I tried to be clever and outsmart Google. And I did. Sort of.
It all started last fall when I was in the middle of teaching a class about the elements of the communication process, and a student "taking notes" on his laptop said, "Do you have a blog called Creature Bug?"
Hmm. Sometimes WiFi access in the classrooms really isn't a treat.
"I Googled your name and it came up."
Now, I've always known that Google could find me (whether it's my blog or my house or my home phone number), but after my classroom experience I thought I would pursue the avenue of making it at least a little bit more difficult. I don't much care for spiders, real or virtual, so I found a code that acts like a can of Raid and kills those Google spiders that had previously crawled all over my pretty little blog. My reasons for having the no-follow code are twofold.
Firstly, I could see from my site meter stats that people were coming to my blog looking for answers to some search. I suspect I hardly ever gave them answers. And I always was a bit disappointed when they were searching for something that I really did know something about (like Irish literature) and then they'd wander away. I was left calling after them, "Wait! You want to talk about Joyce's influence on Roddy Doyle? Come back!" but they were gone, and I was left holding Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha in the cold. (and if by some fluke chance you stuck around after a Google search let me know, and maybe I'll reconsider my opinion)
Secondly, it was some small attempt to have a bit of privacy. I know, this sounds ridiculous since I have a real names/real places blog. Which, thanks to my dad's Christmas letter, all my family and friends know about. But I know them. I like them (mostly. heh). And all the strangers who come here are looking for a blog. They aren't looking for something weird.
So, anyway, I added the code. Then I mostly forgot about it except to notice that I never got hits from Google searches anymore (although I still get Google image hits, which annoy me). And every once in awhile I would do a Google search for my name, and it appears I have dropped off the face of the Internet planet. Which is okay by me. Mostly.
Then last week I was trying to find an old post of mine, so I figured the quick way was to -- yes, you can see it coming, can't you? -- go to Google and search for it.
I searched. And searched. And searched. And then shook my fist at Google for not finding what I was looking for.
"Why? Why can't you find this you stupid search engine? I thought you were the king of Internet stalking?"
Then it hit me. I couldn't find what I was looking for because I had added the code that told Google to ignore me. Oh, I do love a good dose of irony.
Yes, I outsmarted Google. But it appears that they got the last word.