Well, Dammit.


I had quite a different post ready to share with you today.

You see, I had very recently googled “cuttlefish” (yes, ego-surfing. Sue me.) and found that, miracle of miracles, I was listed ahead of Answers in Genesis. (For context, see this early post where I first noticed how high AiG is on the list of results for “cuttlefish”, and this later post checking up on the situation.) I was overjoyed; I never expected to overtake The Great Satan AiG, so I prepared a post in which I marveled at the exposure Freethought Blogs had given me, to be able to climb so high (actually, it’s not a matter of my blog being up there–it’s a matter of something, anything, pushing AiG out of the first page).

And I just double-checked. Cos, you know, it would be embarrassing to write the whole thing up and then be wrong.

Yeah, anyway, I wrote the whole thing up and I was wrong.

My most recent search (I re-did it twice) showed AiG comfortably ahead of me–I am on the first page, but just barely, and a creationist lying piece of shit… sorry, a site dedicated to bearing false witness… is ahead of me. And ahead of XKCD, for that matter.

It may be that the algorithms have locked in a lie. It may be that AiG has sufficient inertia on its side that it will continue to serve up disinformation until the heat death of the universe. But could you maybe do me a favor? First… could you do whatever internet search you do for “cuttlefish” and confirm or disconfirm my fears? And secondly… I know I have a lot of smart and savvy readers–is there anything that can be done?

Yes, I know this is a small and perhaps insignificant little battle. But damn, a creationist site on the first page of “cuttlefish”? I was so happy, thinking I had vanquished this dragon. But hey. Reality beats happy fantasy, and (well, dammit) AiG beats The Digital Cuttlefish.

*sigh*

If you’ve read this far, here’s the original verse (now over 5 years old!):

Similarity shows that a common designer
With similar blueprints and parts
Constructed the human and cuttlefish forms—
I swear by all three of your hearts.

The God who created the heavens and earth
And killed dinosaurs off in The Flood
Used the same old ideas again and again
You can tell by your copper-green blood.

But the clearest, most obvious clue to His Touch
Is the similar form to our eye
(They are really quite different, in various ways,
But if you won’t tell, neither will I).

Color-blind cuttlefish never see red
But they can see polarized light;
This common designer gets different effects
Out of human and cuttlefish sight.

Anatomically, too, these are two different eyes
They have retinas frontward-to-back,
And cuttlefish reshape the whole of their eye
Because shapeable lenses they lack.

The shape of the pupil allows them to see
To the front and the rear all at once
So similar, clearly, to what we can do—
If you dare disagree, you’re a dunce!

When Answers in Genesis says it’s design
And not just a matter of fitness
I know they’re not fibbing—right there, number nine—
Thou shalt not bear false witness.

I only have one little, lingering doubt
Though I really, I promise, am trying—
If it’s perfectly clear they see common design
It’s even more clear that they’re lying.

Comments

  1. bassmanpete says

    In Australia I couldn’t find either of you in the first 12 pages of search results. Searching on cuttlefish usa found Token Skeptic, with a mention of your site, in first place on page 5 and AiG in 6th position also on page 5.

  2. Cuttlefish says

    Wow, bassmanpete! Of course, this shows my ignorance of search engine algorithms, but it makes sense that Kylie would beat us in Australia!

    Thanks!

  3. cottonnero says

    Here in Michigan, using Google on Chrome:
    1. Wikipedia
    2-4 YouTube
    5. AiG
    6. NOVA
    7. Legit looking site I’m unfamiliar with
    8. xkcd
    9. Another legit-looking site
    10. FtB Digital Cuttlefish
    11. A “Network Visualization Workbench” named Cuttlefish
    12-20. More apparently legit websites, more YouTube videos, and more of this “Network Visualization Workbench” doodad

    Well, it’s small consolation to your ego, I’m sure, but at least Wiki’s well-sourced and thorough article beats out those con artists at AiG.

  4. Cuttlefish says

    cottonnero, that’s pretty much what I got. Susannah, similar to yours. Maybe videos of cats. I hear that works on the interwebs.

  5. Pierce R. Butler says

    DuckDuckGo’s “cuttlefish” results put xkcd at # 11, AiG at # 15, Conservapoopia at # 22, and the Digital C’fish at #s 23 & 24.

    DDG gets their data from MS Bing, fwliw.

  6. Cuttlefish says

    Pierce–thanks!

    Damn, though. Quite the splash of cold water in the face on a nice cozy morning’s sleep-in.

  7. Trebuchet says

    Just for the halibut, I decided to try it on Bing. Bad news. Not only are you not on the first page, Conservapedia is also ahead of you, in 10th on the first page. And “Creation Wiki, the encyclopedia of Creation Science” is on page 2. Alas, our favorite cephalopod is nowhere on the top five pages.

  8. Pierce R. Butler says

    I thought cuttlefish throve in cold water…

    Maybe if you wrote more verses about xkcd?

  9. Cuttlefish says

    Ha!

    Pierce, have you seen how often I have written about XKCD? http://freethoughtblogs.com/cuttlefish/category/xkcd/
    (I actually think it’s more than that–but the last one at that link is one of my all time favorites)

    I think it would be harder to write *less* about XKCD!

    (eta–I just re-read that last one… it’s official–I can’t read it without crying!)

  10. says

    Something’s fishy about these google searches, dear Cuttlefish, because when I search “cuttlefish”, my own site comes up in 7th place – because I mentioned you! There is no way my lightly-visited site is actually more popular than yours and besides, it came up because of my quoting you – so surely that must mean something?

    Maybe the search algorithms involve factoring in what we search on our own computers – and who searches their own site? (ahem, except for losers like me, obviously haha). Is this possible, computer savvy people out there?

    I would also be interested in learning ways to move DC up in the page rankings. I guess maybe stop using quick links from our own favorites and actually go in and google each time to get here? IDK, I am a computer ignoramus (seriously).

  11. says

    Oh I forgot to say that in my search you came up 10th. Bah, I say! No way, no how. It’s a mistake. The search results are clearly unreliable as any sort of indicator of actual popularity of a site – which makes me hopeful that AIG and similar are not as popular as they seem.

    Is it at all possible that those devils have bought some sort of program which redirects searches to themselves (or raises their own position in search results) when people search for keywords which trigger some sort of thing? LIke searching “evolution” might bring them up as a sort of counter attack to reality?

  12. timberwoof says

    Google changes its results based on your past searches. It also ranks search results by which one you stop with. If you do a search and click on all the links until the Nth one, then it concludes then Nth one had what you wanted, and adds points to that one. So for some searches the result considered “most useful” will rise to the top.

    My recommendation would be to try all the links offered by Google, but NOT the AiG one. If you must know what AiG says, then visit them and look it up, but not from a Google link.

    But strange things happen. Today I searched for “world’s smallest V-12 engine” on YouTube. I showed someone else behind the same NAT server and moments later he did the same search … and got slightly different results!

    Niftyatheist, the basic algorithm for determining “importance” is how many web pages link to a web page. Remember when Dan Savage redefined “santorum”? Many many people linked to his web page on the subject, thereby raising its importance over Santrum’s own web page. Eventually Dan Savage’s page showed up first. Ha-ha!

    Someone I know routes all his Google searches through a proxy server. On it he runs a script that periodically does Google searches on randomly chosen words. That way it can’t make an accurate pattern of his searches. I would improve the script by running searches on randomly chosen word phrases of varying length … at random intervals … using a spoofed browser identifier that matched my own browser.

    Remember: If you’re not paying for the content, then you’re not the customer; you’re the product.

  13. Thinker says

    Scandinavia here seems to welcome you, though:
    In slot six on page one – ain’t that heaven?
    While the false-witness Hamsters were found far below
    In my search: next to last on page seven.

    It gets better, I find, when I skim through the links
    Higher up; our response to their lyin’s
    A total neglect: xkcd inks,
    Your old blog, pictures, facts based on science!

    If you’re looking for answers, I guess you can bite
    Into apples from Genesis’s Eden,
    But if you want truth and you care what is right
    You can google – just do it from Sweden!

  14. Trebuchet says

    When I searched for “cuttlefish digital” on Bing, I got the old, presumably defunct blog in first place and this one in second. Odd.

    This, by the way, was the first time I ever tried Bing. They sure did make it look a lot like Google.

  15. busterggi says

    You were on page 1 at Ask but AiG was 3 spots higher due to a writeup they had on cuttlefish.

    I’m disappointed too.

  16. gAytheist says

    I’m sorry to say that when I do the search AiG comes up #5 and you come up #7. We must do something about this but I don’t know quite what. Does linking a post via Facebook help?

  17. Andy says

    I’m with timberwoof… Google’s feeding you results based on what it thinks you want to see. Apparently it’s not psychic – but then, what is? But on that note, it is pretty much doing its own impersonation of a warm-reading session by basing its output on what it already knows about you (quite a lot if you don’t clear your Google history) and comparing this, I understand, with the habits of other users with similar histories.

    I always thought there was a difference, too, based on whether you’re logged in to a Google account. Not sure if that’s the case though.

  18. zackoz says

    Also in Australia – I get AIG no 5, and you as no 12.

    Thanks to Timberwoof for the interesting details on Google searches.

  19. nitpickette says

    timberwolf is right on target re : google.

    Nonetheless, FWIW, searching from Ottawa, Canada (using Startpage.com via iCab) produced the following results :

    1. Cuttlefish – Wikipedia
    2. NOVA | Kings of Camouflage | Meet the Cuttlefish | PBS – YouTube
    3. Angry Cuttlefish – YouTube
    4. xkcd: Cuttlefish
    5. Cuttlefish: Web Design & Development for Desktop, iPhone, iPad …
    6. The Digital Cuttlefish – Freethought Blogs
    7. Cuttlefish in Launchpad
    8. NOVA | Kings of Camouflage
    9. Fascinating Cuttlefish – Answers in Genesis
    10. Cuttlefish Printouts – EnchantedLearning.com
    11. Cuttlefish – Network visualization and workbench

    Unsurprisingly, ixquick produced nearly identical results. (I typically eschew google).

    You might try to encourage more people to link to you. Getting added to atheist/skeptical/freethought blog aggregators (e.g., http://www.atheistblogs.co.uk/), along with frequent commenting on other blogs might help here (note, however, that I am certainly no expert on such matters…).

    A comforting hypothesis : perhaps AiG’s ranking are up because scads of atheists are visiting them to obtain fuel for mockery. *grin* (I certainly prefer this theory, however implausible).

  20. Die Anyway says

    I tried “Good Search” (powered by Yahoo) for just the word “cuttlefish”. XKCD was on page 6, Digital Cuttlefish on page 7 [with 8 items per page].

    Then I tried “cuttlefish poems”. First was with DC coming in second.

    It pays to be specific in your searches.

  21. Die Anyway says

    Hmmm…. there was a URL in my above post. Right after “First was…”. The interweb black hole, previously known as the bit bucket, seems to have swallowed it up. Let’s try again:

    First was *cuttlefishpoetry.blogspot.com * with DC coming in second.

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