Are search engines really the way to find things on the web?
Search engines such as Google have long been the starting point of finding things that interest us on the web. Essentially we just dont know how to find things on the Internet so we leave it up to Google, Bing and Yahoo etc to spider the web for content, index it into a massive database or Big Data silos as they are known nowadays and then give us a facility to search their database. Pretty simple really and there’s nothing new to searching a database.
The fact we have to search a database, means we have to rely on search engines scouring the web to find content then hopefully they will have found what we are looking for when we come to our searches. The problem is with searching a database is that it is pre-formatted if you like, the search engine companies apply certain biases according to their agenda, so the information they collect is not ‘natural’. The problem is the content on the web is written by humans, converted to a computer programming language to enable it to be seen on the web, then when we as humans look for something on a search engine they need to find a method of finding things related to a computer language, because we dont use computer language. So that is where the term ‘keywords’ have entered our everyday language on the web. Search engines use our keywords that we enter into the search engine to find those keywords in their web indexed database.
Are search engine results relevant to your search?
In the beginning web articles were written as they were intended, now the tendancy is to write content around commonly used search terms to ensure people find the information on the search engines, so bowing down to the search engines. Even though the Search Engine Optimisation aficianados talk about ‘Content is king’, ‘backlinks are the most important factor’ for search engines, the fact remains all these techniques are because the search engines are desparately trying to find a way of providing relevant search results for it’s users and SEO experts keep changing the way content is written to keep up with new search engine algorithms.
Let’s use Google as the example as they are the king of search engines. When we type in Apple for example, it will return results that will include Apple computers, Granny smiths, green apples lets say. It doesnt really know what we are looking for. When it does return results, the first page results we all know are the most important, but they now use algorithms that bias the order of the results as they think fit, which could mean that things like Google+ content, that uses our entered keywords is first.
So the answer to the question is no.
Privacy and the search engine
To enable search engines to attempt to provide relevant information for it’s users, it records the searches that we use and then uses that information to direct advertisers to your search results and also to websites that use such services as Google Adsense. Think about it, how often do you see adverts that appear on websites that reflect your common search terms in Google?
Did you give permission to the search engine to do this? The answer is no.
How do we change the way we ReSearch the web?
Firstly let’s put the slightly negative approach above in perspective, without search engines we would be completely confused they provide an enormously valueable resource in finding content on the web. They have been battling with the shear size and growth of the Internet and we should all be eternally grateful for the work they have put in to make our browsing life easy.
The fact still remains we have to keep returning to the search engines, for information on the web. What if we could automate our searches, view the results graphically in our own personal profile page, have relevant results in an order that is not biased (apart from being the most relevant), and select if we would like to see advertising about our particular interests.
That is exactly what pruk2 digital communications have been researching for the last 10 years, but technology just hasnt been available that could understand the way we think, present it to the user in a useable manner, and not just re index the web.
The technology is now available and our project Yirika uses just that. The technology behind Intelagenta uses what is termed an intelligent personal agent. The project is within weeks of launch.
So how does Yirika work?
When a user signs up (which is free) they are provided with a profile page where they enter the things they want Intelagenta to find on the web. They will have two dashboards where the results are graphically displayed in a tile format. The two dashboards are ‘Personal Interests’ and ‘Work Interests’. The research into the project revealed that people like to keep their personal and business life separate on the web.
Once they have provided their search interests, their own Personal Intellagent Agent robot goes searching the web. It is not just looking for search keywords but is looking for relevant content according to your interest. It then builds your own personal Interest Network for that interest. It continues everyday (free account) to build up ‘your own database’ for that interest and displays any new content found on the personal or business dashboard.
Privacy is protected because the PIA only needs to know the interests and nothing else about the user. If the user is interested in advertising from companies related to that interests then they only need to check a box, to allow advertising.
The PIA then builds up a network about the users interest which over time becomes more and more relevant. The PIA will order the results in terms of relevancy. If the user wishes to tell the PIA that it should prioritise a particular website, then user can enter that website into the profile configuration page.
Yirika is not designed to replace the search engine, it is designed to provide a dashboard of common interest that save repetitive searches, by automating the search and providing personalised relevant information from the web. Search engines can be used for a quick search, however when more relevant and deeper searches done automatically and displayed graphically then Yirika provides the answer.
Yirika will launch soon, if you would like to be one of the first people to use Yirika, then you can be notified by email when its ready to go, or you can find out more about Yirika at yirika.com.
If you have any comments please fire away below.