State of Boles Blogs on Bing and Yahoo

It’s been about a month since all 14 of our former network blogs, Urban Semiotic, Go Inside, Boles Blues, Panopticonic, Carceral Nation, Boles University Blog, 10txt, RelationShaping, United Stage, WordPunk, Memeingful, Scientific Aesthetic, Dramatic Medicine and Celebrity Semiotic became this Boles Blog.  In that brief time, we’ve published over 80 new articles.  That’s a World Publishing Record for any of our single blogs.

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Bing Bongs as Google Gongs

Yesterday, while I was editing Gordon Davidescu’s fine article about Mitt Romney appearing on television in Brownface — I had a devil of a time trying to find an article I swore I wrote a long while ago about Ted Danson appearing in public in Blackface while he was dating Whoopi Goldberg.  I wanted to link that article in Gordon’s article.

I can usually find anything I’ve written on the internet in a refined Google search — though it’s harder now that all the search engines have re-tuned their return results to reflect newer articles instead of older artifacts — but I could not find any article like that in Google.  I also searched my online Google Drive, too.  Nothing.  I searched all my local hard drive archives.  Nothing.  I still couldn’t let go of the notion that I’d written about Ted’s Blackface.

As a last gasp effort, I decided to give Microsoft Bing a try — just to see if they held something I hadn’t been able to find that might provide a breadcrumb of a link back to my Danson in Blackface article that didn’t seem to exist anywhere.

When I landed on the Bing homepage, I saw the “Bing it On” challenge I’d heard about en passant, and I decided my missing Whoopi Goldberg and Ted Danson Blackface article was a perfect test of the two search engine giants to see if they could help me find an article that didn’t appear to exist.

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Google School Dropout: Why I Quit My Power Searching Course After 10 Minutes

I am a Google School Dropout.  I’m actually proud of that fact, and today I’ll tell you why.  When I initially received my “exclusive” invitation to take a Google Power Search course for free a week or so ago, I thought it would be a great experience to learn about searching at the great, bended, knee of the Google Gods.  When the first class session went live this morning, I aced the Pre-Test and then bottomed out during the subsequent videos.  After 10 minutes of interactive foolishness, I dropped the class by quitting the special Google Power Searching Group and removing my email address from future updates.

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Poor Google Apps Premier Support and Missing Google Search Returns

There’s nothing quite as harrowing as having anything Google go toes up — because there is no clear path to getting a hassle-free technical support experience even if you pay your way as a Google Apps Premier Customer and even if you write the first Google Apps Administrator Guide book to market.  I have a long history of writing technical books and providing online technical support and, without question, Google are the absolute worst problem solvers when it comes to the individual incident and fixing the outlier and resolving the uncommon anomaly.  We won’t get into how generally awful Blogger tech support is today — we’ll just stay focused on Google Apps Premier for now.

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Dead Search Returns: Caught Between a Rock and a Google Hard Place

UPDATE :  September 6, 2010
At noontime Eastern, I heard from Naoko again and she confirmed robots.txt has been upgraded site-wide on!

I had to change the privacy settings on all my blogs — and then back again to “public” — to force the new robots.txt file to update.  The plan worked.

All 13 public blogs are now set and updated and ready for Google and the rest of the indexed search world to remove our proprietary Movable Type search results.

Here’s a screenshot of the new robots.txt file disallowing the “/cgi-bin/” directory.  I highlighted the new addition:


THANK YOU from prying us from the rock!

The moment I published this article today at 12:24pm Easter time, I followed up with support and gave them the link to this article in an attempt to better explain — with screenshots — the problem I was trying to solve.

At 2:12pm — less than two hours after I wrote to — Naoko replied:

Hi there,

I was waiting for this to actually go live, but a change has been made in our code.

User-agent: *
Disallow: /cgi-bin/

Will be added to robots.txt (not visible yet, I need to check back with the developer).

Fantastic news!  That solves my proprietary Movable type search results problem across all 13 of my public blogs!  Here is my reply:

Hi Naoko!

Oh, that’s great news!  Is this change on a per-blog basis, or is it site wide?

If it’s side wide, are there plans to include robots.txt proprietary search disallows for the other blogging services?

I will update my article to reflect the information you provide.




I will keep you updated!

I don’t see the “/cgi-bin/” disallow yet on any of my blogs in robots.txt, but the moment it goes live, I will go back to Webmaster Tools and specifically ask that the “/cgi-bin/” directory be removed now and forever from all my blogs.

As well, because of this robots.txt disallow addition, I will now be able to effectively venture into Yahoo! and Bing to see if I can get the same directory deleted in those services for all my blogs.

Thank you Gods!

I recently discovered a terrible Movable Type artifact that still remains festering and alive within me — via Google Search Returns — six months after I became a Six Apart refugee and gave up my expensive, self-hosted, standalone, blog hosting and returned to my first blogging home:  You can see an example of the problem below in the third search return in the screenshot.  That “Memeingful: Search Results” link takes you to a proprietary Movable Type search return that has been dead for six months.  Click on that link, and you’ll be taken to a “Not Found” error page on

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