! laugh

Re: Google, Barney
#89428 08/06/2004 9:04 PM
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But at least some of the listings under Charles Capps are actually our Charles Capps.

At least all of the listings under my name are actually me.


Well, if they aren't PinkJazz, that is.


Picture perfect penmanship here.
Re: Google, Barney
#89429 08/07/2004 1:27 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Ian Spence:

http://www.googlefight.com/cgi-bin/compare.pl?q1=Ian+Spence&q2=Allen+Ayres&B1=Make+a+fight%21&compare=1&langue=us

lost by 300
Now it's 700 tipsy


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Re: Google, Barney
#89430 08/07/2004 2:05 PM
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Well that explains the 300 guests a couple days ago. You'd be screwed if AFA was indexed.

Re: Google, Barney
#89431 08/07/2004 11:05 PM
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you want spidered you say wink ...


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Re: Google, Barney
#89432 08/07/2004 11:28 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Gizzy:

you want spidered you say wink ...

it is spidered. It isn't indexed. I think google hates me, as MSN and Yahoo have me indexed

Re: Google, Barney
#89433 08/08/2004 12:25 AM
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Odd, they love me wink ... They also love the sites in my spider.php page lol...


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Re: Google, Barney
#89434 08/10/2004 5:00 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Gizzy:

cheater!

LOL guys!! laugh


Google and Froogle now! sheez what is next! LOL

Re: Google, Barney
#89435 08/10/2004 5:16 PM
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they also have gmail and orkut wink


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Re: Google, Barney
#89436 08/11/2004 7:24 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Gizzy:

they also have gmail and orkut wink

uh huh, and I don't use it!! I have enough Emails for now, LOL... laugh

Re: Google, Barney
#89437 08/12/2004 11:07 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by AllenAyres:

Searched the web for "AllenAyres". Results 1 - 10 of about 29,600. Search took 0.47 seconds.

Searched the web for "Allen Ayres". Results 1 - 10 of about 3,680. Search took 0.15 seconds
Searched the web for "AllenAyres". Results 1 - 10 of about 74,500 for AllenAyres. (1.67 seconds)

Searched the web for "Allen Ayres". Results 1 - 10 of about 109,000 for Allen Ayres. (0.23 seconds)

eek

ps, I'm still ahead of BEN SILVERMAN tipsy


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Re: Google, Barney
#89438 08/12/2004 11:10 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by AllenAyres:
Quote
Originally posted by Ian Spence:
http://www.googlefight.com/cgi-bin/compare.pl?q1=Ian+Spence&q2=Allen+Ayres&B1=Make+a+fight%21&compare=1&langue=us

lost by 300

Now it's 700 tipsy

Now it's >4,000 laugh


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Re: Google, Barney
#89439 08/12/2004 11:56 PM
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12,000 now lol


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Re: Google, Barney
#89440 01/07/2006 1:52 AM
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hmm.. Ian has pulled ahead by nearly 200k smash


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Re: Google, Barney
#89441 01/07/2006 8:57 AM
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Psh, Gizmo vs Allen Ayres owns you lol


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Re: Google, Barney
#89442 06/01/2006 12:23 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by AllenAyres:
Quote
Originally posted by AllenAyres:
Quote
Originally posted by Ian Spence:

http://www.googlefight.com/cgi-bin/compare.pl?q1=Ian+Spence&q2=Allen+Ayres&B1=Make+a+fight%21&compare=1&langue=us

lost by 300

Now it's 700 tipsy

Now it's >4,000 laugh


Now it's 60,000 tipsy


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Re: Google, Barney
#89443 06/01/2006 2:43 PM
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Re: Google, Barney
#89444 06/26/2006 3:56 AM
Joined: Mar 2000
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I type Like navaho
OP Offline
I type Like navaho
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 21,079
Likes: 3
tipsy

How do I find all sites that contain a particular phrase (like: "Bill Gates") but NOT all pages within the site. I don't want the 50million pages in one site who writes "Bill Gates" in the title, just that it show up one time (be counted as one).

Say, I want to see how many sites run ubb.classic, how would I google (or yahoo, or msn) to see how many sites have at least one page that says: UBB.classic™
??


- Allen wavey
- What Drives You?
Re: Google, Barney
#89445 06/26/2006 7:06 PM
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 5,805
Likes: 10
UBB.Dev / UBB.Wiki Owner
Time Lord
Online Tapedshut
UBB.Dev / UBB.Wiki Owner
Time Lord
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 5,805
Likes: 10
I don't know of a way to limit results to one keyword per site with google...


UBB.Dev - Putting Dev into UBB.threads
Company: VNC Web Services - UBB.threads Scripts and Scripting, Install and Upgrade Services, Site and Server Maintenance.
Forums: A Gardeners Forum, Scouters World, and UGN Security
UBB.Threads: My UBB Themes, UBB.Sitemaps
Re: Google, Barney
#89446 07/02/2006 10:39 AM
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 21,079
Likes: 3
I type Like navaho
OP Offline
I type Like navaho
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 21,079
Likes: 3
they need a 'unique' modifier smile


- Allen wavey
- What Drives You?
Re: Google, Barney
AllenAyres #311289 08/15/2006 4:31 PM
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 21,079
Likes: 3
I type Like navaho
OP Offline
I type Like navaho
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 21,079
Likes: 3
I think I may have found it smile

It appears you can specify that a particular piece of the url be present in all search results, so that if I want to know how many vbulletin 3.5.x there are out there and not just the bajillion posts that are indexed at google, I subtract the 'powered by vbulletin' include the vbulletin 3.5* and specify inurl:index.php:

"- powered by vbulletin" "vBulletin Version 3.5" inurl:"index.php"

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&safe=off&c2coff=1&q=%22-+powered+by+vbulletin%22++%22vBulletin+Version+3.5%22+inurl%3A%22index.php%22&btnG=Search

gives me ~476k. This can be adapted to most any script I am sure, as long as there's a specific url piece you want (like a faq page faq.php, etc.) As long as google can get to it, then it will be indexed.

I am sure this is only an estimate, but is closer than just typing in ubb.threads and getting 20trillion links smile


- Allen wavey
- What Drives You?
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