Six impossible things before breakfast.

A library science student's perspective on life, the universe, and everything.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Likely Search

One of the things I've enjoyed discussing the most this semester has been the subject of information retrieval and the different philosophies and corresponding technical methods used to achieve IR. Google's PageRank algorithm of course features heavily in such discussions, but not everyone thinks Google's invention is the best tool for returning search results. Some sites, like alternate search engine blekko, advocate human curation over computer programs, a careful but time consuming method that may not be entirely realistic on the grand scale of Internet searches.

Edward J. Black discusses another way that human beings can be involved in the determination of search engine results: through the content they share and the pages they "like" via social media networks. While surveys show that people are definitely heavily influenced by shared content, it's debatable whether integrating social data from sites like Facebook will actually improve the quality of search results. Regardless, it’s becoming more and more true that “today’s webmasters need to do more than just optimize their websites to rank well in search results; they need to facilitate connections with a user’s social network.” Read the full article, “Likes are the New Links,” on the HuffPost Tech Blog.

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