The Evolution Of Search

There have been many significant changes to the face of search over the last several years with engines becoming more intelligent than ever before. Today's users expect mainly fast, easy, relevant and satisfactory search results. In response to this search engines have responded by giving users more control over search results than ever through the emergence of alternative search engines.

One instance of these so-called alternative search engines goes by the name of Nutch (http://www.nutch.org/). Nutch is a two-year-old open source project, which has been hosted previously at Soundforge and backed by a non-profit organization. Since then it has been determined that the Apache license is the most appropriate, with Nutch no longer requiring the overhead of an independent non-profit organization. The board of directors and the developers both were in favor of the move to the Apache Foundation.

Nutch builds on Lucene technology, which was developed under the watchful eye of Doug Cutting, the primary developer for both of these open source projects. Doug has been working in the field for almost two decades and has spent three years at Apple, four years at Excite as well as 5 years at Xerox PARC, so it is safe to say that Doug definitely knows his stuff. Lucene is suitable for nearly any application that requires full-text search, especially cross-platform. It is a full-featured, high-performance, text search engine library, coded entirely in Java to implement web search. Nutch is an application; you can download it and run it. It adds a crawler and other web-specific stuff to Lucene as well as it's very own search algorithm and a link analysis module. Nutch aims to search the entire web like Google or Yahoo! but has a few tricks up its sleeve thanks to the beauty of open source licensing.

I recently had the privilege to interview Mel Strocen, the CEO of Jayde Online, Inc. (http://www.exactseek.com/), one of the Web's major online publication and search companies. Mel had some very exciting news to report on how Jayde is planning to utilize the Nutch application.

Jayde has been developing a customized version of Nutch for the last eight months and is planning to launch a search engine based on the Nutch technology within the next few weeks. The initial beta version will consist of a network of dedicated servers with an index of between 20 and 30 million website listings.

The real potential of this new search engine, and others using the Nutch technology, lies in the fact that it is open source and uses a "Plug-In Architecture". What this means is that the engine will be perpetually evolving and constantly improving to better facilitate the needs of searchers. One terrific example that shows us just how beneficial this type of open source plug-in technology can be is the FireFox web browser (http://www.firefox.com/).

FireFox, in its short existence has eaten up a significant portion of the once all mighty Internet Explorer's market share. The popularity of this browser is due to the fact that it is constantly making itself smarter. You can now find a plug-in for virtually anything that you require , ranging from web developer, downloading, and search tools to privacy, security, website integration and humorous plug-ins. You name it, there is an extension for it. The extension library consists of nearly six hundred different plug-ins and is growing daily thanks to the help of contributors everywhere.

Now just imagine implementing this type of plug-in technology to a search engine, with one type of plug-in for say searching MP3s and another plug-in for downloading PDFs. The possibilities of this new open source search technology are infinite. Now the term "open-source search engine" may make a lot of people's minds wander towards the idea of Black Hat search engine optimization. The primary developer of Nutch, Doug Cutting, feels that the closed-source advantage is not nearly as much of a factor as one might imagine it to be. The fact that the search engine is open-source allows [email protected] to be detected far faster than that of closed-source search engines latest [email protected] detecting algorithms. Either way, you know that the [email protected] will eventually figure out how it works, the only difference is how quickly. So the top [email protected] techniques, closed or open source, are those that continue to function even when their mechanism is known.

Another type of alternative search engine technology has just recently been released to beta version is "Relevancy Rank" from the Claria Corporation (http://www.claria.com/relevancyrank/about/), the minds behind Gator. I had the pleasure to conduct an interview with the Vice President and Executive Chief of Marketing, Scott Eagle. He had some very interesting things to say about the launch of this new product and what exactly the benefit of Relevancy Rank has to the user. This unique search technology takes the results from the top search engines and applies its very own algorithms to output to the user the most relevant results.

Relevancy Rank is a combination of personalization, localization, time spent at any one site, click through rates as well as conversions. These are all taken into account to provide the most relevant results. "For an example, if you happened to be a zoologist who loved to search for different animals and information relating to animals and you entered the word "Jaguar" you would be returned far different results from say a car enthusiast who searched frequently for different types of vehicles and also typed in the word "Jaguar"", noted Scott. Relevancy Rank helps to provide you with the most relevant results based on your previous search behavior.

With the end users expectations continuing to grow, these twists on the way that results are gathered and displayed are an enormous help in satisfying the user's hunger to get to the results that they are looking for. I am quite anxious to see how these new forms of search technology fair out over the next several months. One thing is for sure, these new technologies are sure to revolutionize the way that web search is conducted and pave a new path for the evolution of search.

Tyler Huston is the SEO Manager for Beanstalk Search Engine Positioning Inc. Beanstalk is proud to offer their guaranteed SEO services to clients from around the world. To keep updated on the latest going's on in the search engine world watch for Tyler's posts on the Beanstalk SEO blog.

In The News:

Web Application Developer  Charlotte Agenda
Web Developer  TECHdotMN
Free training course on web development  The New Indian Express
The Future of Web Development  Business 2 Community

How to Promote Your Law Firm Website On the Internet for Maximum Profit

Making maximum profit from your law firm website is important,... Read More

Internet Marketing Website Promotion -The 7 Biggest Mistakes I See People Make With Websites!

1. Many people are not getting good or complete advice.... Read More

Top 7 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Website

A website provides invaluable advantages for businesses who have one.7... Read More

4 Marketing Tips for Resourceful Webmasters!

The internet is a sea of knowledge. Getting your information... Read More

How Did You Get Here?

When marketing your website, it's important to know which of... Read More

Where?s Your Web Site?

This simple question can take on several different forms, but... Read More

What Does An Ex-Basketball Coach Know About Pulling Web Metrics?

In my previous life.....Actually, my previous JOB life, I was... Read More

Database Driven Web Site - Do You Need It?

Many of site owners still don't realize all advantages of... Read More

Building a Web Site Requires the Right Software to Eliminate Headaches and Keep Money in Your Pocket

When most people build a web site, they think one... Read More

How to Draw Icons or Images on a Mapserver Generated Map

In this example I have used the map of the... Read More

2 Key Ways to Make Your Site a Success

If one more business owner tells me their website sucks... Read More

Website Value - Whats Your Business Website Worth?

If you were asked to put a value on your... Read More

Traffic for Webmasters

"If you build it, they will come"; is an age... Read More

10 Tips For A Successful Website

Have you ever thought the secret behind the success of... Read More

Make Your Own Brand!

There are millions and millions of websites on the Internet.... Read More

How to Increase Sales with Automation Improvements

How popular is online shopping? And is there room for... Read More

Things to Consider Before Starting a Website

In the time that I have been using the Internet,... Read More

Product Promoting: Getting The Response

When you publish a content site there are times when... Read More

Your Biggest Mistake When You Create a Website?

--------------------------------Why Should You Create a website?--------------------------------A. What do you want... Read More

Successful Commercial Sites

Do you make your website just to entertain yourself or... Read More

Planning A Usable Website: A Three-step Guide

A website is like an information flow, with you as... Read More

Make Your Own Website - General Website Design Tips

Wow, we`ve already taken a domain and chosen a web... Read More

5 Sure Fire Ways To Send Visitors Away For Good

So your traffic is going through the roof yeah? It's... Read More

Running An Effective Website

Running an effective website is a continuous process. I have... Read More

Beyond Web Usability: Web Credibility

If you've been developing websites on Mars for the past... Read More