A better search engine than Google?
I wrote this post a while back. The content can still be relevant but the information I've linked to may no longer be available.
Del.icio.us is a well-known website that enables its users to post and share websites that they like. It’s a public bookmarking service or “a collection of favorites – yours and everyone else’s”. In some ways, it’s a better search engine than Google.
What?! You cannot be serious! Surely, Google is the master of all it surveys. It’s the ‘king of search’ and everyone else is trying to catch up. Right? Well, that’s also true and Google (and Yahoo or MSN) give great search results for every conceivable search term that you can think of. Generally, they give comprehensive results – but that’s also a weakness.
This is because it can be difficult to assess what is the most useful website in the search result listings. OK, I found xxx (insert large number here) websites with my search result term. I can refine the search but I also need a quick way of assessing the most useful websites in the list. Most useful in this sense means to the average person. That’s me.
That’s where Del.icio.us comes in. I can do the same search at Del.icio.us and come up with a smaller subset of results. The results show me how many people have bookmarked each website in the list. It’s a quick way of assessing the most useful/interesting search results.
Digg is a website that uses a similar approach for technology-based news items. In this case, items chosen by users appear on the front page.
Sure there may be some limitations to the approach because Del.icio.us covers a specific subset of web users and their interests but perhaps this is the ‘second generation’ of search?
In future, will we see Google include this kind of ranking system in its results?