In an odd way, Google is harmful to programmers.

To pick an example - look for examples of Java application/applet use. What you find is a lot of poor or obsolete information. For a programmer, how to filter out the (rare) good from the (often) bad is not easily obvious. Google is ranking results by … well I don’t really know Google’s algorithm, but measures of popularity are clearly not good measures of quality.

Java is also hurt by the lack of a single well-kept reference site comparable to for PHP users. Lacking a popular common site, searching for Java information take you to quite a variety of places, mostly not good.

The problem exists for any topic with a long history. Java gains from a long period of relevance, but loses from a large amount of visible material on the web offering not-very-good information. Javascript also has a long history, and a large body of examples and hints that are not good.

Quite unintentionally, Google favors newly-invented languages and toolkits. Search for Ruby and web programming topics, and the results you get back contain little obsolete information.

If you want programmers to get back current and relevant material, seems you need to rename your language/toolkit/whatever every few years. :)