Monday, December 05, 2005

Search Engines

The hardest job in the world is that of the search engine. Every day another lame website (or, more accurately, 1000 more websites and 100000 more blogs) is (are) added to the internet. Not to mention the changing content on a lot of the existing sites. Most of it is junk, spam, or the tired rantings of some weirdo you'd never feel safe meeting without the security of distance and the anonymity of the internet dividing you. And yet, with those obstacles, people (myself included) expect search engines to be the fastest sites. We expect, somehow to find what we are looking for--even though we don't know ourselves, much less are able to articulate what we want by entering in two or three words in a small text box.

Why do we expect so much from these poor, tired search engines? It really is their own fault: they deliver. They started this bad habit of returning good results when the internet was small and it cost more for people to connect. Back then, everything was slow, so there was less pressure. Now, computers are fast, connections are fast and both are much cheaper. Poor search engines. You must be tired.

And yet, people like me don't ever give them a break. Ever.

For some reason, lately www.google.com comes up slowly on my home connection (purportedly 15mb fiber). Also, searches for me or any of my reviews came up blank. What do I do. Like an ungrateful child, I run off to search.msn.com. Lo and behold, it is fast. In addition, and perhaps the most important part, it returns top ten results for most of my reviews and a search for Jon Sharp yields this blog as the first result. While some may read the first paragraph again and argue that MSN must not be doing a good job at qualifying their results if they return a blog as number 1 (and THIS blog, no less), I'm practically converted to MSN permanently.
Poor search engines. So many years of helping me out and I turn my back on Google at the drop of a hat. Believe me, Google, being slow and tired myself, I can sympathize.

1 comment:

Michael K. Campbell said...

Man, you nailed it.

Funny how fickle we can be. Guess I'll have to give MSN a try. From what I've seen their results are at least as good as Google's in some cases - and I've actually seen them be more useful for some things.

Truth is, I just use google right now out of habit. But I expect that will change as I keep seeing better results on msn search...