Google turns off tool for searching government sites
If you're looking for government information on the Web, you can no longer find it using Google.com/UncleSam. Google has suspended operation of that and several other search tools, saying they are no longer necessary.
Visitors to the Uncle Sam search website were redirected to Google.com's main search page on June 14.
According to a June 8 article at the TechExta website, Google also pulled the plug on specialized search portals for searches related to Linux, Microsoft, Mac and USA.gov.Google.com.
“These services were established many years ago to offer search across a limited index of the Web, which in the past was a better way to find this information. For example, google.com/linux was designed to help people find information from message boards and blogs about the Linux operating system,” Google said in a statement published by TechExtra.
“Today, search quality has advanced tremendously, and based on our analysis we’ve found that in most cases you’re better off looking for this kind of specialized information using the regular Google search box, for example by typing [linux fedora upgrade],” Google said.
Government marketing maven Mark Amtower, in a blog post on the subject, says Google doesn't understand what it did. In response to Google's assertion that users can now find all they need in a regular search, Amtower writes: "WRONG!!!! Regular searches include all the non-government sites we were able to filter out through the use of www.Google.com/Unclesam. ... You don't understand the nature of our searches and you are WAY off base."
Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.