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Search engine secrets revealed
BBC article
ukgimp




msg:815965
 8:55 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

[news.bbc.co.uk...]

US researchers studying the best way to find information online say trying the same query on different search engines rarely produces the best results.

How much are these people getting paid? Give me some I can produce equally good theories!

 

brotherhood of LAN




msg:815966
 9:01 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Refining a search with such words can make a big difference to the numbers of pages returned.

For instance, looking up "monkey" and "tennis" on Google produces 109,000 hits. By contrast, searching for "monkey tennis" as a phrase returns only 2,200.

hmmm, seems they were well past the advanced stage with that query? :)

It's titled "search engine secrets revealed" but looks more like a primer on how to do a search from here.

Marketing Guy




msg:815967
 10:13 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Browser secrets revealed:

1. Type in the URL of the page you want to visit in the address bar.

More tommorow..... ;)

Scott

georgeek




msg:815968
 10:53 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)



For instance, looking up "monkey" and "tennis" on Google produces 109,000 hits. By contrast, searching for "monkey tennis" as a phrase returns only 2,200.

Better example...

...looking up "useless" and "research" on Google produces 511,000 hits. By contrast, searching for "useless research" as a phrase returns only 767.

:)

Sinner_G




msg:815969
 11:37 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

"useless research" as a phrase returns only 767.

Does the BBC link hold #1?

Visit Thailand




msg:815970
 11:47 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I read this a couple of days ago and had to laugh, the title did not quite live up to my expectations of the article!

However it does show us one thing and that people (our users) are lazy, they do not want to add +, -, "" even if it does improve their searches, they just want to stick it in the microwave and hey presto its ready.

I feel we should always try and design in this way. When I want advice on a site I do not speak to a computer guy but someone who has very very little knowledge of the internet and I listen to every suggestion they give. Often it is invaluable as they try and click things that should not be clicked and get frustrated at x when I thought x was a benefit etc.

While the SE's may wish that users will become more informed of the tools they offer more likely the SE's will have to find ways to automaticaly include them in their searches.

Even I rarely use any of the advanced features and I know they are there.

edit_g




msg:815971
 11:48 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Wow - it's like a hotbed of sarcasm in here!

I thought it was a really useful and informative article. ;)

nvision




msg:815972
 11:50 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Nice one Marketing Guy, can't wait for tomorrow's installment! ("click on Go button" perhaps?)
;)

..."use a single search engine"
should we also use a single supermarket/shop for everything we buy?

:: nvision

Skylo




msg:815973
 12:17 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

BBC nightclasses. Enrol now and learn how to get absolutely slated in Webmasterworld forums;-)

chris_f




msg:815974
 1:05 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Brillant just plan brilliant. I love the sarcasm. Literally ROFLMAO.

Chris

p.s. I notice the writer of the article hasn't posted his / her name. Ashamed? Nah! they work for the BBC (British Ballsup Corporation) :)

Maybe they need to increase the license fee to employ someone who has left school

Receptional Andy




msg:815975
 1:27 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> I notice the writer of the article hasn't posted his / her name

Also throughout the article they talk about Professor Bernard Jansen, but following the link provided it turns out he's actually Dr. Jim Jansen. The article is basically a rehash of his study (which you can get on his site linked from the article). Interestingly the original study appears to be at least 3 years old (and they were using Excite!).

Marketing Guy




msg:815976
 1:51 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Browser secrets revealed:

2. Want to visit the page you've just been to? Simply click on the "back" button (although, confusingly, it usually has a "left" arrow on it).

Gawd this could go on forever.....

Scott :)

digitalghost




msg:815977
 1:56 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>it usually has a "left" arrow on it

Well yeah, it's the page you just left...

I've seen worse pieces of fluff. In fact, I wish that article popped up on every new PC and returned every day until the new user performed at least 100 searches. :)

Seriously, teaching the users how to search is a worthwhile endeavor. Unfortunately, the writer chose a bad title.

Sinner_G




msg:815978
 1:59 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well yeah, it's the page you just left...

So going forward would be going in the right place?

I think (with many others here) that this article isn't that bad for a regular user. Never forget, people at WebmasterWorld are NOT NORMAL!

jjansen




msg:815979
 1:25 am on May 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi! I am Jim Jansen, one of the authors of the original research publication reported on in the BBC article.

The real gist of the research - which in total involved 8 search engines (AOL, Google, MSN, Alta Vista, Excite, Norhtern Light, GoTo, and AlltheWeb.com), just under 2,000 queries, and evaluation of over 20,000 results -- was this:

A user can not predict the effect of a particular operator across multiple search engines (hence, the BBC article of using only one search).

To the "use only one search engine", the next phrase should be "if you use query operators". Because, a user can then predict what effect the operator will have.

If you want a copy of the orginal article, plus the follow-up article, drop me an email.

Jim Jansen

[edited by: Woz at 1:35 am (utc) on May 30, 2003]
[edit reason] No Sigs Please. [/edit]

digitalghost




msg:815980
 1:36 am on May 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hello Jim,

welcome to WebmasterWorld. For this crowd "search engine secrets" means quite a bit more than "A user can not predict the effect of a particular operator across multiple search engines".

We thought you were offering up a collection of algo cracks. ;) The fact that a user cannot predict the effect of a particular operator across multiple search engines isn't exactly a secret. If you catch Google during the dance you can't predict the effect of a particular operator over 5 minutes. :)

Cynics and sarcasm abound here. Membership in the Diogenes Club should be mandatory. Welcome to the group.

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