Google doesn't want 'UncleSam' anymore

Saying that search technology has made some specialized tools unnecessary, Google has discontinued operation the Google.com/UncleSam tool for searching government websites. .

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."

 

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

Reader Comments

Thu, May 10, 2012 Tim

Google has abandoned its core values which made it the dominant web search tool. See "Ten things we know to be true." The cessation of the UncleSam and other specialized search portals was not done because they weren't used by millions of professionals daily, Google was well aware of the volume, rather it was that those search results were restricted in their commercial value to Google, the parent company. The reasoning cited by Google, for the arbitrary abolishment of those specialized search portals has been disingenuous at best. It is time for a new competitor.

Tue, Jun 28, 2011

A google webmaster has already created a custom search engine that only retrieves results from government websites. His site is http://www.unclesamsearch.com/

Fri, Jun 24, 2011 SAW AFB

This was a FAIL decision. As an acquisition professional, I've relied heavily upon Uncle Sam Google for over 10 years to conduct R&D, market, testing, and protocol research. It weeded through all the unnecessary minutae of non-applicable (i.e. non-Gov) websites and information. So, as I do with everything else in my life that merits no value, I'll now be looking for another search tool to suit my needs.

Fri, Jun 17, 2011

Users can also create their own personal search experience using Google's Custom Search. It is really easy. You tell what sites you would like to search as a collection, give your search collection a name, and voila. Search across only the sites you want simultaneously. See http://www.google.com/cse/

Thu, Jun 16, 2011 CJ

It would be pretty easy to use the advance search capabilities to do the same thing - but you have to know the domain mnemonics. Maybe a set of check boxes, or radio buttons that could create specialized filters equivalent to what these older portals did would help.

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