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Search Engine Perfection?

Joel says: "But only Larry and Sergei figured out the formula to make search actually work" referring to the founders of Google.

I wouldn't say that the search problem is solved. The one major hurdle I can still see is that if I ask you:
Which car is best?
You can give me your opinion.

But if I ask Google: What car is best?

It will only find exactly those words. It can't find pages that have information about economical automobiles, safe autos, or the family minivan with the lowest TCO .

And that is the problem.

In other words - the computer can't figure out the semantics of the words you use. Only the words themselves.

Strides are being made in this direction, for example:

http://www.readware.com/mn_demo.htm

But even these have a ways to go. This Sixdegrees thing doesn't sound like it is attacking a very different problem - unless you have to tell it what each e-mail is about that you send.

BTW - anybody remember the first sixdegrees.com?

(PS - it's Sergey)

A.
Friday, February 01, 2002

I thought Google bought Deja, who realized the Usenet's main appeal is to find things like car reviews.  So Google is at least hard at work shoring up its problems.

Quentin S.
Friday, February 01, 2002

http://www.askjeeves.com ;)

MadMan
Sunday, February 03, 2002

http://askjeeves.com/main/askjeeves.asp?ask=Where+can+I+buy+a+car+cheap%3F&o=0&x=0&y=0

"The page cannot be displayed"

A.
Monday, February 04, 2002

Another problem with the search engines out there is its pathetic judgements on the importance of information it accumlates so tirelessly.

Congrats to joel, but the mere fact that 'joel on software' pops up, as the first result on google, underlines the ugliness of the problem. (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=joel) Can you think of someone who's searching for 'joel' in google because he doesn't know where Joel on Software's url is?

Basically it boils down to is, how can computers distinguish between 'trivial' and 'crucial'?

Google? nice try...and thanks for leaving so much room for improvement

think, think, think

who cares
Tuesday, February 05, 2002

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