Google’s amazing foresightedness

While reading a new post on the official Google blog, I came across an announcement of the new Google Webmaster Central. Wanting to try it out, I figured it would be interesting to see the site status of a domain I am managing. Much to my amazement, Google has apparently been crawling my domain since December 31, 1969 [sic!] – see the screenshot below. Given that the domain was registered in April 2006, I find this remarkable. It can’t be long before we can ask Google “what will the weather be like on my birthday next year?” and get an accurate answer.

(Click for full screen view)

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4 Responses to Google’s amazing foresightedness

  1. Adam Lasnik says:

    Crap! Now Google TimeTravel has been leaked. πŸ™

    Well, in the meantime, I’ll invite one of my colleagues to look into your interesting date situation…

  2. Hi Adam – thanks for offering such a great set of tools. Can’t wait until Google Timetravel goes public πŸ™‚

  3. Ken Neville says:

    Just dropped by this post pretty randomly … thought I’d mention that this date is probably a direct result of the page not being indexed yet. This would return a -1 or false for its last index time. Add that to the Unix epoch date of 1/1/1970 0:00:00, and you get 12/31/1969 23:59:59! This is a pretty common problem when dealing with time and date calculations, and you’ll see the 1969 result often.

  4. Hi Ken – I figured it was a bug related to the Unix epoch, but I did not see the perfect correlation with the -1. Thanks for pointing it out.
    Somehow I find it strangely reassuring that bugs like this can make it past Google QA. It makes my own software look better, even if it contains the odd bug. πŸ™‚

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