Google Bug Skews URL

    April 30, 2004

Astute WebProNews reader Diego Palacios Soto noticed an interesting bug in Google’s result pages. He wrote recently to let me know that “when you search C + n + B you get an error in the way Google parse the URLs of the results. Check it out.”

Discuss this bug in WebProWorld.

I sent the bug over to Jason Dowdell, who writes the airgin blog, and caught the nissan armada headrest monitor bug.

He dug into the error and found that it occurs when there is a letter “C” followed by more than one space and the letter “B.”

The actual cause of the bug is a bit more difficult to pin down however. Jason offered these speculations:

Could it be that Google is cacheing specific queries, and keeping those highlighted results in it’s resultset and then reparsing the urls and applying the highlighting again?

Not sure but it’s possible. But that doesn’t explain why we don’t see the same results in the title of the site because highlighting is applied there as well as in the main description of the result.

Also, why is it that reversing the order of the keyphrase causes this bug to arise?

He told his buddy at Google about the problem (as he told him about the other bugs he’s found lately) and maybe someday we’ll learn the truth.

Thanks Jason, for investigating this Google bug. Check out this bug he found too.

Garrett French is the editor of iEntry’s eBusiness channel. You can talk to him directly at WebProWorld, the eBusiness Community Forum.