(3-1/2 of 4)
many ways, Google
the search engine has truly made it to the top. When they
inked a contract with Yahoo
to provide the results for search phrases not found in Yahoo's
human compiled directory, it was like they had finally gotten
the recognition they deserve. And according to Web culture,
once Yahoo pays you to do anything, you've made it.
Google earns three and half stars (see
below) because they do one thing really well: provide
excellent search results. Other search engines/portals got
away from their core business providing relevant search
results and look what happened. Disney has closed down
their entertainment portal Go.com
(formerly Infoseek) reorganized their datasbase and recently
also has relaunched with renewed focus on search results to
restore what had once been a robust engine with great breadth.
In contrast, Google's focus has always been on providing get
great results through their simple, refreshing home page.
Funny as it may seem now, many people scoffed at the idea
that a search engine should give preference to web sites that
have lots of high quality, popular sites linked to it. This
model has proven itself, at least for now. Useful sites tend
to have lots of other people linking to it, "So,"
they reasoned, "Other people should know about this site,
too." The only argument against this model is that it
leaves out the little known but well-designed page with useful
content in the dust. This argument has some merit. In a perfect
world, good sites with good content should always rank higher.
However, if the unknown site does become popular, it will
eventually rank higher with Google and others anyway, since
most of the major search engines now use some type of popularity
algorithm to help rank the searches.
And the 3-1/2 stars instead of four? Well, if you enter
a phrase in Google's search box without putting
double quotes around your search phrase, it treats the
words as if they are separate and not a phrase. Search statistics
have shown that most searchers enter phrases when they enter
multiple words, so Google might be missing the boat here,
in my opinion. Even more frustrating, the search algorithm
has been tweaked even more to include results from all words,
even when you use the quotes technique decribed above.
Try it on our Channel Engine above
and do a search for your favorite site or subject right now.