July 2006 Archive
Another type of image search is available from the beta of Netvue which has the tag line of "The image search with full-size results." Thumbnail results appear on the left with a slide show of larger images in the center of the page. With the loading of these larger images, the response is slower at Netvue than at other image search engines. Netvue also boasts that "Other image search engines are fallable (sic) because they show thumbnails for content which may be inaccessable to you. Quite often, a user spends their time looking at "Page Not Found" errors and is forced to go 'back' and try their luck with clicking another thumbnail. Netvue is free of these hassles because it retrieves the full-sized image itself, skipping those that no longer exist."
Google Reader has changed its default sort to date (in reverse chronological order) according to the Official Google Reader Blog in its Your Wish is Our Command. Google always seems to drag its feet with date sorts. With Web results, date sorting is quite problematic since most Web pages do not have a reliable date. So date sorting of Web results rarely is useful. But with news and other published sources, date sorting is easy and helpful. While Google gives the option for a date sort in Google News, it is not the default. Meanwhile, neither Google Books nor Google Scholar even offer the option. Google Scholar's strange "recent articles" addition a few months ago is not much of a substitute since it just limits to recent years and then does another relevance sort. So if a wish is really a command to Google, here's a wish for a real date sort at Scholar and Books and for a default date sort at Google News and Scholar.
Google's sitemaps blog, Inside Google Sitemaps, reports a change in its More Control Over Page Snippets posting. Previously, some sites that appeared in the Open Directory would have their Open Directory description show up after the page title in Google results listings instead of the more common keyword-in-context extract (or as Google calls it, a "snippet"). This could become a problem for sites and searchers when the Open Directory description no long accurately reflected the content of the page. Now, site owners can determine whether or not the Open Directory description is used by inserting a meta tag. This is not a new idea. Microsoft introduced the possibility (back on May 22. And both use the same syntax of META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOODP".
SEOmoz Blog, in its All the Different Ways to Calculate Link Numbers (and the Best One) article, gives an excellent overview of the issues with link searching, especially when looking for a total number of results. It primarily compares Google, Yahoo!, and MSN. Of Google: "With the crappiest numbers around, it's a wonder that anyone pays attention to them at all." MSN also gets hammered: "MSN's numbers, while relatively more accurate than Google, are still largely useless." Yahoo! gets the nod here. While the focus of this link search comparison is the reported number of results, the issues also apply to link searching when looking at the content of the results.
Search Engine Watch reports on a People's Daily article about Google's plans to launch a book search service in China. Meanwhile, Baidu has announced a plan to integrate book catalog records into its search engine reports Shanghai Daily. "Baidu.com, has signed an agreement with the mainland's top libraries to include their catalogues on its search site, making it the largest Chinese books database in the world." Perhaps, but it is not a full text database if it only includes library catalog records.
For some time now, Google has been inserting suggested results part way down the page. (Danny reported on April 6, 2006 that Google confirmed that it was no longer experimental but an official part of Google.) It only happens occasionally, but when it does, they have a faint line above and below and start with "See results for" followed by the other suggested search term. Then three results from the alternate search are displayed within the faint lines. For example, a search on office has suggested results for 'office shoes' part way down the page. That is not the alternate search I would expect to be suggested, but at least it makes some sense.
On June 29, SEO Speedwagon reported a fascinating problem with these midpage results. For some strange reason, a search on
therapy products resulted (and still does today) in a suggested search of 'yahoo.' That makes no sense at all. Try it yourself to see if it still happens, or see my screencast on YouTube.