Days of our Lives!

July 24, 2007

Page and Brin, hear me?

Filed under: Musings,Tech — Santhosh @ 3:18 AM

The perfect search engine would understand exactly what you mean and give back exactly what you want

Larry Page,
Google co-founder.

Google has always gone on record that they want to develop Google into a search engine that can deliver exactly what the user is looking for, every time. There are a few areas that I can think of off-hand, where they can do some tinkering :

But first, let’s go back a couple of years. Yes, tortoise-coil-rounding, painting-out-of-focussing and all that.
Year 2005.
A smart, intelligent, handsome boy (did I mention humble?) walks out of college and comes over to Bangalore “to work among an esoteric set of highly talented people working their brains out to make the world a better place”; atleast that’s what everyone told him when he asked what a software engineer does.
Yanyways, he and a friend of his get into a Webworld on MG.Road and try and search for some accommodation. Now, it seems Friend has been preparing for one of those 3-letter exams and they end up Googling for “a domicile with 2 bedchambers, a living room and a parlour”. So he grabs the keyboard and types in the only word he knows about living places – “rooms”, for which Google promptly comes up with something related to hot neighbourhood aunties. In the end it took a gazillion permutations of playing around with the different words meaning room, home, house, PG, lodging, and the like.

And here, gentlemen, is my million dollar you-know-what : synonyms.
Google could try and incorporate something like this into their algorithm so that users dont need to have a degree in etymology to be a good Googler. It shouldn’t be too hard – when the user hits “Search”, draw up a list of phrases with the key words replaced with words taken from a pre-defined thesaurus and then sort these according to their Page Rank. Google can maybe provide this type of search as an extra option, so that the speed of the search results doesn’t fall by a few precious nanoseconds or if the user knows exactly what he’s looking for. But this type of search should be really helpful for random searches, like “open positions in IBM” or “hot girls in Bangalore” ;).

On a related note, but all the more sillier, Google (for that matter, all search engines) returns different results if you search for something with an integer and if you search for the same but with the integer as a number string. For example, “2 bhk in bangalore” and “two bhk in bangalore” returns totally different results.



  1. yup, thts a gud fact there are a couple of new search engines working on developing these kind of capabilities

    Comment by amit — July 24, 2007 @ 1:28 PM | Reply

  2. ha hathe flashback part is just tooooooo good

    Comment by guna — August 9, 2007 @ 12:40 AM | Reply

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