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post 37 on Sunday 24th June 2007 at 07:33

Do (Google) Machines Like Flowers?

Mahalo is Hawaiian for thank you...and it likes flowers...For the last six months or so, Google's dominance has had me worried. Just recently, Google has left me feeling like there must be something else. Anyone who has ever done even the smallest amount of search engine optimisation, submission, or following, will surely know how important it is that Google is appeased. But can you send Google a bunch of flowers and hope it takes kindly to you?

No - the machine is too big for that. And machines don't like flowers.

And that's what it is - a dirty great big shed-load of code, algorithms, and other machine-based fluff. The machine has the final say.

In 2001, when the internet was still in nappies, and search engines must surely have been the simplest of creatures, I remember thinking "so where's the front door to all this access?" Resultantly, Google has surely has been my front door since a friend introduced us way back then.

And since then, well, their interminable market dominance and the reliability of their search has had me coming back for more for six years. They have the clever search tech, they have Page Ranking, and they have Link Popularity. They no doubt have millions of search algorithm nuances to understand the content of the web.

But Google is like the supermarket of web search. It has thousands of products on its shelves. All are neatly put away and labelled. It is mass production; machine generated, and leaves me craving the taste of something human! I want the shopkeeper to point me to the product he himself tried last week and thought I would enjoy! The shopkeeper knows I don't like sifting through buckets of spam and adverts. You can't fool the shopkeeper with black hat SEO tricks.

Enter human based search: "editorialised searching" where human editors get the final say! Craving something else? Try mahalo.com, the world's first human-powered search. What with the trend for social networking and user provided content, it's a good business model on which to base a new search engine. Searches have guides, discussions, and a shed load of cool stuff. Try it!

What will Google do, then? Will the big machine-dog be fast enough to roll out out a human powered search? "I don’t think we’re ideologically bound to only computers, only algorithms" they say. I'd say they're pretty much bound to computers wouldn't you?? Their aim of categorising the entire web prevents them from making their searches human-powered in any hurry: their own success prevents it. Maybe I am wrong. We will see. :) But hooray for humans!

tags: [ online ] [ search engines ]