07 August 2007

An algorithm idea for Yahoo and MSN Live
Every major search engine has teams that test specific keywords or sets of keywords. When the existing algorithm does not yield good results for a certain keyword it is tweaked to improve the results. But changing the algorithm could send results haywire for a whole range of other keywords. Is there any standard keyword or set of keywords that can be used to test the algorithm whenever it is changed?

I like to think there is, and it is a search that I keep doing everyday because it is related to the websites I run. All of them are search directories or search engines so I keep testing searches like "search engine UAE" or "search engine India" to see how my sites are faring.

If Yahoo or MSN Live want to improve their algorithms they would do well to test them using these keywords. Right now their results are quite abysmal. Searching for "search engine" followed by the name of a country on Google yields a high percentage of search engines or directories in the top results, but for Yahoo and MSN Live, the results are almost always dominated by search engine optimization companies.

That is really the test of the algorithm. The SEO company pages will have the words "search engines" all over them. How should those pages be excluded so that only search engine pages figure in the results? The answer obviously lies in giving high importance to the text on anchor tags linking to those pages.

The moment Yahoo and MSN figure that out they may get around to giving Google a run for its money. Right now they are nowhere near doing it.

Category: Search-Engines

Philip George
Understanding Keynes to go beyond him

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