Google automats the one-line bio

I was trying out the new Yagoohoogle and of course, had to search on my name to do a double-barreled egosurf. The first result from Google not only pinpoints me (as opposed to the other Adam Rices out there), it cobbles together a one-line synopsis of who I am and what’s going on at my site.

Freelance Japanese-English translator living in Hyde Park. Includes a weblog, recipes, trip diaries, and rants.

This sentence doesn’t appear anywhere on my site. Fragments of it do. I tried typing in the names of some friends who also have websites and distinctive names, but didn’t come up with anything equivalent for them. I wonder where this came from. I know that Google News has some kind of magical news-story synopsizer–I wonder if they’re starting to apply that technology elsewhere. It’s obviously not perfect–although I do have a few recipes posted on this site, they’re hardly as prominent as other kinds of writing. And rants? Moi?

Later: I think I found the source of that bio. Dmoz. Should have guessed. Presumably written by a human, though it isn’t clear who the category editor is. Some other Google results for fellow bloggers seem to be culled from this listing, which could do with some editing. My name given as “Adam Rice,” David Nuñez’ as “Nuñez, David,” and many other people listed under the title of their blog, rather than their name (and no, I am not volunteering to edit this).

1 thought on “Google automats the one-line bio”

  1. I Googled for “translator living in Hyde Park” and found plenty of hits pointing to you with that exact text. You sure it never appeared in a meta name=”description” tag?

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