Saturday, July 18, 2009

Search engines and more small talk

This just in from the logs ...

07/18/09 02:31:22 PM Lets talk about something that is apparently of no immediate consequence to me—a blog post from Unqualified Reservations. (Thanks to Joel on Software for bringing it to my attention.) The author writes "God can do this [read the user's mind], but software can't." This is just me thinking out loud but it might be possible to tap into the 20 PB (or something) of data that Google works with everyday to find out what users want. Except, I am pretty sure Google already does what it can to come up with simple things like calculations. Of course, we need tweaks like in the case of "500 USD in NPR" vs "USD 500 in NPR" (which when I checked the last time worked differently on Google. No one will argue with the fact that software cannot read minds (so far). Use me as your guinea pig. When I Google NRB, I am not looking for a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. I am looking for the Central Bank of Nepal, the Nepal Rastra Bank. However, most people in the world do not look for Nepal Rastra Bank (even I don't do that except once in a blue moon). Whatever Yahoo! Says, the "ten blue links" have yet to see their death bed. Bing may call itself a decision engine but it is just a marketing effort for MSN Search. The same scoffing that Microsoft has been slinging at Apple applies here. It does not really matter if you double your market share overnight if your market share is five percent. I am very skeptical about MSN Search because whatever Microsoft does here, Google can replicate very easily if it wants to. Google will not scoff at MSN Search (indeed, it will hail it as a victory of the competitive forces instead) because of the impending anti-trust sword looming on its head but the market speaks for itself. Alas, I digress.

The point is that we already have a lot of data on how people search. Search engines have gotten better by leaps and bounds than they were in 1999. If I post this blog on my other blog (which is indexed on Google's search results), I can rest assured that Google's spiders will crawl it and grab a copy of the text well within an hour. What's that? Are you saying that I am stating the obvious? Well then, how about this obvious statement—what matters most is the first page of results (or actually the first five results).

Oh, by the way, are you watching the Ultimate Sponge Bob Sponge Bash? If you are in the US, you should be able to catch however long is left of it on Nick. You're welcome!

No comments:

Post a Comment