Vertical creep into regular search results in Google

Google doesn’t just have a search engine. It has multiple search engines. If you look at the tabs on top of the search box, you’ll see:

Web
Images
Groups
News
Froogle
Local

Each of those tabs generates a different type of search, with its own unique set of algorithms, and ways of presenting material. These are narrower searches, and are often referred to as “Vertical Searches.”

There are many examples of limited scope search engines like this on the web, for things like jobs, travel, hotels, shopping, and much more.

Google doesn’t limit itself to those vertical searches listed on the tabs above the search box, but has even more available. Here are some of the other areas covered. These can be found through the default web search box on the Google page.

Weather (type in – weather and a city name – weather Cincinnati)

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IBM series on search engine optimization

I just came across a series from the folks at IBM on search engine optimization. So far, it’s a nice introduction to the topic, and worth looking at. The first two parts of the series have been published, and I’m guessing that part three will probably come out very soon.

The first part focuses upon what the author, L. Jennette Banks, calls “white hat SEO” and includes:

A short glossary,
The importance of SEO,
A brief overview of the practice,
Why it matters to users of search engines,
The relationship of SEO to search engines, with a primary focus on Google
A nice set of resources

Search engine optimization basics, Part 1: Improve your standing in search engines

I’ll disclose here that I was proud to see a link to Cre8asite Forums, where I’m an administrator, in the list of forums cited in the resource section.

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Catching up with my RSS

It’s been tough keeping up with Bloglines this last week. Here are some of the posts that caught my eye while trying to catch up:

Greg Linden, at Geeking with Greg took a careful look at some of the links posted in the second ever post at the Google Research Blog, and come up with some interesting observations involving “how to parallelize a hierarchical Bayesian network across a cluster of computers.” If your “inner geek” gets excited over such things, it might be worth checking out.

Sabrina Pacifici blogs about some of the States that allow access to social security numbers during Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) searches. With recent discussions about the Federal Government asking for information from search engines that may include some personally identifiable information, it bears paying attention to how state governments treat privacy issues.

Mike Grehan writes about some of his experiences at the New York SES, including the first time I’ve seen a search marketer threatened with a banana. Mike is one of the most generous folks in the industry, and I’d like to thank him for helping make the SES in New York (this year, and last year) the great experience it was. Thank you, Mike.

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A whole lot of wikipedia

One of the many excellent presentations that I was able to attend this week was the one on SEM Via Communities, Wikipedia & Tagging. The first speaker, Jeff Watts, talked about the risks and benefits of creating a new entry about your company, and leaving it to the community to create content about the company.

It’s a brave step, and there are companies that probably wouldn’t take it. Jeff mentioned that his company was convinced that the wikipedia community would probably write the article at some point with or without his involvement, and that it was much better to be involved in the conversation than not.

It was also a pleasure to meet Nick Wilson and Andy Hagans, who also gave insightful presentations on tagging.

I wanted to make sure though, that I mentioned the Wikipedia. Earlier today, they published their millionth article. Congratulations wikipedia community.

Looking at Google Definitions

How do Google Definitions appear at the top of search results?

Over at Threadwatch, Graywolf started a thread titled Are you Optimizing for Google Definitions? There are some insightful comments in the thread, and I recalled a Google patent application that covered the topic.

I looked around the web to see if there had been any discussion about the patent application, but couldn’t find any. The document is System and method for providing definitions, (US Patent Application 240040236739), invented by Craig Nevill-Manning, filed on June 27, 2003, and published on November 25, 2004.

The abstract for the Google definitions application is pretty general, but the document is fairly detailed. Here’s the abstract:

A system and method for providing definitions is described. A phrase to be defined is received. One or more documents, which each contains at least one definition, are determined. The phrase is matched to at least one of the definitions. One or more definitions for the phrase are presented.

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Making Search More Efficient: A little about caching and prefetching

I hate doing the very same task over, and over, and over again. I’d bet search engines do, too.

Increasing the efficiency of search

Chances are that your choice of search engine, whether it’s Google, or Yahoo!, or MSN, or another, uses some methods to try to make what they do a little more efficient, and a little less costly to run.

Of course, popular searches are ones that lots of folks search for. If a search engine would process every search request as if it were a new one, and try to grab results from its index, or indexes, including searches that were repeated often, it could be reinventing the wheel frequently. But what if there was a way to speed that up?

What if that method created a significant savings in terms of time and processing power? What if it didn’t do a full search for the most popular terms over and over?

Caching results pages from popular searches

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