Specialized search

Analysis of efforts in “vertical” search and single-site search, and other forms of specialized search engine. Related subjects include:

February 7, 2007

Does anybody actually use Technorati?

I just did some Technorati searches, and my blog posts come up near the top of the search results for a bunch of small companies’ names and similar words — Attensity, ClearForest, Netezza, DATAllegro, Crossbeam, DMOZ, ODP, and surely many others.

But judging by my referrer logs, nobody cares. I get lots of visitors via classic search engines — largely Google, but also the others — but bubkus from Technorati.

Technorati Tags:

January 31, 2007

Government-specific search fails to impress

According to Steven Arnold, FirstGov – which has been renamed USASearch.gov — is by far the most effective US government-specific search engine. But there’s something odd about it; whatever the query, it’s determined to give no more than a little over 100 results. Queries for which I’ve noted results in this quantity range include Bush (and this covers all family members), Cheney (ditto), Kennedy (ditto), Condaleeza, Scalia, Coolidge, Red Sox, big dig, Burlingame, Redmond, Pluto, ethanol, spotted owl, and topology. The only ones I’ve found so far coming out above that results range – perhaps inevitably 😉 — are death (137) and taxes (177). Read more

January 23, 2007

But Google trumps most site search

Popular on Digg, for obvious reasons, is a post showing that Google is better for searching Digg than Digg’s own search engine. No shock there. If I want to search Wikipedia for information on astrowidgets, I’ll just google on the phrase wikipedia astrowidgets. That works much better than Wikipedia’s own search.

Speaking of which — if you want to search for my writing, I’m using Google web search technology too. It works like a charm.

October 22, 2006

Enterprise-specific web search: High-end web search/mining appliances?

OK. I have a vision of one way search could evolve, which I think deserves consideration on at least a “concept-car” basis. This is all speculative; I haven’t discussed it at length with the vendors who’d need to make it happen, nor checked the technical assumptions carefully myself. So I could well be wrong. Indeed, I’ve at least half-changed my mind multiple times this weekend, just in the drafting of this post. Oh yeah, I’m also mixing several subjects together here too. All-in-all, this is not my crispest post …

Anyhow, the core idea is that large enterprises spider and index a subset of the Web, and use that for most of their employees’ web search needs. Key benefits would include:

Read more

October 3, 2006

Two own-dogfood text-based bug-tracking applications

Last July I wrote about Google’s text-based project management system. Dave Kellogg of Mark Logic offers links to discussion of a related Google project, and adds news of his own — Mark Logic built a text-based bug tracking system in its own MarkLogic technology.

August 26, 2006

Mark Logic and the custom publishing business

I talked again with Mark Logic, makers of MarkLogic Server, and they continue to have an interesting story. Basically, their technology is better search/retrieval through XML. The retrieval part is where their major differentiation lies. Accordingly, their initial market focus (they’re up to 46 customers now, including lots of big names) is on custom publishing. And by the way, they’re a good partner for fact-extraction companies, at least in the case of ClearForest.

Here, as best I understand, is the story of the custom publishing business. Read more

July 11, 2006

Google’s internal text-based project/knowledge management

Slashdot turned up an amazing article in Baseline on Google’s infrastructure. There’s lots of gee-whiz stuff in there about server farms, petabytes of disk packed into a standard shipping container so as to allow the setup of more server farms around the globe, and so on. But even more interesting to me was another point, about Google’s internal use of its own technology. In at least one case – a hybrid of project and knowledge management – Google really seems to be doing what other firms only dream about as futures. Here’s the relevant excerpt:

Read more

June 16, 2006

Product search fun at Tesco

Single-site websearch can be quite problematic. Here are screenshots of two examples:
Canned fish returned on a drain cleaner search

Rum returned on a condom brand search

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