Summary of Batelle, J; (2005); The Search; London: Penguin.

Chapters 1, 2 & 3

1. The database of intentions Eric looks for the billion-dollar Opportunity
Description of GOOGLE ZEITGEIST: A tool to measure what users are looking for Eric Smidt was a CEO that moved from Novell to Google The author tells how he predicted that Google would become a Media Company

Search as material culture
The Database of Intentions contains the data that Google has on the search habits of its users It is a picture of our culture

But why search?
This is a book about search, not Google as a business The book wants to research the story of the modern Internet era in all its cultural and commercial nuances Search was one of the first services of the WWW, then came web traffic, gopher, archie, etc. With search came Ebay, amazon, yahoo and Microsoft, all multibillion dollar companies. That is why a book about search is interesting

Search and the man-machine interface
Search can help create artificial intelligence However, the era of Big-Brother is not here yet (2005) the majority of our clickstream is not collected (again, this book was published in 2005) The memory and speed had became more and more inexpensive... almost 0 Search as a problem is about 5% solved (and just with that it makes billions!)

Implications
What search might tell us about ourselves and the global culture we are creating together online? There is a possibility that the companies are monitoring every click in our computers, not only on the web, but also in our private hard drives

Search as artificial intelligence?
So, is search going to become more and more intelligent, until it watches you as you interact with it? An ambitious project called Cyc (pronounced psych) is trying to collect common sense facts to try to build an artificial intelligence Google seems to have built a company that answers the world's questions for meaning and unlock a riddle of marketing, business and human culture.

 

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Summary of Batelle, J; (2005); The Search; London: Penguin. Chapters 1, 2 & 3

2. Who, What, Where, Why, When and How (Much) How
Since every question this author does is about money, he added the "how" part which is basically "How much money is being made" and then who makes it Description of a search engine How it works: takes your question, goes to the database and produces a list of urls that it believes are relevant Components - Crawl
The crawler is a specialized software program that hops from link to link on the WWW Any link it finds is handed to the indexer, and it is followed in search of more links in a recursive infinite process Crawlers are the most important part of the search engine. In the old days they only indexed the title of the webpage, but now they index a lot more information (the entire web page)

- Index
The index is a list of URLs. In its raw stage, it lists millions of urls, but then it has more levels The next level has an inverted list: first the words, and then the urls Google uses PageRank, which is an algorithm that looks into more than 100 elements to determine the relevance of a page, related to a search

- Runtime system or query processor
Runtime index: Database ready to serve results to users The query server can help narrow the search by asking the user to select related searches The processor needs to make sense of what is typed in the search. Not always an obvious task

Evolution - Tim Bray wrote a series called "On Search" and says that its main strategy hasn't changed over the years - On average, a person conducts one search a day (year 2005... I am not so sure about it now) Tip: A quick study in common advanced search tricks will help us tremendously in finding moe relevant results Suggestion: visit Tara Calishain's site ResearchBuzz

Who
Who is using search engines? Almost everyone Only email is more popular that a search engine The younger and more educated, the more you search

What
What is people looking for? Virtually everything The searches don't use all the words we type. Only 5% use more than 5 words

Where, Why
Where are searchers goint, and why? Searching is a means to an end We search because we hope to find things we don't know So we search to recover that which we know exists and to discover that which we assume must be there

When
We search while at home and work equally The traffic increases in the morning and peaks again in the evening

The Money Shot
All those searches have translated into a major business opportunity It has grown from $0 to $4B to $23B annually (2005) Paid search works. People buy where Google says they can buy the stuff There are plenty of innovations and research directions on the user's online behavior to make this advertisement business even more profitable

Prepared by Ariadna 73

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Summary of Batelle, J; (2005); The Search; London: Penguin. Chapters 1, 2 & 3

3. Search Before Google Early Search
"Archie" was the first Internet search engine (1990) Veronica, the Wanderer, WebCrawler, NextStep, etc.. came after that

The first truly good search engine
AltaVista, created by Louis Monier, a researches in Palo Alto AltaVista was the Google of its era Monier indexed more than 16 million documents

But We're in the Minicomputer Business!
AltaVista started to lose serious money in 1995 The PC won the battle and minicomputers lost

The first Google
AltaVista didn't know how to take advantage of its success with the search engine By 1997, AltaVista was still the truly king of search

The Compaq Portal
But in 1998 They threw the towel as an independent company and sold themselves to Compaq In the present day (2005) Monier is working with eBay helping them perfect their search engine

Rise of the big guys
Lycos appeared on the landscape and became the most popular online destination in 1999 Then Lycos was sold to Terra and Terra sold it to a South Korean company

Excite
Founded in 1994. First was called Architext The founders were kids that achieved great success in short time and became arrogant and blind. Then they had to pay the price One of the key features Excite introduced was the personalization: MyExcite was the first attempt to make things unique to the user

Yahoo
Two bored kids (actually PHD students of Stanford) started to create a list of favorite web sites. They had thousands of visits in the first week, so they decided to do it more seriously They actually found the "Gold" in the Internet mine, but they didn't recognize it. Google did.

Growing up
Since Yahoo owners were just kids, they made a lot of mistakes, but then they brought in mr. Koogle, who helped them get in track They made a business decision about search: they thought it was a big project that wouldn't justify the investment. Google didn't and this is how Google wins this game

 

Prepared by Ariadna 73

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