RE: When Searching With Google
From: Irene Polikoff [mailto:Irene@t...] >No question that Google is far from being perfect in all situations. >It is; however, good enough for many people. And it is free. As you note, it is supported by ad revenue, phrase purchasing, and so on. It is free to use and I would hazard to say, that for most users of search, it is good enough, in fact, usually excellent. >I also believe that Google is working on improving what they've got. So one >would need to work faster then they do. Certainly, but this is an old field comparatively, and one that is getting hotter by the hour. The boiling effect can quickly create differentiators. >There are software companies at >work on alternative or complimentary approaches. For example, >http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/03315/238109.stm. Thanks much for the URL. >Would people pay money for a better search experience? I believe that on >the web, only a relatively small set of users interested in specialized >searches would be ready to do this. Intranets are a different story, of >course, since Google's approach doesn't really work there. Google's approach can work there. On the other hand, one would not be differentiating one's product much or effectively unless one targets the user audience. Those who would pay for a better search experience would be people who already find Google less than optimal for some given application, particularly, people building applications over search engines. Again, think of a report generator that uses web services as data sources. In pipelines like that, it is essential to either understand exactly how the first stomach digests the grass, or exactly what to expect when it gets passed to the second stomach; otherwise, grazing does not always lead to good milk. >In a broader search market so far money has been made through >advertisement revenue and other things like that, as opposed to user >subscriptions. Yes. Still, that market predates web services and the emerging trend to use Google metadata for other purposes (eg, how popular is she according to Google; how important is this content according to Google). When new behaviors emerge, new analyses are imminent. Google forces one to play and that will create a pressure to change the rules of the game by innovation, specialization, and customization. len From: Bullard, Claude L (Len) [mailto:clbullar@i...] It is the fact of page ranking and other metrics not reflected in the GUI that is at the heart of the question. It is possible that some do not search by global popularity but by other means of assessing relevance. It is too easy to game some relevance indicators, so a user might wish to set filters in accordance with their own mental models or in accordance with policy as in the example of the scholastic researcher. They may wish to use means of visualizing results that change depending on the filters applied. The link one is looking for may not be at the top of the list, and/or, the person is not looking for one link but a set of links. A subscription search engine might be preferred because it offers: o Enhanced visualization o Superior search interface with filters enabled by selection, not fiat. o Customizable interface o Superior source vetting o Report generator support o Domain, say WAN/LAN or trusted site selectors of course. and so on. This does not need to be a domain specific engine, but it might indeed be an executive service and it may return results not just to the human, but to a decision support service. That is one way to implement this; use the Google web service and layer another set of filters on top of it, but again, for this to work, the Google algorithms would need to be transparent. So it is possible that one might not want to build this over Google given that the algorithms are not transparent. Google doesn't do badly, but this is a domain of hot interest and one should ask questions and speculate on possible better systems. The closer one gets to the report generator interface, the more one needs to understand the supporting search engine. Also, it is likely that subscription costs would increase as that would be an enhanced service. len From: Irene Polikoff [mailto:Irene@t...] Google's current differentiation comes not from their ability to discern meaning or provide a user interface that is better then that of the other search engines. Instead, it is in the algorithms that figure out the 'popularity' of the page based on how many other pages (and what kind of pages) link to it. By doing this, Google effectively incorporates opinions of a large set of people. The most popular pages percolate to the top of the result list. It is the fact that the link one is looking for is right at the top of the list (as opposed to being buried on page 17), that creates the perception of higher relevancy of Google search results. I say "current" because they also experiment with other stuff, for example using certain taxonomies like the Open Directory Project index. In fact, with their recent acquisition of Applied Semantics, they seem to be very much into knowledge representation, Semantic Web approaches to search. One evidence can be seen if you search on Google for "Semantic Web". Notice that one of the adds served on the right is their own "Work at Google" advertisement. Getting back to the original question, I think the subscription search engines that contract for the quality of their results, would be more viable within the specific specialized domains as opposed to the general search areas. Regards, Irene Polikoff Executive Partner TopQuadrant Main office: 724-846-9300x212 Direct line: 914-777-0888 Cell: 914-329-8576 www.topquadrant.com -----Original Message----- From: Bullard, Claude L (Len) [mailto:clbullar@i...] Sent: Monday, December 08, 2003 10:30 AM To: 'michael.h.kay@n...'; xml-dev@l... Subject: RE: When Searching With Google Right. And that is why I am asking. Should the GUI give clues to the filtering? If yes, it gets harder to use. If no, its reliability vis a vis a common mental model is lowered. One should be sure what those Google numbers are saying. One should know about the phrase trade. One should understand blogging keiretsu. One should be able to set a search based on the credentials of the sources. One should be able to pick the types of credentials, not let the bot do that. Amplified acceptance of unverified assumptions is the very essence of robot wisdom. I am wondering about the viability of subscription search engines that contract for the quality of their results. len From: Michael Kay [mailto:michael.h.kay@n...] Most modern search engines give greater weight to a term the more infrequent it is in the corpus. Most also weight terms according to where and how often they appear in the source document, and some also recognize when adjacent words in the query constitute a noun phrase. What google does is anyone's guess. ----------------------------------------------------------------- The xml-dev list is sponsored by XML.org <http://www.xml.org>, an initiative of OASIS <http://www.oasis-open.org> The list archives are at http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/ To subscribe or unsubscribe from this list use the subscription manager: <http://lists.xml.org/ob/adm.pl> ----------------------------------------------------------------- The xml-dev list is sponsored by XML.org <http://www.xml.org>, an initiative of OASIS <http://www.oasis-open.org> The list archives are at http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/ To subscribe or unsubscribe from this list use the subscription manager: <http://lists.xml.org/ob/adm.pl>
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