Google’s Matt Cutts wrote a blog post comparing a “time capsule” of search results he saved from Google’s index in 2000 to the search results in Google today. He showed how for the search query “buy domain name,” Google has tremendously improved in terms of spam and search quality. Most SEOs in the business will admit that “gaming” Google was much easier pre-2004 than it is today. So, I am sure spam over the course of 10 years has improved. But why not let us test it?
Remember in October 2008 when Google released an older version of their index and let us search the Google index like it was 2001? If they could do that, why not open it up again at google.com/search2001.html for us to play with?
Matt ended his post showing his pride in how far Google has come in search quality. But, again, wouldn’t it be cool if you let us compare?
Improving search quality is a process that never ends. I hope in another 10 years we look back and say “Wow, most queries were only a few words back then. And we had to type queries. How primitive!” Mostly I wanted to make the point that Google looked much cleaner compared to other search engines in 2000, but spam was absolutely an issue even back then. If someone harkens back to the golden, halcyon days when Google had no spam–take those memories with a grain of salt.
Google, let us see your index from 2001!
Postscript: In the comments below, Matt Cutts says that relaunching the 2001 index isn’t likely to happen:
I saw the pain it took to revive that code and index data from 10 years ago. It was a real headache for the engineers who did it, so wouldn’t expect us to do it again any time soon.
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