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Google, please allow me to introduce you to URL rewriting

Posted by Keith Elder | Posted in Internet | Posted on 28-10-2006

Like most people I use Google for various tasks such as searching, finding local businesses, viewing maps, satellite images etc. However, as Google adds more and more services I find myself getting more and more discouraged trying to remember is the service a sub domain or is it a sub directory when typing the URL into a browser. Here are some sample URLs from the Google page that lists their offerings:

Alerts – http://www.google.com/alerts
Blog Search – http://blogsearch.google.com/
Directory – http://www.google.com/dirhp
Finance – http://finance.google.com/finance
Picasa – http://www.picasa.com/index.php?tid=Y2NpZD0zNzQ4
Talk – http://www.google.com/talk

 These are just a few samples to show the inconsistency. As you can see some are sub domains while others are sub directories from their primary domain. I don’t get it. Come up with a pattern guys and stick with it! Another thing that drives me really crazy with their URLs is I use http://news.google.com quite a bit. Especially if I am traveling and don’t have access to a news reader. Why can’t I just type in http://news.google.com/scitech for example to get to the Sci/Tech section? It would be incredibly simply to add a URL rewrite for each category.  To read Sci/Tech news the way it is today I have to type in this:


Are you kidding me? Aren’t we in 2006? Is it just me or is this utterly stupid? Almost all web sites spend some amount of time trying to make their URLs user friendly. In complete contrast to Google’s approach to URL madness I can type in http://something.yahoo.com and get to the service I want. Note to Google, wake up, and stop wasting my time typing &’s, and ?’s. It is 2006 and you have billions of dollars. Maybe your employees should take their “one day a week” and fix the URLs to make them easier to remember and more consistent.

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