Google Kills Uncle Sam Search Portal

Jun 6, 2011 • 7:53 am | comments (16) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine
 

Google Uncle Sam Search LogoOver the weekend, it appears Google has dropped the specialized search landing page for searching U.S. federal, state and location information at what they called Uncle Sam Google Search at google.com/unclesam.

Now if you go to google.com/unclesam you are redirected to google.com/webhp.

A Google Web Search Help thread has searchers asking about where it went. Some are devastated saying, "Google Uncle Sam is a critical search feature." Another searcher said, "I am a big fan of the google unclesam. This is disappointing if it is gone."

Google has yet to comment but the type of redirect Google is using for google.com/unclesam is a 302 redirect, which is a temporary redirect. I am not sure if that means this is a temporary change or a bug or permanent choice of Google - but I guess time will tell.

Google has had Uncle Sam search way back when Google was a baby company - I believe as early as 1998. In fact, the logo for that search portal was not the one above but rather this one:

Uncle Sam Search Original Logo

In 2006, Google relaunched a government search tool at usgov.google.com and kept the Uncle Sam search but now both are redirecting to Google's main home page.

Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help.

Update: A Google spokesperson has confirmed removing this vertical search feature and has given us a statement:

We are no longer offering specialized search services at google.com/linux, google.com/microsoft, google.com/bsd, google.com/mac, google.com/about and google.com/unclesam. 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. 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]. We understand that some users were surprised by this change, so we apologize for not communicating more clearly in advance of redirecting these services to google.com. For more advanced search tips to restrict your search to particular sites and kinds of information, we recommend taking a look at our Help Center.

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