The current version of libtiff, a widely used C library for processing TIFF images, is found on remotesensing.org. The domain libtiff.org used to belong to the people who maintain libtiff but doesn’t any more. The holder of the domain claims to be “Lib Tiff” in Ottawa. It’s not a fraud or malware site, but it has an outdated version of libtiff. I don’t know what the domain holder’s game is, and I’m not sure anyone does. I can’t even see how it’s making money; maybe it has popups which my browser is suppressing?
Anyway, I got curious about how various search engines would do when I searched for “libtiff.” Here’s the rundown:
- Google puts libtiff.org in first and second place and remotesensing.org in third, and it has numerous subsidiary links inits listing of libtiff.org.
- Ask.com does the same, minus the subsidiary links. The fourth-place item is the Wikipedia entry, which correctly lists remotesensing.org (Google puts it fifth).
- Yahoo puts remotesensing.org in first place, and the bogus site doesn’t show up at all on the first page of results.
- Clusty.com puts remotesensing.org in first and the cheap imitation in second.
- Dogpile puts the mutt first and the purebred down in eleventh place.
- Alltheweb.com puts remotesensing.org first and doesn’t show the imitator in the first page of results.
It’s not clear exactly what this proves, except that the big names don’t always do the best.