The evolution of web searching

As part of some early Sunday morning reading, I’ve stumbled across a set of intriguing changes in the web searching field.

First, Google has decided to alter its algorithm to improve its search results by filtering out spam or content farm sites, reported the Wall Street Journal. With an article title as catching as “Google Revamps to Fight Cheaters,” I couldn’t resist reading the article to see what they were doing and what I could pass on to my students.  Overall, the content farms like eHow are part of the target meant to be banished from search results.  Also, abuses by companies like Overstock.com who rigged results in their favor and J.C. Penny who gamed holiday season search results for as many things possible.  Beyond this, new search engine companies like Blekko are giving users greater control to provide feedback, flag spam, and develop human-based results to provide higher quality results.

So what are the effects of this recent change?  Well, Search Engine Land blog has done some extensive work documenting and analyzing the stats of who has lost in the new Google ranking and by how much.  Looking at their results, I see many culprits of past student search results appear…

  • ezinearticles.com
  • yourdictionary.com
  • associatedcontent.com
  • brothersoft.com

So, it’ll be an interesting comparison what sorts of search results I get in this semester and quarter in comparison to previous ones and if the algorithmic changes make a large impact on quality web searching.

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