Google: We’re Better Now Than 2000. Okay, Let Us Test It!

Google Search 2001Google’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 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.

Related Stories:

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: SEO | Google: Web Search | Top News


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn


Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  


Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  • Bob Warfield

    LOL, I’m calling for him to publish the results too.

    If it’s clear there is less spam, it’d be great press for Google. I’ll be interested to see if he publishes.



  • Ramenos

    I totally agree. I have read this post and i would like to compare by myself. If google is telling the truth, it would be not difficult to see it ! :)

  • Timothy Groth

    Also, without a good sense of what was out there for the selected queries in terms of spam/not spam, it is tricky to make such a comparison.

    The Internet as a whole goes through expansions of spam-sites, followed b collapse and consolidation of them, to expand again with new tricks from new people eager for a piece of the pie.

  • Harith

    Talking about spam at top of Google SERPs and “navigational query”. Pls. take a look at this search on Google . There 3 results at top of this SERP from the same site. Now take a look at top of pages of the three mentioned results where you can see the keywords stuffing spam?

  • Matt Cutts

    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.

  • Aaron Wall

    No need for a headache then … maybe just go for a clean & easy open source code export! :D

  • Bob Warfield

    There’s no need to relaunch the index and code. Matt said in his blog post he had recorded the responses to 40,000 queries. Just publish those reponses. That should be very straightforward.

  • marcelobr

    Well. Surely their spam technology must be better than back then. But there’s a much bigger crowd gaming their results now. Question is: who’s better at getting better? Google or the gaming crowd?

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!



Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide