False Web memories: A case study on finding information about Andrei Broder

Judit Bar-Ilan


Andrei Broder, the well-known Internet researcher does not have a home page of his own. This complicates finding information about him, especially since during the last ten years he switched several employers. Especially of interest is the page research.compaq.com/people/Andrei_Broder/bio.html, which almost seven years after Andrei Broder left Compaq, still appears among the top-ten results displayed by Google for the query Andrei Broder as of June 2006. The title of this page is “No such user” and its content is “Sorry, Andrei Broder is no longer working in Compaq Corporate Research.” The case becomes even more interesting, since the actual page and the whole site research.compaq.com are inaccessible at least since March 2006, and the Google’s cached copy is from December 2005!
In this paper we investigate the placement of this page at various search engines over the years, and describe searchers’ efforts to find information about the job title and business address of Andrei Broder as of May 2005, when he was still working at IBM.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v11i9.1401

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