I seem to have this love hate relationship with the company that seems to control the web. Ok this post will probably seem quite vain, so I apologize for that. But it illustrates that even though a companies' motto is "Do no evil", it doesn't always mean that they are providing the best results. Sometimes the results are just wierd.
Here's a general example. Say you need to find out if certain hardware supports linux. Usually your search involves specific hardware models and "linux" and usually there is a lot of cruft in the results (aka ads and vendors (big brother I know you are reading this, please put that in Froogle where it belongs)).
Here's a specific example. A few months ago my blog was removed from the indexes of google for containing the word "Google bomb", here's the post that explains what happened when I noticed that a previous post somehow floated to the front page of google in some countries. Now when I mean removed, I don't mean removed from the first one or two pages of results (it should not have been there anyway for such a trivial post). I mean, according to google my blog didn't exist. There were NO references to it. A week or two later (after an email) I was allowed to exist again.
Later on I noticed that my vanity search was listing my blog in the top 5 results on google (referrer logs help here). That was pretty interesting and I'm not saying that I'm one of the most important 5 Matt Harrisons, but for some reason I was up there. Then about two months ago, I disappeared again. (I wish I would have paid more attention, so I knew what triggered it.) No, I was still in the index this time, but pushed off into the nether world of ~150 (ie I might as well not be in the index). Why did this happen? I don't know.
Now to end my rant. Call me a complainer, call me vain, but explain to me why my vanity search brings up the Spike Asset Manager (which I wrote, yet has NO mention of me on the page!) as number two! I asked a professional SEO and he can't tell me either. For what it's worth both yahoo and msn list me in the top 10. Maybe I should switch search engines.