According to many modern search indexes, the past doesn't exist... Unless it was popular or promoted

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circuitbored
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According to many modern search indexes, the past doesn't exist... Unless it was popular or promoted

Post by circuitbored »

A funny thing happened today. I wanted to look up a record of promises a company made to me in the past. I tried searching my email and noticed all of the terms of service were embedded with image links that were now long gone. I then went to the WaybackMachine, and could not find any screen shots, because the company had laced all of their pages with custom and dynamic URL hashes since day 1. I then went to Google and even tried AltaVista.Com (but found they're pretty much google now anyway) but couldn't find results for anything beyond pretty much 2021.

What surprised me most because I recall the days where advanced searches and custom strings worked for searching and they are available as a prominent option.

Luckily, I found a screenshot by searching my ancient yet still working email account (I will not cite them though in order to prevent a flood of new users)... It's a very old "pre-dot-com" account that I registered long before newer accounts that "conveniently archive and then delete '' older email because "it is beyond my permitted quota" came along. Those guys... They really know about the Internet of the past... Yeah... Thanks guys! Quotas are still a thing that new companies and device makers can somehow regularly "up-sell" mysteriously, despite constantly plummeting prices/cost for HQ data storage over time... somewhat suspicious too, but another story for later... ehem.

It seems as if the entire web is geared towards ignoring and forgetting the past. It's also had a huge effect on accuracy in fact checking, and for many History Professors I'm sure, leaving text books and microfilm to be the only records of our past perhaps, and where there's probably going to be a huge truth-gap from since the Internet killed printing to whatever year is current and relevant.

It's very convenient for certain kinds of people and companies to forget, ignore, delete, de-prioritize, or even to artificially censor the past... The past holds a lot of records on promises companies made back then to their customers as well as records of lawsuits filed by customers against those very same, and many other, corporations. The past also shows us cases of bad behavior, genocide, cheating, and many other things that are very helpful for us to not ever forget among all of us. If people could simply pay to have their undesirably public records suppressed and purged, well... Uh... Nevermind... Let's just say that it happens at times for people with real serious money... I guess.... :L

"Those who don't index and feature relevant search results from the past are destined to copy, edit, and repost the past in their image -- Might be the new updated phrase."

So many popular sites are geared only towards just what's on the front page, they also don't have proper search functionality to allow users to dig beyond the surface.

This constant on new content only hinders the ability to clearly determine copy and paste ideas. only indexing and featuring the latest content, and limiting control in being able to tune searches and results will further devalue originality of individual creators, authoritative resources, and idea authors. This practice is happening frequently now, where small creators post an original idea online and experience no traction or views, while the same idea later is presented by a well known personality and instantly credited to them on the front page, without any credit or mention of people prior who built the ideal. This focus on recent and popular content also allows incorrect information to spread and cement itself into public consciousness very quickly.

As paid promotion rises, search result relevance and context is declining in quality. This has a bad effect on our reality, especially in cases where proper context, comparison, record keeping, and accuracy are paramount. Maybe that's one of the biggest faults of this era, perhaps we need to go back to building more than just a few pages, and to not leaving things out of search indexes, and to indexing sites that don't pay for ad boosting because they're relevant... Just a suggestion from someone who can recall the past. If we continue to foster goldfish memory, and to permit gamification/adulteration of search indexing in credible sources, we'll eventually lose our ability to find facts and information and to succumb to the very same disinformation that everyone is battling in the current moment.
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