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How does Amazon's database work?

or rather their "search results"

     
11:47 am on Mar 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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On the German version of Amazon, if you type in a word which basically means "book" (a more specific word, which I don't know how to translate - but still a completely "neutral" word), then Amazon's search results show books on *cough* let's say some of the strangest sexual practices around.

Someone showed me this little joke at amazon, and now I'm wondering, how does their database work..or well their suggestions in case somebody searches for a book? Apparently it's not the most popular books.

Any idea? I'm really confused, yet curious ;)

11:26 pm on Mar 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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With a word like "book" you'd be getting most of their catalog in the result set. How they are sorted is most likely the key to understanding what is happening.
3:48 pm on Mar 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, I agree.

I get 10,000 or so results (as opposed to 300,000 for "book" - the word I meant means something such as "book from a knowledgeable author" - dont know an English expression for it, sorry)...but the word is still so generic that it probably comes down to the order of the results.

I'll try to figure it out, but do you have any ideas other than number of sold books or release date (both of which aren't). The funyn thing is many of the books that are displayed are "#*$! stuff".

Maybe #*$! is a very popular category ;), which is why many such books are displayed on the first page (when you enter that word)?

(still no idea why these books..on strange fetishes)

 

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