Google Search

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Google Search is how Google started, a web search engine, and supports indexing and highlighting results with microformats, like IndieWeb event posts.

Google is primarily known for its dominant search engine.


Google Supports Microformats

Google search will highlight results with microformats like those in IndieWeb posts.

Microformats OneBox

Publishing a page with microformats can cause it to show up in Google Search’s OneBox feature, e.g. here is an event that came from an IndieWeb event post on (with only h-event and classic hCalendar, no RDFa/microdata/JSONLD) when searching for just "indieweb events" 2019-151-google-search-onebox-microformats.png Note the following information from microformats:

  • event name, start time & date, location venue with address

Event Search results

Clicking the "➡️ Search more events" link in the above OneBox navigates to Google Event Search which shows more detailed results for the Indieweb event: 2019-151-google-event-search-microformats.png Note the cursor was hovering over the "🌎 More Info" link in the right column which the status bar in the lower left indicates links to the original event post on, as does the entire " Tantek Çelik MORE INFO" in the lower right corner. In particular note the following information from microformats:

  • event name, start time & date, location venue with address, author, original permalink
  • author icon, full name

Google Web History

You can save your Google search history by explicitly turning on Google Web History

And then look up your past Google searches:

Search History

Google collects your search history for the purpose of gathering data for ad serving.

They do this whether or not you are logged in (e.g. with cookies), and whether or not your have opted into Google Web History (see below), though you can also opt-out of all ad-customization.

There is something apparently that shows your demographic and psychographic buckets according to this data, but only at a high level. It should be browsable and searchable.

Apparently they scrub logs after somewhere between 6 and 18 months, and much of the extra details stored in history they don't store at all, or only temporarily (until the log savers get to it, i.e. days).

Featured Snippet

Aside from microformats support (see above), sometimes Google Search returns a result with what they call a "Featured Snippet" for a longer query, not necessarily tied to any explicit markup, just using their own algorithms.

E.g. a query for "how many characters does a URL count as in a tweet"

results in a large Featured Snippet of "23 characters" with longer explanation in a box:


IndieWeb History

Aaron and Tantek met via Google Search

On 2009-09-23, IndieWebCamp co-founders Aaron Parecki and Tantek Çelik met at an event Tantek organized, that Aaron found, via Googling for that date[1] and meetup san francisco[2] on the day of.

Aaron Parecki was visiting San Francisco (from Portland), used Google on 2009-09-23 to search for meetups in San Francisco, and found:

Aaron showed up, met a bunch of the microformats community in San Francisco:


Including Tantek. They kept up remotely and met again at the Federated Social Web Summit 2010, which provided inspiration for them to co-found the IndieWebCamp community, and co-organize (with Amber Case and Crystal Beasley) the first IndieWebCamp two-day event in 2011.

See Also

  • search
    • "Google has been very clear lately (via John Mueller) regarding getting pages indexed or removed from the index.
      If you want to make sure a URL is not in their index then you have to 'allow' them to crawl the page in robots.txt and use a noindex meta tag on the page to stop indexing. Simply disallowing the page from being crawled in robots.txt will not keep it out of the index.
      In fact, I've seen plenty of pages still rank well despite the page being disallowed in robots.txt. A great example of this is the keyword "backpack" in Google. You'll see the site doesn't want it indexed (it's disallowed in robots.txt) but the site still ranks well for a popular keyword)." @bhartzer July 1, 2019
  • Criticism: Allows a brand’s competitors to buy ads on that brandname which then show up above the actual brand’s website, thus forcing brands to buy ads for their own brandnames as a preventative measure:
    • "When Google puts 4 paid ads ahead of the first organic result for your own brand name, you’re forced to pay up if you want to be found. It’s a shakedown. It’s ransom. But at least we can have fun with it. Search for Basecamp and you may see this attached ad." @jasonfried September 3, 2019
  • ^^^ screen shot of an ad on Google search results: | We don’t want to run this ad. [Ad] We’re the #1 result, but this site lets companies advertise against us using our brand. So here we are. A small, independent co. forced to pay ransom to a giant tech company.
  • ^^^ Example showing UI similarity between an ad and an actual search result:
    • "The subtlety of the UI that differentiates an "ad" from a normal result makes it feel like you're ranked 5th for "basecamp"." @paulredmond September 3, 2019