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Posts suspended for a bit while I settle into a new job. . . 

Entries in Search (4)


Active Search

Back in the day, *you* searched the web, internet; now, increasingly, "search" is looking for you -- presenting content to you based on your location and search history. 

See this piece by Brian Proffitt in ReadWrite Cloud (". . . covers the movement of processing power and storage away from local servers and into the data center, exploring the implications of this seismic shift").

Forget Searching For Content - Content Is About To Start Searching For You

April 25th, 2013

The world of search is about to be flipped completely on its head. As part of that sea change, today's reactive Web-based searches are about to give way to proactive, geo-fenced answers that will pop up before you even frame the question.

In many cases, you won't be searching for content - content will be searching for you.

Putting The New Search In Context

Search, to date, has mostly worked something like this: You type a word or phrase into a search bar in a browser or mobile app and a search engine with a funny name returns a list of Web pages it deems related to your query.

In recent years, search has gotten a lot better in a number of ways. One key improvement takes location into account. If I type "Notre Dame" while I'm in my hometown, then it's very likely I will get results about the University. If I were located near Cleveland, though, I might get results about Notre Dame College. And if I were in France, surely my results would focus on this beautiful edifice. 

Location is part of what experts call "contextual search," which becomes even more important with the rise of mobile computing. Where we are and who we are makes a big difference in the search results we want, and contextually aware search engines are working to use that information to decide what results to return to us. 

Article continues at link. 


How Search (Google) Works

Google has published at a basic tutorialgraphic on how web search works; it's a good place to start to understand it. (Inside Search also includes a gigantic list of tips & tricks; recommended if you're a regular user of Google!) 

There are agnostic and more advanced tutorials on search out there -- as I can find them I'll post them.


Google Search

By Jon Mitchell at the inimitable readwrite (ReadWriteWeb), a good, basic description of "How Google Search Really Works." 

Among the things that caught my eye were the following:

  • "Today, with real-time search, that can happen in some cases in less than a minute." Back in the day, it might take search engines weeks to find and index your pages/site; there were actually facilities to submit your pages/site to an engine for higher priority indexing. 
  • "16% to 20% of queries that get asked every day have never been asked before." I would never have supposed it was that high -- I would have guessed 5% or so. 

As I come across additional pieces concerning how search works, I'll post them at follow-ups. 


List of Hundreds of Search Engines

Phil Bradley's weblog (a new one for me -- "Where librarians and the internet meet: internet searching, Web 2.0 resources, search engines and their development") collocates a comprehensive list of "370+ Search Engines to explore," both categorized and with a "Which Search Engine When" page and pull down. 

. . . There's more to search than Google. If you have time, please take a look, and consider trying out some new ones. You can access them all via my 'Which Search Engine When' page and pull down menus, but here's an overview.

  • Key search engines - Free text, Index, Multi, Visual, Categorised, Blended. (41)
  • Site based engines - Comparisons, Re-ranking, Site information, Similar (30)
  • News search engines - News, Trending (33)
  • Types of data - Thumbnails, Overviews, Factual, Hidden, Fileformats, Local (41)
  • Types of user - Children, Trusted sources, Academic (48)
  • Multimedia - Image, Sound, Video (63)
  • People based - People search, Blogs, Forum, Social, Moderated, Bookmarks (82)
  • Miscellaneous - Spelling, words, really odd (38)

Alternatively, or as well, I have a general collection of 170+ web search engines that is a bit of a miscellany, and most of them are available in the other lists, but not all. . .

See story link for individual links above.