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Posts Tagged "search engines"

Bing – Microsoft’s “Decision Engine”

Posted by    |   June 15th, 2009   |   No responses

Last month Beth posted a blog discussing the new search tool named Wolfram Alpha.  While the book is still out on this new search technology, an old player in a new guise has come upon the scene and likes to be called Bing. Bing is Microsoft’s new search tool (replacing Live Search), and in an attempt to distinguish itself from Google and Yahoo, it is being touted not as a new Search Engine but rather a Decision Engine. What exactly is a decision engine? I'm not sure, but I found some clues in this article. Apparently, this Decision Engine is going to provide three main elements:
  • Quality search results
  • Organized search experiences
  • Simplified tasks and insight
Keeping these newly discovered points in mind, I took another look at Bing and came to this conclusion: Bing operates just like any other search engine but with a nice photo in the background. I suppose the real test of a search engine (or decision engine) would take place late Friday afternoon just moments before the end of the day when we suddenly remember needing to find the address of where we are meeting our significant other(s) after work. We begin searching for this information attempting to not be distracted about missing the bus but still remembering to turn on the office alarm while trying to remember our banking password so we can check if we even have the dough to go out for dinner. In this all-too-real scenario, the search engine is an integral part of the process and if it works correctly, we'll hardly even notice it. But if it fails, and we end up across town at the wrong restaurant with no money, we'll notice and remember which search tool to blame. Since I am not going to complete the test outlined above (I don't ride the bus), please accept the following observations:
  • Bing has a good a look to it and seems to provide good results.
  • Once past the paid rankings, Google usually leads us to where we want to go.
  • Yahoo is that old "portal" friend providing news and email with its search returns.
The truth of search on the internet is that the technology has not really changed much over the past decade. Yes there have been improvements with the control of spam, search results do provide more localized information and everything is faster, but can we say a current search return is far superior to those we got years ago? I'm not sure we can, and so I say it is time for search to improve in a big way. Perhaps the increasing reliance upon search returns acquired from Twitter, Facebook or a blog will result in some new search paradigms. Maybe a new technology is being developed right now and within a year's time we'll be more satisfied with our search returns. Or maybe we have reached the apex of search and right now is as good as it gets. In any case, give Bing a look and let us know what you think.
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Google’s Personalized Search: A New Paradigm?

Posted by    |   November 19th, 2008   |   No responses

Search Engine Optimization, better known as SEO, is an ever-present focus for Insight Designs as we work to improve the rankings of sites on numerous Search Engines. More of an art than a science, SEO today depends upon such things as strategically devised meta tags and the nebulous concept of link popularity. Search for "SEO" on the internet, and you will likely be exposed to a very lengthy and dense list of companies promising to improve your rankings. Sometimes enacted SEO does change the rankings of a site, and sometimes the rankings change for no apparent reason. SEO is a tough racket but an important one -- and one that is about to change. Google, the leading search engine, recently received a patent for personalizing search returns based upon the language of the user. This means that a search in Spanish will return sites that are also in Spanish. This technology will soon expand so that search results will be personalized based upon the user's location, recent use of Google, and search history. Search returns might also be based upon factors such as whether the user is doing research or shopping. The intent of the Google user will matter as much as the SEO of the sites. This will fundamentally change what has been the focus of SEO. No longer will sites be ranked according to keywords or links. In the future, a search will return sites according to the user's needs. Whether Google's shift to personalized search results translates into a new search paradigm remains to be seen. Regardless, we at Insight Designs will continue to pay attention to these changes and keep you aware of new SEO strategies.
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