The internet is a funny place isn’t it? For a start, it isn’t really a place at all, although it does feel like one: a seperate world where people can quietly have a look into other people’s lives (yes, serial lurkers, I still know you’re there ). It’s a place where one can anonymously irritate and insult perfect strangers all day without getting punched in the face and, on a chatroom somewhere, a lonely guy in his mid forties can start a loving relationship with a beautiful girl in New York without knowing that in reality she’s a fat hairy man from Newcastle.
I’ve heard some people say that one day the internet will be the world’s single source of information and will eliminate the need for books and television. Personally, I hope this doesn’t happen. I’m no stickler for tradition but I think there is one big problem with the net at the moment: search engines. Search engines were designed to be intelligent, but they are, for now, very, very stupid indeed. To demonstrate what I mean, let’s try a little experiment. Open a new tab on your browser (or a whole new browser window if you’re the type to have a messy desktop) and go to www.google.co.uk. Now, search for ‘how to cook couscous’.
Obviously Google, the biggest and most important search engine in the universe, is designed to bring you the best and most useful results for your query. Look down to the bottom of the page (possibly the top of the second page) and you should see a link starting ‘Andy Millar….’
That’s right, in Google’s opinion, one of the world experts on cooking couscous is Goon. The man who the other day served up crunchy pasta in a carbonara, the man who asked me if chocolate truffles were dug up by pigs in France, the man who I recently caught trying to drink sherry soaked raisins straight from a mug, is one of Google’s top choices for advice on cooking this particular carbohydrate.
Needless to say, Goon has never cooked couscous by himself. It is very, very dangerous to trust Google’s recipe choices.
Of course, in reality, I love the internet. Over the last week when my access was limited, I felt like I was going slightly mad. Google is the one of the things I use the most, both for searching and for advertising on my site. However, on occasions it does frustrate me. There are days, when I have a bit of comment abuse from the internuts and I wonder why they have decided to attack me so suddenly. Generally it turns out that Google has put me top of an image search for cute fluffy bunnies and I bet you can guess which posts it links to.
Then there are the occasions where Google does send people with relevant queries to my site but directs them to the wrong place. If you search for beef mince recipes (as a ludicrous number of people appear to do), my blog’s first appearance will direct you to the archive for September 2006, which is totally useless. I do have a page somewhere with beef mince recipes but that obviously isn’t relevant.
Now, one of Google’s favourite pages on my blog appears to be the recipe for devilled kidneys. It was an old page, from before the great hard drive crash of Summer 2006. The picture was gone, the recipe was vague. However it was Google’s 5th hit. I was embarrassed, so I decided to spruce it up and, to make sure that Google doesn’t start sending people to the August 2008 page instead of to the right place, I’m giving it a Google boost.
So, Google spiders, are you watching? This is the recipe for devilled kidneys. That’s right, a devilled kidney recipe. In fact it is a lamb kidney recipe too. You may wish to call it a deviled kidney recipe or a recipe for deviled kidneys.
I think that should do it. I’m afraid you have to click on one of the links to see the devilled kidney recipe. You’ll see why.