Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Understanding Google and other search engines.

First, a side note. I had originally read this article here:

Search Beyond Google

However, it is no longer available there -- you have to pay for a subscription if you want to read it now. The same article is still available here:

Search Beyond Google (minus the illustrations)

How does that help anything?

The thing that is interesting about the article is its look "behind the scenes" at how search engines perform some of their tricks, and how the idea of "search" will be changing in the very near future. For example: It's an interesting article.

I'm still looking for a way to solve this simple search problem: "How Many _____ Are There." These are really simple questions, like, "How many teenagers are there in the United States?" or "How many cars did Ford make last year?" If you type either of those questions into Google, you get gibberish back. So you end up trying to find obtuse ways to ferret out the answer. "Number teens million" might be a typical attempt. And forget it if you want to know the answer for 1982. "How much" questions can be just as bad. Easy solutions for simple questions like that would be great.

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