Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/a26f9f83/public_html/articles/includes/config.php on line 159
The Other Side of the Search Gods Abracadabra! > NetSparsh - Viral Content you Love & Share

The Other Side of the Search Gods Abracadabra!

Thousands of servers ...billions of web pages.... the possibility of individually sifting through the WWW is null. The search engine gods cull the information you need from the Internet...from tracking down an elusive expert for communication to presenting the most unconventional views on the planet. Name it and click it. Beyond all the hype created about the web heavens they rule, let's attempt to keep the argument balanced. From Google to Voice of the Shuttle (for humanities research) these ubiquitous gods that enrich the net, can be unfair ...and do wear pitfalls. And considering the rate at which the Internet continues to grow, the problems of these gods are only exacerbated further.

Primarily, what you need to digest is the fact that search engines fall short of Mandrake's magic mechanism! They simply don't create URLs out of thin air but instead send their spiders crawling across those sites that have rendered prayers (and expensive offerings!) to them for consideration. Even when sites like Google claim to have a massive 3 billion web pages in its database, a large portion of the web nation is invisible to these spiders. To think they are simply ignorant of the Invisible Web. This invisible web holds that content, normal search engines can't index because the information on many web sites is in databases that are only searchable within that site. Sites like www.imdb.com - The Internet Movie Database , www.incywincy.com - IncyWincy, the invisible web search engine and www.completeplanet.com - The Complete Planet that cover this area are perhaps the only way you can access content from that portion of the Internet, invisible to the search gods. Here, you don't perform a direct content search but search for the resources that may access the content. (Meaning - be sure to set aside considerable time for digging.)

None of the search engines indexes everything on the Web (I mean none). Tried research literature on popular search engines? AltaVista to Yahoo, will list thousands of sources on education, human resource development, etc. etc. but mostly from magazines, newspapers, and various organizations' own Web pages, rather than from research journals and dissertations- the main sources of research literature. That's because most of the journals and dissertations are not yet available publicly on the Web. Thought they'll get you all that's hosted on the web? Think again.

The Web is huge and growing exponentially. Simple searches, using a single word or phrase, will often yield thousands of "hits", most of which will be irrelevant. A layman going in for a piece of info to the internet has to deal with a more severe issue - too much information! And if you don't learn how to control the information overload from these websites, returned by a search result, roll out the red carpet for some frustration. A very common problem results from sites that have a lot of pages with similar content. For e.g., if a discussion thread (in a forum) goes on for a hundred posts there will be a hundred pages all with similar titles, each containing a wee bit of information. Now instead of just one link, all hundred of those darn pages will crop up your search result, crowding out other relevant site. Regardless of all the sophistication technology has brought in, many well thought-out search phrases produce list after list of irrelevant web pages. The typical search still requires sifting through dirt to find the gold. If you are not specific enough, you may get too many irrelevant hits.

As said, these search engines do not actually search the web directly but their centralized server instead. And unless this database is updated continually to index modified, moved, deleted or renamed documents, you will land yourself amidst broken links and stale copies of web pages. So if they inadequately handle dynamic web pages whose content changes frequently, chances are for the information they reference to quickly go out-of-date. After they wage their never ending war with over-zealous promoters (spamdexers rather), where do they have time to keep their databases current and their search algorithms tuned? No surprise if a perfectly worthwhile site may go unlisted!

Similarly, many of the Web search engines are undergoing rapid development and are not well documented. You will have only an approximate idea of how they are working, and unknown shortcomings may cause them to miss desired information. Not to mention, amongst the first class information, the web also houses false, misleading, deceptive and dressed up information actually produced by charlatans. The Web itself is unstable and tomorrow they may not find you the site they found you today. Well if you could predict them, they would not be god!...would they?! The syntax (word order and punctuation) for various types of complex searches varies some from search engine to search engine, and small errors in the syntax can seriously compromise the search. For instance, try the same phrase search on different search engines and you'll know what I mean. Novices... read this line - using search engines does involve a learning curve. Many beginning Internet users, because of these disadvantages, become discouraged and frustrated.

Like a journalist put it, "Not showing favoritism to its business clients is certainly a rare virtue in these times." Search engines have increasingly turned to two significant revenue streams. Paid placement: In addition to the main editorial-driven search results, the search engines display a second - and sometimes third - listing that's usually commercial in nature. The more you pay, the higher you'll appear in the search results. Paid inclusion: An advertiser or content partner pays the search engine to crawl its site and include the results in the main editorial listing. So?...more likely to be in the hit list but then again - no guarantees. Of course those refusing to favor certain devotees are industry leaders like Google that publishes paid listings, but clearly marks them as 'Sponsored Links.'

The possibility of these 'for-profit' search gods (which haven't yet made much profit) for taking fees to skew their searches, can't be ruled out. But as a searcher, the hit list you are provided with by the engine should obviously rank in the order of relevancy and interest. Search command languages can often be complex and confusing and the ranking algorithm is unique to each god based on the number of occurrences of the search phrase in a page, if it appears in the page title, or in a heading, or the URL itself, or the meta tag etc. or on a weighted average of a number of these relevance scores. E.g. Google (www.google.com) uses its patented PageRank TM and ranks the importance of search results by examining the links that lead to a specific site. The more links that lead to a site, the higher the site is ranked. Pop on popularity!

Alta Vista, HotBot, Lycos, Infoseek and MSN Search use keyword indexes ? fast access to millions of documents. The lack of an index structure and poor accuracy of the size of the WWW, will not make searching any easier. Large number of sites indexed. Keyword searching can be difficult to get right.
In reality, however, the prevalence of a certain keyword is not always in proportion to the relevance of a page. Take this example. A search on sari - the national costume of India ?in a popular search engine, returned among it's top sites, the following links:
?www.scri.sari.ac.uk/- of the Scottish Crop research Institute
?www.ubudsari.com/ -a health resort in Indonesia
?www.sari-energy.org/ - The South Asia Regional Initiative for Energy Cooperation and Development

Pretty useful sites for someone very much interested in knowing how to drape or the tradition of the sari?! (Well, no prayer goes unanswered...whether you like the answer or not!) By using keywords to determine how each page will be ranked in search results and not simply counting the number of instances of a word on a page, search engines are attempting to make the rankings better by assigning more weight to things like titles, subheadings, and so on.
Now, unless you have a clear idea of what you're looking for, it may be difficult or impossible to use a keyword search, especially if the vocabulary of the subject is unfamiliar. Similarly, the concept based search of Excite (instead of individual words, the words that you enter into a search are grouped and attempted to determine the meaning) is a difficult task and yields inconsistent results.

Besides who reviews or evaluates these sites for quality or authority? They are simply compiled by a computer program. These active search engines rely on computerized retrieval mechanisms called "spiders", "crawlers", or "robots", to visit Web sites, on a regular basis and retrieve relevant keywords to index and store in a searchable database. And from this huge database yields often unmanageable and comprehensive results....results whose relevance is determined by their computers. The irrelevant sites (high percentage of noise, as it's called), questionable ranking mechanisms and poor quality control may be the result of less human involvement to weed out junk. Thought human intervention would solve all probes....read on.

From the very first search engine ? Yahoo to about.com, Snap.com, Magellan, NetGuide, Go Network, LookSmart, NBCi and Starting Point, all subject directories index and review documents under categories ? making them more manageable. Unlike active search engines, these passive or human-selected search engines like don't roam the web directly and are human controlled, relying on individual submissions. Perhaps the easiest to use in town, but the indexing structure these search engines cover only a small portion of the actual number of WWW sites and thus is certainly not your bet if you intend specific, narrow or complex topics.

Subject designations may be arbitrary, confusing or wrong. A search looks for matches only in the descriptions submitted. Never contains full text of the web they link to - you can only search what you see titles, descriptions, subject categories, etc. Human-labor intensive process limits database currency, size, rate of growth and timeliness. You may have to branch through the categories repeatedly before arriving at the right page. They may be several months behind the times because of the need for human organization. Try looking for some obscure topic....chances for the people that maintain the directory to have excluded those pages. Obviously, machines can blindly count keywords but they can't make common-sense judgement as humans can. But then why does human-edited directories respond with all this junk?!

And here's about those meta search engines. A comprehensive search on the entire WWW using The Big Hub, Dogpile, Highway61, Internet Sleuth or Savvysearch , covering as many documents as possible may sound as good an idea as a one stop shopping.Meta search engines do not create their own databases. They rely on existing active and passive search engine indexes to retrieve search results. And the very fact that they access multiple keyword indexes reduces their response time. It sure does save your time by searching several search engines at once but at the expense of redundant, unwanted and overwhelming results....much more ? important misses. The default search mode differs from search site to search site, so the same search is not always appropriate in different search engine software. The quality and size of the databases vary widely.

Weighted Search Engines like Ask Jeeves and RagingSearch allows the user to type queries in plain English without advanced searching knowledge, again at the expense of inaccurate and undetailed searching. Review or Ranking Sources like Argus Clearinghouse (www.clearinghouse.net),
eBlast (eblast.com) and Librarian's Index to the Internet (lii.org). They evaluate website quality from sources they find or accept submissions from but cover a minimal number of sites.

As a webmaster, your site registration with the biggest billboards in Times Square can get you closer to bingo! for the searcher. Those who didn't even know you existed before are in your living room in New York time!

Your URL registration is a no-brainer, considering the generation of flocking traffic to your site. Certainly a quick and inexpensive method, yet is only a component of the overall marketing strategy that in itself offers no guarantees, no instant results and demands continued effort for the webmaster. Commerce rules the web. Like how a notable Internet caveman put it, "Web publishers also find dealing with search engines to be a frustrating pursuit. Everybody wants their pages to be easy for the world to find, but getting your site listed can be tough. Search sites may take a long time to list your site, may never list it at all, and may drop it after a few months for no reason. If you resubmit often, as it is very tempting to do, you may even be branded a spamdexer and barred from a search site. And as for trying to get a good ranking, forget it! You have to keep up with all the arcane and ever-changing rules of a dozen different search engines, and adjust the keywords on your pages just so...all the while fighting against the very plausible theory that in fact none of this stuff matters, and the search sites assign rankings at random or by whim.

"To make the best use of Web search engines--to find what you need and avoid an avalanche of irrelevant hits-- pick search engines that are well suited to your needs. And lest you'd want to cry "Ye immortal gods! where in the world are we?", spend a few hours becoming moderately proficient with each. Each works somewhat differently, most importantly in respect to how you broaden or narrow a search.

Finding the appropriate search engine for your particular information need, can be frustrating. To effectively use these search engines, it is important to understand what they are, how they work, and how they differ. For e.g. while using a meta search engine, remember that each engine has its own methods of displaying and ranking results. Remember, search strategies affect the results. If the user is unaware of basic search strategies, results may be spotty.

Quoting Charlie Morris (the former editor of The Web developer's journal) - "Search engines and directories survive, and indeed flourish, because they're all we've got. If you want to use the wealth of information that is the Web, you've got to be able to find what you want, and search engines and directories are the only way to do that. Getting good search results is a matter of chance. Depending on what you're searching for, you may get a meaty list of good resources, or you may get page after page of irrelevant drivel. By laboriously refining your search, and using several different search engines and directories (and especially by using appropriate specialty directories), you can usually find what you need in the end."

Search engines are very useful, no doubt. Right from getting a quick view of a topic to finding expert contact info...verily certain issues lie in their lap. Now the very reason we bother about these search engines so much is because they're all we've got! Though there sure is a lot of room for improvement, the hour's need is to not get caught in the middle of the road. By simply understanding what, how and where to seek, you'd spare yourself the fate of chanting that old Jewish proverb "If God lived on earth, people would break his windows."

Happy searching!

Liji is a PostGraduate in Software Science, with a flair for writing on anything under the sun. She puts her dexterity to work, writing technical articles in her areas of interest which include Internet programming, web design and development, ecommerce and other related issues.

In The News:


Forbes

This 'Unmeasurable' SEO Metric Is Incredibly Important
Forbes
Getting the most out of an SEO campaign is all about measuring the results -- everything comes down to data. Examining KPIs sheds light on what's working and what's not. That's all well and good for most metrics like keyword rankings, organic search ...


Digiday

TUI is using its content hub to protect its SEO ranking after rebrand
Digiday
Awareness and branding are key to any rebrand. For travel agent TUI, SEO is just as vital given its own rebranding means shifting one site to another, a move that could potentially cost it more than half of its bookings if it doesn't get it right. The ...


Vertical Measures (blog)

Why Your Web Development Project Needs an SEO Agency
Vertical Measures (blog)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be an afterthought when creating or redesigning a new website. Look at it this way: Having a solid foundation is key to building a house, and having a solid SEO friendly website design is a similar analogy… so, why ...
10 Tips to Find a Good SEO WriterEntrepreneur
Ignoring these 6 SEO strategies could come back to haunt youSearch Engine Land
Local SEO Strategies For Small BusinessesTG Daily (blog)

all 10 news articles »

Forbes

SEO Is A Small Business Necessity - Forbes
Forbes
When it comes to search engine optimization, start with the basics.
7 Secrets to Hiring the Right SEO Company - TGDailyTG Daily (blog)

all 2 news articles »

Search Engine Journal

The Top Reasons Why SEO Professionals Attend a Conference [POLL]
Search Engine Journal
Going to SEO conferences is a great way to learn about the latest strategies, emerging trends, and new tools in the industry. You also get to network with fellow professionals within the field and meet prospective clients. Search marketers have ...


Forbes

How To Create Local Content For Local SEO
Forbes
Put simply, practicing local SEO can help you get an edge over the national competition by reducing competition to only your own geographic locality. To do this, you'll need to accomplish a number of things, including establishing “local citations ...


Vogue.com

Why Yujin Seo Is the Next Korean Model Poised to Go Global
Vogue.com
A new slew of Korean models dominated this Fashion Week circuit, so naturally, the hunt for the next stunner from Seoul is on. As the city's Spring 2018 shows begin today, one particularly striking unknown is worth watching: Yujin Seo, the 17-year-old ...


Forbes

How To Make Your E-Commerce SEO Strategy Deliver The ... - Forbes
Forbes
PR, media strategy, creative & advertising execs share trends & tips Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Post written by. Guy Sheetrit.

and more »

Forbes

2017 To-Do List: Craft A Profitable SEO Strategy
Forbes
While businesses have become increasingly savvy about including SEO in their marketing plans, most have not yet developed an effective SEO strategy. In my experience working with SMBs and multinational corporations over the past 18 years, I've found ...


Entrepreneur

Keyword Rankings Are Meaningless: Learn How to Grade Your SEO
Entrepreneur
Join us Nov 9th in Los Angeles for a day of inspiration, networking and hear from Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jon Taffer, Carmen Electra, Apolo Ohno and more.
14 ways to get smarter with your content and SEOSearch Engine Land
Content Marketing & SEO: How Quality Content Helps Search RankingsHuffPost
Simple SEO Practices to Turn Strangers Into CustomersTechCo (blog)

all 7 news articles »
Google News

Google Rankings ? Achieving a Top 10 Position in Google ? Part 2

Achieving a top ranking position in Google is every webmasters... Read More

Dont Get Banned by Google

There are many Black Hat techniques that people use to... Read More

13 Tips For Good Search Engine Placements

When used properly in combination with other basic search engine... Read More

Whats All This Hype About Links?

What's all the talk about links we hear about? Reciprocal... Read More

Get More Cosmetic Surgery Patients From The Web

It's no surprise that dominant cosmetic surgery practices also have... Read More

Search Engines The Masters Of The Internet Universe ? Part 3

This is part three of the article series and deals... Read More

Expert Help From Google Answers

Web users turn to search engines for answers to their... Read More

New MSN Search Engine: How Good is it?

If you have an online business or you just use... Read More

The Myth of Guaranteed #1 Ranking in Search Engine Marketing

You've seen the ads: Guaranteed #1 Ranking! There are no... Read More

Search Engine Robots - How They Work, What They Do (Part II)

If your site isn't found in the search engines, it... Read More

How To Weather Google Algorithm Changes

If you spend much time reading the various webmaster forums,... Read More

How To Rank High On MSN Search

The new MSN Search is quickly gaining popularity among internet... Read More

eMarketing Sabotage - Top 10 Steps To Kill Your Search Engine Marketing Practices

We at America Web Works find ourselves amazed at the... Read More

The Secret To Getting Indexed In Yahoo

Getting indexed in Yahoo has become very difficult in the... Read More

The Write to Link Popularity

Incorporating writing as a means of boosting your link popularity... Read More

Is Reciprocal Linking Dead?

I just read an article at SitePro News that really... Read More

Maximising Google?s PageRank of Your Website to Maximise Traffic

Google uses PageRank to rank your pages. To maximize your... Read More

Tread Towards A Successful ?Internet Research?

Internet is a terrific resource containing billions of web pages... Read More

Blogging, Spamming, and Blog Spam

Email marketing once proved to be immensely effective, but the... Read More

Six Reasons Why Your Alexa Rating Is Still Important

1. Additional Exposure For Your Site.At the end of 2003,... Read More

3.5 Tips To Help You Avoid Becoming The Next Search Engine Outlaw

Want to avoid being blacklisted by the search engines and... Read More

When Google PR Tool Bar is Down!

Where is the need to worry? Who needs a PR... Read More

The Search Doesnt End at Your Homepage

In a recent report for a new client, I wrote:... Read More

10 Easy Steps to Boost Your Search Engine Rankings!

In order that someone finds your website and buys your... Read More

Search Engine Musical Chairs

News broke this week that Yahoo has purchased the Inktomi... Read More