Search Engine Bigwigs And User Experience

It was interesting to read the impact of the search engine company and its philosophy on the user experience. Gord Hotchkiss has analyzed interviews with usability teams of the three bigwigs – Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. Gord also looks at the balance of user experience and monetization each of them are setting with. I am not sure if this can be used to verify which of these provides the most accurate results. Another part that is very well inferenced is about futures of the search engines.

Gord highlights following points out of the interviews:

  • Google worships relevancy, nothing can compromise it.
  • Yahoo! is worried about the other stake holder – the Yahoo advertiser, to uplift the revenues.
  • Microsoft is not dependent on revenues through search engine, however there is also no clear focus on relevancy.

Google does come out as a winner out of this. However, if there is so much importance to relevancy, I wonder why is there no clear and specific strategy to eliminate or at least reduce spamming and splogging. The problem is that the algorithm can judge only whether the content is relevant or not, not whether it is well intentioned, original or duplicate. I know the solution to this is far from easy, but this adversely affects relevancy, and should affect Google’s strategy the most. Should Google not focus on this to improve its relevancy?

In recent times even the others have caught up with it, there is no terrible difference between search results across these search engines. Even features like custom search engines, APIs and vertical searches are seen everywhere. The advantage that Google has right now is that of being the first to be the best. But it will have to hit the spammers if it wants to maintain the level of relevancy. There are also others that are coming up with new models. Google is experimenting, but the intention to deal with the bad guys is not apparent, nor is the effort visible.

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Abhijit Nadgouda
iface Consulting
+91 9819820312
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