Build Date: Thu Jul 18 20:30:04 2024 UTC

Did you know I did a google search the other day for 'alcoholic programmers' and nothing came back??? Who are they trying to kid?
-- Mr. Bad

Web Search Engines Are Falling Down on the Job!

by El Snatcher

1999-07-07 18:18:38

Scientists say that all of the search engines -- AltaVista, Google, Excite, etc., etc., -- have absolutely MISERABLE performance, and they are getting WORSE. Not a single engine has indexed more than 16% of the Web's estimated 800 million pages.

Even when you combine the results of all the major search engines together, they only cover approximately 40% of the 15 terabytes of data available on the web.

How are you supposed to even do a search like that?! Metacrawler and Dogpile, etc., aren't comprehensive enough. You would have to write your own search tools or something! And that would make you CRAZY!

When the same scientists (researchers at NEC) looked at search engines in 1997, coverage was significantly BETTER. Last time around, some search engines managed to cover as much as a third of the web. So basically, the web has been growing so fast, and getting so OBESE, that the search engines have not been able to keep up for one reason or another...

Meanwhile, HotBot, Excite, Lycos, etc., keep adding new gadgets and features, and redesigning their interfaces and home pages.

AltaVista, for instance, recently added "paid listings" (read: bribes to skew search results) and they redid their home page again this month. That's another thing that the study points out -- search engines are badly BIASED in favor of commercial stuff in the United States. They don't index stuff at universities (.edu) or in Canadia (.ca) as much. So "paid listings" are probably not going to help matters there.

Maybe the search engines should try concentrating on COVERAGE. Barry Rubinson, AltaVista's VP of Engineering, says their index currently contains only 150 million pages. Now AltaVista has a a new "Search Freshness Guarantee," reminiscent of Budweiser's "Born On Dating," which promises that links are only a month old at most. That's great, but how are they going to live up to their stated goal of indexing the ENTIRE WEB?

I mean, GAR!! If you search for "+Pigdog +DiCaprio" NO RESULTS COME BACK. We have told them to index our "Leonardo DiCaprio Exposed As A Freemason!" article a hundred times!

To be fair, AltaVista has been going through some tumultuous times, being sold on the auction block and whatnot, and I don't mean to just pick on them...

Netscape, for another example, just redesigned their search engine, too. It now uses Google instead of Excite, and it has some sort of voodoo shit from "Smart Browsing" thrown in.

Crapola Engine, Northern Lights, supposedly has the most comprehensive index. I just tried a search for "Pigdog" on it, and the whole thing timed out (Uh, great).

The results of this search engine study are published in an article in "Nature." So I'm not making this up. These search engines are quite impotent.

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.

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