Information and Usefulness

I just Googled myself and the results are interesting. I did not expect to find any earth-shattering information but I was a little surprised at what I did find.

First I just typed James Keesey in the Google search. The third item on the results page was indeed mine but it is my TWiki home page. I registered for this in April of 2005 and I haven’t touched it since. I only registered so that I could get some information for work (which uses TWiki). That job passed to another so I have not touched it. Yet this is the only item that is related to me on the front page. Google sure knows how to deflate an ego!

Next I typed “James Keesey” in the search. Now the first two (three if you count the second item which is a sub-item of the first) relate to me. The first item is a web page that was created by one of my teachers at SJSU to show off a project I did for his class. Now I got a good grade (A) for the project but still it is an undergraduate project and hardly represents me, my life, or my accomplishments. The second item is that silly TWiki page again.

Next I typed “James L Keesey” in the search. Now things get interesting. There is only one result on the page. This result does relate to me and in fact points to one of the four patents that I have been awarded as inventor or co-inventor. So just searching for James Keesey puts on the first page a TWiki home page but not a reference to a patent? BTW I’m trying to suggest that my patents are hyper important (they are not) but Google has no way to determine this–at least I don’t think they do. Even more interesting is that there is a link on the page which says that very similar hits have been hidden. I click on that and now there are two items both of which are my patents. Why would Google hide one also matched item that is for a different patent? Strange.

Next I typed “James Louis Keesey” (which is my full name) in the search. This finds one item as well which is another of my patents. But only one item is found. This is bizarre.

So depending on what variation of my name I type in I get different answers and none of them show all of my patents nor the three patent applications that are in the system. You can find these through perseverance at the Patent Office pages but it takes many different searches just like these.

So apparently the most important information about me in Google’s eyes in that I once registered with the TWiki site. I find this strange and a little disturbing. With the way that the world is moving, it seems as if Google is the major information source for just about everything, but as this little demonstration shows, Google is very selective in what it records in its database let alone what it reports. When we do a search, how are we to know just what information is left unfound? Given the size of the Google database just how can we be sure that we are finding relevant information?

By Reflector

I am a Senior Engineer for VMware, a company that produces cloud and virtual machine software. When not working I enjoy board games and woodworking (producing furniture and other items for our house).

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: