Search engines

Analysis of search technology, products, services, and vendors. Related subjects include:

September 1, 2008

How good does e-discovery search need to be?

Two years ago, CEO Mike Lynch of Autonomy tried to persuade me that Autonomy was and would remain dominant in the e-discovery search market because: Read more

August 19, 2008

LinkedIn name search is ridiculously bad

Somebody named Conor O’Mahony has posted excellent comments about XML databases on a couple of DBMS2 threads. After a look at the blog URL he provided and the job description he posted there, I resolved to look him up. LinkedIn seemed as good a way as any of figuring out where he was geographically located. But on the first try I typed his name from memory as Conor Mahony. LinkedIn had no idea who I meant.

Once I confirmed that he was indeed listed, I went on to test such errors as Connor Mahony, the very common misspelling of my name as Kurt Monash, and several variations on Dan Weinreb. Almost nothing worked. LinkedIn did get Daniel/Dan, and didn’t require the hyphen in Tony Lacy-Thompson, but otherwise pretty much every misspelling I could think of stumped it. Read more

August 4, 2008

Google vs. Microsoft search, per Seth Grimes

Seth Grimes did a head-to-head comparison of Google and Microsoft Live Search results about the Microsoft/DATAllegro deal, 10 hours after it was announced. He found that Google had picked up a number of relevant results, while Live Search hadn’t. (And this was on the main search pages, not on News or Blogs.) He goes on to note that Yahoo’s “contextual” ads were badly irrelevant (Google didn’t have any at all).

What this boils down to, mainly, seems to be a major win in spidering speed for Google vs. Microsoft Live Search.

And yes Seth — I like you too. 🙂

July 9, 2008

Google Health spoof

FutureFeedForward is on a roll:

MOUNTAIN VIEW–Information search giant Google, Inc. announced Thursday the release of Google Body, a search service aiming to index the internal and external anatomy of every living creature on the planet. …

Early testers have remarked upon a fuzzy-logic “match my organ” feature, which helps users get in touch with the nearest, most suitable donor for multiple organ systems. …

Responding to criticism from privacy groups, Google’s Hind pointed to the program’s opt-out policy. “We are very concerned about user privacy, and that’s why we will not make publicly available any information about anybody who let’s us know they do not want to participate by wearing an Opt-Out headband when in public. Google archives information about those individuals, but does not make it searchable.” The yellow and black vinyl headbands can be requested free of charge by writing to the company at its Mountain View headquarters.

July 9, 2008

Fun with the Google External Keyword Tool

Google announced a major upgrade to the Google (External) Keyword Tool — it now gives actual numbers of searches, instead of vague logarithmic green bars. This now makes it very cool for figuring out what people actually search for. Estimated average monthly search volumes include: Read more

July 8, 2008

The Attivio angle on the FAST story

Attivio CEO Ali Riaz was previously CFO and COO of FAST. He tried to avoid involvement in the recent expose’ of his former employer. For his troubles he got a parking lot ambush, a big photograph, and some unflattering coverage. Read more

July 8, 2008

Recent reporting on the shenanigans at FAST

A Norwegian newspaper did an expose’ on FAST, dated June 28. Helpful search industry participants quickly distributed English translations to a variety of commentators, including me. TechCrunch posted a scan of part of the article.

The gist is that FAST followed a pattern very common in the packaged enterprise software industry: Read more

June 19, 2008

6 trends that could shake up the text analytics market

My last two posts were based on the introductory slide to my talk The Text Analytics Marketplace: Competitive landscape and trends. I’ll now jump straight ahead to the talk’s conclusion.

Text analytics vendors participate in the same trends as other software and technology vendors. For example, relational business intelligence and data warehousing products are increasingly being sold to departmental buyers. Those buyers place particularly high value on ease of installation. And golly gee whiz, both parts of that are also true in text mining.

But beyond such general trends, I’ve identified six developments that I think could radically transform the text analytics market landscape. Indeed, they could invalidate the neat little eight-bucket categorization I laid out in the prior post. Each is highly likely to occur, although in some cases the timing remains greatly in doubt.

These six market-transforming trends are:

  1. Web/enterprise/messaging integration
  2. BI integration
  3. Universal message retention
  4. Portable personal profiles
  5. Electronic health records
  6. Voice command & control

Read more

June 19, 2008

The Text Analytics Marketplace: Competitive landscape and trends

As I see it, there are eight distinct market areas that each depend heavily on linguistic technology. Five are off-shoots of what used to be called “information retrieval”:

1. Web search

2. Public-facing site search

3. Enterprise search and knowledge management

4. Custom publishing

5. Text mining and extraction

Three are more standalone:

6. Spam filtering

7. Voice recognition

8. Machine translation

Read more

June 15, 2008

How text search has evolved over the past 15 years

I just stumbled across a brilliant summary of evolution in text search technology, written four years ago. It’s equally valid today (which in itself says something). I found it on the Prism Legal blog, but the actual author is Sharon Flank. My own comments are interspersed in bold. Read more

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