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

Continue reading

Share

Saw it on the web

I’ve been running into a number of interesting, amusing, fun, and entertaining articles lately, and wanted to share some of them.

I’m finding myself in agreement with Jeff Jarvis, when he makes the following statement about Tagging at BuzzMachine. Interesting thought for companies like Google that want to organize the world’s information.

The web is about connections and the value that arises from them if you enable people to collect and communicate. In the old, big, centralised, controlled world of media, a few people with a few tools – pencils, presses and Dewey decimals – thought they could organise the world and its content. But as it turns out, left to its own devices, the world is often better at organising itself.

Speaking of Tagging, Gene Smith has a very nice recap of The Year in Tagging.

Barry Welford’s post at BPWrap on the Internet and the Enigma Machine had me thinking for days, and strangely (maybe not so strangely) wanting to reread Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon.

Continue reading

Share

Early Yahoo! Acquisitions (the 1990s)

I wanted to learn more about the history of Yahoo!, and made a post about Yahoo!’s Acquisitions Since Overture a week ago. I promised that I would followup with an additional post covering the remaining purchases.

I guess you should be careful about undertaking an inquiry like this.

The more I uncover, the more I find to write about.

Yahoo!’s earliest days saw them entering into partnerships and joint ventures with a number of companies.

At some point, Yahoo! started buying some of the companies that it worked with instead of working with those companies. There are a number of different reasons why, and some interesting stories behind some of those.

Continue reading

Share

Google Improving Mobile Search

Making it easier to make entries on a mobile device

As smart phones, and web-connected PDAs become more and more common, it makes sense for search engines to consider how to make it easier for people to use those devices while searching the web.

Handheld and mobile devices can be difficult to enter queries into.

Google has come up with some ideas to make searching easier on a phone or PDA.

They involve a type of auto complete and spell checker that can predict what you might enter before you finish typing, or tapping, or speaking.

This type of predictive data entry gets its information from dictionaries that can be stored locally, or remotely. Those dictionaries can be built using information from a collection of email, or corporate documents, or from web searches.

Continue reading

Share

Advertising.com applies for patent on advertising

Trying to quickly understand how well an online advertising campaign is doing is important.

There are a lot of factors to look at, to make sure that it is working, and a lot of methods to use to test those ads.

A patent application from Advertising.com describes one method they are using:

Systems and methods of achieving optimal advertising
United States Patent Application 20050289005
Inventors: John B. Ferber, Scott Ferber, Mark Hrycay, and Robert Luenberger
Published December 29, 2005
Filed: May 18, 2005

Abstract:

A system and method for achieving optimal advertising is disclosed.

Continue reading

Share

People helping People

With my first post of the new year, I decided that I would point out a site that captured my imagination earlier this evening:

Favorville is an “social experiment in Good Will.”

I’m hoping that spirit of reaching out, and helping others when they need it will be something we see a lot of in 2006.

Happy New Year. I hope that it is a good one to you.

Share

Human Friendly Driving Directions From Google?

I need landmarks when I get driving directions. I get lost without them.

The last time I took a long trip by car, I used a couple of different online mapping programs to get me to where I was going. Or at least most of the way there. The directions worked fine the first 320 miles, until I had less than a couple of miles to go.

Then I drove around for 40 minutes, in the middle of Massachusetts, trying to find a hotel that I had made reservations at.

I wish that there was something better.

Yep, I didn’t ask directions. I should have. A couple of good landmarks would have helped.

Continue reading

Share

Yahoo! Bundles Communication

I hadn’t seen the Yahoo! Communication Center (now replaced by Yahoo Tutorials) before today. It looks like it does a nice job of introducing people to the many different free ways Yahoo! has for people to hold conversations. It’s sharp looking, and very well done.

I’m not sure how well it functions as a “communications center” but as a way of finding out how you can communicate on Yahoo!, it accomplishes that task well.

I noticed a link to it from Emil Yang’s Yahoo! 360 page (which unfortunately has gone away). Emil has had a number of other posts there highlighting some of the new things Yahoo! has come out with recently. Thanks, Emil.

Share

Getting Information about Search and SEO Directly from the Search Engines