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3 March, 2004

The mind recoils

It seems the value of Google's search results have been somewhat compromised by keywords spamming.  For quite a while, I've been mildly annoyed by the irrelevance of highly-ranked search results, dominated by commercial companies and celebrity directories, but this one sets a new standard of irrelevance.

Screenshot of a Google search for 'Brian Blessed'Brian Blessed is probably little-known outside the UK, at least by name, but readers might recognise him as the king of the Hawkmen (or whatever) in the 1980s film 'Flash Gordon' and his was the voice of Boss Nass in 'Star Wars: The Phantom Menace'. A smaller number might recognise him as the actor who made three attempts to climb Mt. Everest, the first retracing the steps of Edward Mallory, using the authentic Victorian mountaineering gear and reaching 28,000ft, the highest a man of his age (at the time, 56) has achieved without (bottled) oxygen. In 2004, he's 67 years old.

As an interview in an in-flight magazine says, he's a large man, with a large beard, large voice and oversized presence. In short, not the sort of actor to have done nude scenes, or inspire searches for such images, yet in a straightforward search for 'Brian Blessed', note the item ranked seventh.

I'll hastily mention that this observation was the result of a posting at Neil's World; I'm not in the habit of deliberately searching for photos of underdressed Yorkshiremen!

This isn't the sort of thing that brought Google to its present dominance of the search engine industry, but it is the sort of thing that might cause its long-term failure.

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