Friday, November 10, 2006

Taking out the G-Trash

Friday, November 10, 2006

It's funny how you can put up with niggling annoyances and learn to muddle through, and then as soon as you throw a tantrum a solution presents itself entirely out of the blue.

Today I stumbled upon what is known as Gumbmug, phonetically speaking. No idea where the name comes from, but being down with the latest web trends I'd guess it stems from the tendency to drop the vowels from words so you've got more chance of bagging a unique trademark. Well whatever, what it does is gives you back your Google by blacklisting notorious e-drool such as Shopbot, Dooyoo and so on, thereby tipping the spam-to-genuine-content ratio in your favour.

Seasoned Googlers will know you can achieve the same thing with Google Classic all on your lonesome, but then who wants to append "-inurl:(kelkoo | bizrate | pixmania | dealtime | pricerunner | dooyoo | pricegrabber | pricewatch | resellerratings | ebay | shopbot | comparestoreprices | ciao | unbeatable | shopping | epinions | nextag | buy)" to every single search query? This by the way is advanced Google operator shorthand for 'don't link me to any sites which contain these words in the web address'. Even keeping this string close at hand for copy/paste purposes is no substitute for Gumbmug seeing as a static list wouldn't take into account the emergence of new webscurge upstarts, or remove banished sites if they one day decided to provide information that anyone cared about.

Let's have a tinker then shall we. A search for "wireless mp3 player" returns 91,300 results in plain old Google, while the same search generates only 25,400 hits via Gumbmug. Eureka, that's what I call progress! I have a new home page. In the rare event of actually wanting to run a price comparison check, I'll pick one 'screen scraper' and visit it directly. They're extremely useful in the right context of course.

I'm not usually one to lose myself in a tirade of strong language, but gosh darn it, sometimes a webapp gets me so excited I just can't help it. My apologies for the four letter words.



I've given it a bit of a whirl. Not bad really even tried a few searches with adsy words in it. I'll prolly use it for a while see how it goes.

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