dimanche 1 février 2009

3.3.3 Search engine awareness

Search engine awareness is for me the key issue of this all work and reveal
two parts:
· Poor search engine awareness regarding how to use a specific search engine;
· Poor search engine awareness regarding the existence of other search
Both parts are fundamental. The first one deals with what we call search
tools. It consists of a combination of keys in order to fit a specific request.
If you are on Google typing the following request:
search engine dependency
is different from:
« search engine dependency »
In the first case you will look for pages which are containing the words:
search engine dependency as well as all the others combinations such as pages
with search dependency, engine dependency, search, engine, dependency. Whereas
in the other cases you are restricting the pages which include only those three
words and in the same order.
It exists dozens of those tools per search engine, the most famous ones are
called « boolean operators ». Some websites provide the list of those tools27. We have
also to consider that all the search engines are not using the same conventions so
some tools under search engine A will not work on search engine B.
If you are on Yahoo the following request:
· title:search engine
will give you all the web pages which have for titles the following
keywords. This tool is unfortunately not working on Google.
This example shows well how search engines are in fact complementary in order to
make precise research.
Is Google really better than Yahoo?
To get a piece of the answer you can make this empirical experience I
made a couple of months ago. I did the same request on three different
search engines (Google, Yahoo and MS Live Search) and compared the first five
results and gave my opinion on each of those results. If the result fit my
expectations I gave one point if it did not zero. Google got a four out of five, Yahoo
a two out of five and MS Live Search a zero out of five. However all results from a
search engine to another was different. So Google won for sure at the time I
performed the award of pertinence, however the information I was looking may
have been on the two results Yahoo gave me.
So is Google better than Yahoo for this example the answer is yes. Does it mean
that I should not consider Yahoo? Absolutely not.

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