Irritating Search Engine Feature

Dear Webmasters,

I do a lot of family history research, so from time to time I like to search the net for information on towns my ancestors lived in many years ago. But in the last couple of years, this has become impossible because if I search the name of any small town, about the first 500 hits are ads for businesses the vast majority of which have no connection whatsoever to the town I’m interested in.

It makes no fucking sense to put the name of every podunk town in the country as a meta tag on your web page, or however it is you do this. Do you really think this helps attract customers?

Fuck You,


Sounds like you may have a browser hijacker or two on your computer. Try downloading running Ad-Aware and Spybot Search & Destroy and see if that doesn’t fix the problem.

Already do. The browser isn’t getting hijacked, the search engine is just returning a crapload of useless hits because of the meaningless meta-data people put on their pages. So I guess I should have titled my OP “Irritating Web Page Features”. It would be helpful if the search engine would let you exclude entire classes of meta-data when you search - maybe someone knows a way to do this.

Know what you mean, Joe. Adding the word “genealogy” to the search field might exclude some of the crap. Or otherwise narrow the search somehow.

I just tried this on Google: search for <Piqua Kansas> [don’t ask] had 51,000 hits; search for <Piqua Kansas genealogy> had 1,100 hits.

This’ll help some.

Er, that’s Hyperelastic, not Joe. Been one of those days.

Tell me about it.

The problem doesn’t seem to be Meta tags, rather, it’s craptastic websites churning the entire country’s gazetteer through their template site.

For example, just the other day I was searching for info on the tiny village of Upper Upham in Wiltshire (UK).

Here’s the Google results page.

“Dating in Upper Upham, Wiltshire… So you are interested in dating singles living in Upper Upham…”

“Fast decision on Personal loans in Upper Upham…”

“Buy To Let Mortgages in Upper Upham From Mortgage Specialist…”

Not to mention crappy “community pages”, i.e. link farms, like “”.

For the record, Upper Upham has about eight houses. It’s an almost abandoned medieval village. I hate this crap.

Only in England could one find an Upper Upham!

Mebbe. But Connecticut has a Colebrook River Lake Dam. That has to win some kind of award for internal redundancy and inconsistency.