Friday, February 29, 2008

All searches should smell fresh

I really don't get why Ask, Yahoo and MSN are scratching their heads when they see the market share numbers on search. When I am searching, I want results (seems fairly obvious right?) and by results, I mean results that mean something. Am I confusing you yet?

I'm confused, when I go to MSN or Ask, they don't have any reference to my blog and they have old very out of date references to DigitalChalk pages but when I go to Google I get my stuff displayed with my latest updates within hours. I understand that I'm not the biggest traffic draw on the web but when we did a redesign of the DigitalChalk website in DECEMBER and Yahoo still has stale references on this last day of FEBRUARY to our old site design, one begins to question the quality of ALL of the content in a search.

Ok, I'm calmer now. sorry for shouting. Here's the Crux, it really doesn't matter how good your search result relevancy algorithm is if you are applying it to stale, out-dated data in the index. I was watching the TV ads that Ask! (or is it just Ask?) ran last year that showed a better user experience. My first reaction was wow, nice but as I thought about it, I realized that all the cool visuals and AJAX driven layers that pop up are enjoyable but don't get me closer to results unless there is a relevant result in the search.

Google keeps it simple. We all know their search view is simple to view but what I am really getting at is that they keep the their goals in search simple and focused; give the user the very best quality search result. Nice. I am sure they spend a tremendous amount of time and money creating a search crawler and index that keeps ever-vigilant for new and relevant content. The value for me is priceless. I love finding my blog indexed the next day. I rest better knowing that someone pays attention to what I am saying, even if it is a robot.

Oh, I almost forgot, if you are reading this post, click on this link to visit DigitalChalk! (and make google think I'm driving lots of traffic)

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