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Old 01-13-2006   #1
Nacho
 
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Reasons Why Search is Not Perfect Today

Mention at least 1 reason why search technology in general or search engines in general is not perfect today. Not that it will ever be perfect, but you know. . . in the lines of it's still in its early years and it has a long road to maturity.
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Old 01-13-2006   #2
BradBristol
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As far as I know there is ONLY ONE reason for poor SERP and that is "Programming Limitations".
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Old 01-13-2006   #3
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Because of spammers
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Old 01-13-2006   #4
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Because of spammers
Blame the right people - If Programming did not have limitations the search engines would be able to keep out whatever they did not want in their index.

If programming did not have limitations - There would be NO Search Engine SPAM.

But programming does have limitations, so the search engines that rely entirely on software to determine their SERP ALLOW pages/sites in their index that they would rather not have in the index.
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Old 01-13-2006   #5
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ok my bad: "because of programmers"

of course everyone that owns a gun doesn't go around shooting people...
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Old 01-13-2006   #6
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I did not say it was because of "Programmers" (I happen to be one). I said it was because of limitations in programming, there is a big difference between the two.

I guess I did say "Blame the right people", my bad I should have said, "Blame the right thing".
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Old 01-13-2006   #7
Jill Whalen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Boggs
Because of spammers
Damn, you stole my answer!
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Old 01-13-2006   #8
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Because of spammers
Thats like blaming the rain on flowers, but I am sure some still will.
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Old 01-13-2006   #9
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>reasons

They'll be in the bar at SES NY.
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Old 01-13-2006   #10
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They'll be in the bar at SES NY.
Now that is really funny, too bad its not true.
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Old 01-17-2006   #11
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Poor communication between the engine and the user. Not that the user doesn't know what he or she is looking for, but that something can't always be described in a phrase without receiving a lot of garbage back.

I think engines need more filters--I should be able to type in 1980 Honda Twinstar to find information about working on this motorcycle, but what I get is parts, bikes for sale and parts. Users should be able to say don't show me things for sale, do show me message boards, etc.
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Old 01-17-2006   #12
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Originally Posted by fulton savage
I think engines need more filters--I should be able to type in 1980 Honda Twinstar to find information about working on this motorcycle, but what I get is parts, bikes for sale and parts. Users should be able to say don't show me things for sale, do show me message boards, etc.
If you typed in the query "fixing 1980 Honda Twinstar" you would have seen message boards on the top 2 results from Yahoo.

Search algos are more advanced than users queries. Is that a problem for the search engines to tackle via technology? Maybe searchers will catch up to the current technology faster than new technology will be developed. Boy, wouldn't that be a waste of countless R&D hours and dollars.

Maybe the question should be why after 10 years of the commercial web are searchers not perfect today?
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Old 01-17-2006   #13
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Because of spammers
As the definition of spam differs from one person to another, I'd say that lack of definition causes some imperfection among the SEs.
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Old 01-17-2006   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Mendez
If you typed in the query "fixing 1980 Honda Twinstar" you would have seen message boards on the top 2 results from Yahoo.
I hope you didn't miss my point because of the example I gave. I could just as easily pulled a -"$"

Still, I'd rather be able to provide better input than have the SE try and figure out what I'm talking about.
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Old 01-17-2006   #15
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Search engines have such a rudimentary grasp of grammar and syntax that they can't identify spam as well as my 6 year old nephew. Until they improve this there'll be spam (come to think of it - there will probably ALWAYS be spam).
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Old 01-17-2006   #16
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Why are search engines not perfect? Hmmmm...

Let's say one was. What would it do? What would it NOT do?

I'm not sure there is an answer to this one - one of the main reasons that a search engine can't be perfect is because the web is not perfect, and a search engine must, by it's nature, reflect that.

If all the possible results are garbage, then a search engine would have no choice but to produce garbage, no? And whose fault would that be?

Question: can a perfect search engine present imperfect results? If so, how could you tell the difference between the results being imperfect or the choices?

Garbage in, garbage out, after all.

Speaking of which, would a perfect search engine attempt to deal with imperfect searches? Why? It seems to me that the perfect search engine would require perfect searchers and perfect sites to choose from, otherwise, it would have no choice but to produce imperfect results, and thus risk being labeled "imperfect".

I think the issue is that many people are confusing the search engine with the results.

The perfect search engine would have a limited set of perfect sites to choose from, and perfect searches for those sites. Only then could it be judged properly - anything else is a flawed test in a flawed environment.

Perhaps we should be asking what the perfect site is, or the perfect searcher. I suspect that until we know that, we won't have the basis from which to judge the search engine.

Or perhaps, as the old saying goes, "perfection is the enemy of good enough".

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Last edited by mcanerin : 01-17-2006 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 01-17-2006   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcanerin
Speaking of which, would a perfect search engine attempt to deal with imperfect searches?
...
I think the issue is that many people are confusing the search engine with the results.
SEs already deal with imperfect input:

Did you mean: silhouette

...

What measure should we use if not the performance/output? Things like appearance and interface should most definitely be less important than the results in this discussion.
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Old 01-17-2006   #18
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Quote:
Things like appearance and interface should most definitely be less important than the results in this discussion.
One might think so, on the surface. But I would ask you to think about this:

Perhaps the "perfect" search engine is not defined based on it's searching ability and skill, but rather it's ability to deal with and interpret the imperfections of the web and of searchers.

Maybe instead of "perfect", we should actually be looking for the ability to compensate. In short, perhaps the key really is the interface.

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Old 01-18-2006   #19
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I believe search is not perfect today because search engines really don't know who I am.

If we use the personalization principle, yes it does tend to fix things, but in reality that is way out far ahead and not true in TODAY's terms.

Quick example with keyword: KISS

If I'm a 12 year old perhaps I would be thinking of chocolate.

If I'm a 17 year old perhaps I'm interested in songs from the KISS rock band (not my type , but just an example).

If I'm a 32 year old entrepreneur perhaps I'm thinking of the Keep It Simple Stupid principle.

If I'm a 60 year old perhaps I'm thinking of a nice kind gesture in the cheeks I would get from my wife or a grandchild.

So which searcher am I Mr. Search Engine? and what are the most relevant results for me? And pleeeeaasee... DON'T ASK ME TO LOG IN! The last thing I would like to do is fill out a user profile with 100 questions about me that will question how deep is my privacy in reality.
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Old 01-18-2006   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Mendez
Maybe the question should be why after 10 years of the commercial web are searchers not perfect today?
In fact, this is a very good question and one that search engines would expect to help deliver more relevant results because qualifiers and a more detailled keyword phrases help narrow down a smaller sample size in the index.

However, independent to the time the Interent's existance and search engines delivering results, different users have different cultures and learning curves. One we see with clear contrasts between Latin American users and U.S. users, for example. Where one is more focused on broad searches with single word keywords and the other will seek a deeper search tail. Still you will find conversions and ROI in both ends of the curve.
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