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11 January 2017

We started the year with a dire warning about our bandwidth being gobbled up by Google as it indexed our site repeatedly each day which we reported so you'd know about it too.

We've done some research on it without finding any satisfactory way of resolving the attention Google is lavishing on us. It's a compliment, we understand. The more the site is updated and referenced, the more Google wants to crawl it.

But downloading the entire site repeatedly each day is ridiculous. Whatever changed at Google as the year began, we can't accommodate it.

So on Jan. 5 we prohibited Google from indexing the site.

That means stories since then are not in Google's index so if you search the site using Google, they won't be retrieved.

Use Bing or Mike's Method to search
the site.

That's certainly not an ideal solution, we realize. Especially if you play the SEO game. So we plan to allow Google back in when the month ends to see if they are not so needy.

We've also ratcheted back the crawl rate for that occasion, although that too is not an ideal solution to the problem. Google's crawl rate indicates a site's importance. Lower crawl rates are used for sites that don't have much to say.

So we'll see about Google but we aren't hopeful.

And while we did recommend using our homebrewed Mike's Method for searching the site, we felt some obligation to offer an alternative to Google.

Mike's Method is our own Perl script that scrubs every word in every file of our content directories. It's always up-to-date but it takes a minute or two to read all that data into memory the first time. Subsequent searches are quicker but we know you don't want to wait. At all.

So we've implemented a Bing search and promoted it to the default search. Bing manages to be up-to-date without devouring our bandwidth. We're not big fans of the parent company but these days we can say that about almost all the parent companies we deal with.

Our recommendation at the moment is to click on the Find icon in the top right corner of the main pages and use Bing or Mike's Method to search the site. But stay tuned, there's more to come, no doubt.

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