Category Archives: Search Engines and Directories

News and information about search engines and directories on the Web, including patent filings and white papers

A Peek into Google’s Desktop Search Indexing Algorithms

Google’s Desktop Search is probably more well known for a mix of features and gadgets than it is the ability to index content on a computer, or on network directories. There’s also an Enterprise edition that enables a company to share the use of desktop search.

Most of what I’ve seen written about this Google search focuses upon all of the add-ons, and the way the program looks, than how it indexes. The official Inside Google Desktop blog is also a gadget heavy look at Google Desktop Search.

If you’d like a little peek under the hood, at how the program may go about indexing your content, three new patent applications from Google provide some details.

These patent filings are closely related to each other, which means that there’s a considerable amount of overlap in the content of their detailed descriptions and backgrounds.

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Eric Schmidt and Douglas Merrill on Google Apps for Enterprises

I’ve been involved in operational upgrades and changes to software systems in a large organization, and it can take an incredible amount of time and planning and change preparation.

In a short video, Eric Schmidt and Douglas Merrill talk about Google Apps (video), and explain how it was easily adopted by Google as their enterprise software.

A nice peek into how Google works, and a nice piece of marketing for Google Apps.

The switch took a couple of months.

Feedback on Custom Search Engines

I’ve been using Eurekster’s custom search engine to enable people to search for information about search engine patents from this site (see the “Search Patent Swicki” in the right column at top).

I’m interested in hearing from anyone who has tried it out to see what they think about this custom search. Do you like the results that you see? Is it useful, and helpful?

Five new patent applications came out from Google on customized search, and they provide a great deal of information about both how those work, and how they offer additional search options to people looking for information during a Web search on Google itself.

I wrote about the patent filings at Search Engine Land, in a post titled Google Customized Search Engines to Harness The Wisdom of Experts?.

It’s tempting to create a Google Custom Search Engine after reading the patent applications. If you have experience building and putting one of those on a site, how do you like it? Are you satisfied with the way that it works? Are your visitors using it?

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Yahoo Games Search Engines

One of the objects of many ecommerce sites has been to find ways to keep people on their site, to explore what they have to offer. With a search engine, the approach has been to provide answers to questions, and help people find pages outside of the search engine. The better the service, the more likely that someone will return the next time they need to find something.

A recent Yahoo patent application shows a desire to keep visitors around longer:

The web pages provided by the search service providers via which a user can submit a query vary somewhat in layout, content, look-and-feel, etc. but generally include a text box for input of keywords for use in the query. Results of the search are provided in a results page with a list of links to results (i.e., pages found to have content matching the query) and possibly one or more advertisements.

This format results in a search process that is very structured and not particularly entertaining. So, once a user locates information relevant to his interest, the user typically leaves the search service provider’s web page quickly. Further, there is little or no incentive for the user to go back to the search service provider’s web page after the information desired has been located.

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Search Articles from E-LIS

I was searching through the E-prints in Library and Information Science (E-LIS) web site for search related articles over the past year, and came across some articles that weren’t highly cited, but provide some interesting perspectives on Google Scholar, and on research involving user behavior on the web and how to understand it better.

Google Scholar

Examining the Claims of Google Scholar as a Serious Information Source
by Bruce White (09 November 2006)

A thoughtful and detailed analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of Google Scholar from a member of the library community. Bruce White’s conclusion points to the use of Google Scholar as an essential informational resource but not a one-stop-shop for searching academic journal literature.

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Eric Schmidt Videos on Innovation

Eric Schmidt spoke at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, as part of their Roads to Innovation Conference held on November 11th -12th (link to video at the bottom of the linked page).

He also participated in PAN IT 2006 (no longer available), as a keynote speaker on December 25th, 2006, and a video of that presentation is was available on YouTube.

Stanford Presentation

News reports from an interview after his Stanford presentation caught on to a statement he made that mobile phones should be free – so that they can be used as a way of delivering targeted advertising. While that statement was interesting, those reports didn’t capture what was a pretty interesting presentation.

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Omid Kordestani At the Stanford Graduate School of Business

Omid Kordestani became the 12th employee of a one-year-old startup Google back in 1999. Now, he’s their senior vice president of global sales and business development.

This past September, he gave a presentation to an audience filled with first year business students, View from the Top – Stanford Graduate School of Business. (A link to a video of the presentation is at the bottom of the page.)

It’s a great introduction to the business-side leader of Google, and the lessons he learned in business school, and the startups that he worked for before Google, as well as his time at Netscape. The speech focuses upon advice to students just starting out, but the stories and lessons that he shares are pretty inspirational.

Patent Documents Mentioning the Open Directory Project in 2006

In the recent predictions for 2007 post, a commenter asked about the impact of the Open Directory Project and its data on research in 2006, and what the information might be used for in 2007. I was also asked what I thought was the most interesting use.

Those were some great questions, and I really hadn’t tracked carefully the appearance of the Open Directory Project in published patent applications and granted patents, though I had seen it mentioned in a number of papers in 2006. I thought it might be interesting to find mentions of the DMOZ in the patent filings that were either granted, or published publicly as applications during the year, and see how the Directory was referred to, or the data from the directory was used.

Below are links to those documents, who they are assigned to, and a brief synopsis of why the DMOZ was mentioned within them. In the conclusion, I list some of the more interesting of those, and the one that I liked the most.

Continue reading Patent Documents Mentioning the Open Directory Project in 2006