Tag Archives: search-engine

Twitter Becomes Profitable

Like many startups, Twitter spent their early years focused on gaining subscribers. However, that left many in the community wondering how Twitter would ever turn a profit. They focused on users to the exclusion of worry about making money – or so it seemed.

In a move that really shocks no one, Twitter has inked a very lucrative deal with both Google and Microsoft… to the tune of about $25 million. This deal allows both companies to index tweets to be incorporated into real-time search results. Up until this point, your tweets were fairly “protected”, in that they never showed up in a simple Google search (or Bing search!). However, that has now changed, so beware what you tweet!

Using the new real-time search capabilities, you’ll see real-time updates from places such as Twitter, Facebook, and even blogs. Whatever you’re searching for, you’re going to now get results that may actually be more of what you’re needing to find. In the past, you were limited in a way as to what you’d get for results. Now, you’ll be receiving updates by the second… ones that can often have more pertinence and impact on you than a “dry” result (from say… Wiki or a newspaper site) would have been.

Will this change Twitter itself? Will it change the way you tweet? Many people are already stating that they will be much more conscious of what they are tweeting. They may not want their every thought available on search engine results. Yet, others are already seeing dollar signs… they see that their names showing up in search results could end up driving much more traffic to themselves, and their businesses.

There are pros and cons on both sides of this coin… that of Twitter, that of search results themselves, and that of the Twitter users. Okay, that might be a funny-looking three-sided coin. But nevertheless, it’s going to be interesting to watch over the next several months. If it is handled well, I can see this becoming a very, VERY good thing for all involved.

What do you think? Is real-time search integration going to make Twitter even stronger and better than it already is? Or are you one of a handful of people who think that it will spell disaster?

How to Compare Search Results between Bing, Yahoo, and Google

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You, much like the rest of the galaxy, are likely using Google as your search engine. But is Google giving you the best results? How would you know unless you compare the results between search engines? Copying and pasting searches into multiple places and manually checking the results across the board is just not going to happen. Who has the time to do that? We need a way that we can easily and effectively make sure that we are each using the search engine that is right for us and our needs.

There’s a website out there that will help surface the truth for you. You may be convinced that Google is the best, but it may not be. The way to find out is to do a Blind Search.

Type in your search terms, and let Blind Search do the work. Then, compare the results columns, and vote for the one that you felt best delivered the content you were looking for. The columns are randomized with every query. The goal of the site is simple: they want to see what happens when you remove the branding from search engines. How will you perceive the results at that point?

Believe it or not, when I did a Blind Search of my own, the best results came from Yahoo. It just goes to show that things may not always be as they seem. Open your mind – and your search horizons.

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Windows 7 Search Connectors: Twitter, YouTube, Amazon, eBay…

Thanks to the power of RSS, and the flexibility of OpenSearch, Microsoft has extended the search experience within the Windows 7 Explorer shell.

I’ve been an advocate of RSS search for years (that’s what lead me to develop TagJag.com, which remains quite functional to this day). With TagJag, one can generate instant feed searches for Amazon, eBay, etc.

A few of us have created “Search Connectors” which bring the same functionality directly to your Windows 7 desktop. There’s nothing for you to edit – just download this collection of Search Connectors, then double-click the OSDX files included in the ZIP file, which currently include searches for:

  • Amazon’s Full Catalog
  • eBay Auctions
  • PriceGrabber
  • Coupons and Discounts
  • Online Shopping
  • My YouTube Videos
  • My Blog
  • The Geeks Social Network
  • Lockergnome

These OSDX files are worthless in any other operating system, mind you. I do wish that Apple would “steal” this idea for the next iteration of Spotlight. We almost had something like it in Sherlock (which Apple “stole” from Watson). If you have other ideas for OpenSearches / Federated Searches / RSS Search feeds to put into this download, I’ll be more than happy to keep the bundle updated as the definitive collection of Search Connectors.

Download ’em and try ’em for yourself.

Cuil – A First Look

Much controversy has surrounded the release of Cuil. Bloggers have lashed out at the problems they have come across. So, I decided to ask some friends what they think.

Seems to me that everyone’s missing the original value proposition of Cuil. Their original claim was that they were going to build a search index at 1/10th the cost of what Google has produced. Has anyone asked Tom or Anna at Cuil what their actual index/search costs are? I’m not surprised that Cuil’s search results are poor. It doesn’t appear that they have anything special in terms of a Page Ranking algorithm at this point, but that really doesn’t matter if they were able to achieve an index/search at 1/10th of Google’s cost. If Tom & Anna achieved anything close to this cost savings I’d think that they would be prime picking for Google, Yahoo, Microsoft. At this point, if Cuil can demonstrate an up-to-date index that scales to Google’s level at 1/10th the cost, then I’d think Google or others would start taking a look at them. Based on what (little) I know about Anna and Tom, it seems to me that their strengths are in the area of architecture and index. Anna is all about the index, she built Archive.org – Jim McCusker

Right, but why not wait and make the service a little better and then announce themselves rather than do so prematurely and get a rather negative publicity? – Hayk Hakobyan

They had to launch something, even if it returned poor results. My point is that their value proposition is in the reduction of the size requirements for the index. If Cuil has achieved anything close to 1/10th of Google’s TeraGoogle index then they have a very valuable asset. – Jim McCusker

It is a nifty layout, but there are a few things I do not like. I have a difficult time finding my own domain even when I search it by name, The results seem random and unrelated, and finally why show a image by the results if you are not pulling those images from the sites themselves? It’s cool, and Web 2.0 looking, but I can not find what I am looking for on it. Strangely it is sending me traffic… I wish I could figure out what those people are searching to find me because I can not! -Brad – Brad

Jim, I understand the value proposition Cuil intended to bring forth. However, I still disagree as to why launch smth that gets so much negative feedback. No one expected Cuil to be equivalent or comparable to Google from the beginning – except perhaps media – but it could have been lacking certain feats but still returning truthful if somewhat lesser results. What it returns now has been called almost a random mixture of links, photos and other content. I like the design and idea, but that is all there is. – Hayk Hakobyan

I suspect that Cuil had a lot of pressure to launch. But also, my point is that I don’t think their goal was to be a better Google. Look back on the original articles in TechCrunch and elsewhere where the founders of Cuil were promoting their small index. My point is simple, if they did create a Google-compatible index/search at 1/10th the cost then they have something to sell to Google/Yahoo/MSN/etc… I’m waiting for someone in Silicon Valley to ask that question. – Jim McCusker

If it’s really about cost, lets just use the phone book. – Darian Rawson

What do you think? Is Cuil a success, or a big dream gone wrong? If you agree with many of these posters that it just isn’t “there” yet, what do you feel should be done to make it better?

Is Gada.be for You?

I needed to do this sooner or later, so I’ve revamped our About page with the following sections, outlining Gada.be cases for eight types of users: Enthusiast, Mobile, Developer, Business, Casual, Researcher, Jobseeker, and Shopper. I’d consider this a comprehensive list, but I’m sure there are a few usage points and user types I missed. The About page also now includes an extensive list of Gada.be’s resounding credibility in the blogosphere. The reasons for pointing out our supportive features will become evident to you in the Gnomedex timeframe. Do you have a usage case for Gada.be? Continue reading Is Gada.be for You?

OpenSearch RSS AutoDiscovery for WordPress Searches

I started to compile a “wish list” of WordPress plugins. Turns out, many of my wishes have already come true – it just took a little digging on Google. Too bad there’s not an amazingly comprehensive WordPress plugin directory / wiki (and if there is, nobody really knows about it yet). One of my wishes was for an OpenSearch feed. Turns out Williamsburger already created a plugin, with a WP 2.0 compatible version linked from his comments thread. This got me up and running with my own OpenSearch feed easily enough, but I wanted to have it actually be autodiscoverable within a search query. Without bothering anybody in my personal circle, I found the variables I needed to insert between at the top of my header.php template:

[php]< ?php if (is_search()) { ?>
< link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title=": < ?=wp_specialchars($s); ?>” href=”https://chris.pirillo.com/os-query?s=< ?=wp_specialchars($s); ?>” />
< ?php } ?>[/php]There you go. An autodiscoverable feed for your WordPress searches! Try a search on my blog for a living example. Couldn’t have gotten it done unless Shayne figured out what I was doing wrong within the .htaccess file. Ugh. I’ve gotta start learning more about Regular Expressions. FUN!