DevHints

Archive for the ‘MSN’ Category

Search engines have come to a point where their creators are too busy with their heads in the clouds that they aren’t focusing on what made they successful. It seems that the big three (Google, MSN, and Yahoo) are obsessed with finding new avenues for revenue–perfectly understandable from a business perspective. The problem is that they are letting this affect their continued efforts on improving search technology.

Sure, Google has changed it’s algorithm plenty of times. Yahoo has done it’s fair share of updating search technology. Heck, Microsoft rebuilt MSN search from the ground up twice in the last year. Despite these changes, the overall system remains the virtually unchanged for the last 5 years.

Before Sergey and Larry had the brilliance to switch to lower-cost machines, introduce page-rank, and distribute the database across multiple machines, there wasn’t anything fantastic about search. Frankly, it sucked.

For a while, the new systems really kicked butt. People new the the web could find what they were looking for, so traffic on the web increased…a lot. In fact, traffic increased so much that businesses started taking considerable interest. Everybody wanted to be on the first page of results, and it led to the birth of what we casually refer to as search engine optimization (SEO).

Though people fail to realize it, SEO is the evil enemy of search. It’s aim is to improve the ranking of a website in a search by exploiting the methods the search engines use to rank results. It’s become so bad that you can search for practically anything and have at least 3-4 of the results on any page come out totally irrelevant.

It’s time for the engines to step up and start introducing some new technology instead of making calendars, buying photo and video websites, and making sure everybody and their mom has 3 email accounts. If we don’t, the convenience that the web once offered will diminish, and as hard as it is to believe, people will switch to the tried-and-true methods for many things. This will, for sure, decrease traffic on the web.

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