9 June 2010

Yahoo to Yandex…Search engines. How did we survive without them?

A dozen or so years ago, some fledgling search engines became the rage on the internets. Yahoo! offered all kinds of seemingly cool things…free email, chatrooms, messenger all from a pretty cool interface. Many people, your humble typist included, made Yahoo! our home page. And why not? I could get my mail, read a few news service stories, search to my heart’s discontent, and do it all from a nice tidy interface. Life.Was.Good.

All descendants of Archie ~ WebCrawler, Inktomi, AltaVista, Magellan, Infoseek, Northern Light, Excite ~ crawled the growing Web and indexed the sites so foolish users like me could find almost anything we wanted, and many things we didn’t. Yahoo! offered a full web portal and it was cool. Ask Jeeves was pretty cool too, as was DogPile.

A few years later I started dabbling in creating websites and always noticed the lack of my sites showing up on these searches. I added keywords, metatags, various kinds of crap to try to get my stuffs to show up. I remember when my first website was a front page listing. Yes! I had arrove. Then along came Google.

Google was cool. It still kinda is. I’ll get to that later. It brought along an algorithm-based weighted search which dumped my pages to the depths of the search, and that’s not their fault. They also brought in advertising, and those who participated seemed to get higher listings. Imagine that. They serve up something like 82% of all searches on the internets. They also have a nice new feature called “Web History.” Web History. From Google:

With Web History, you’ll be able to:
View and manage your web activity.
You know that great web site you saw online and now can’t find? From now on, you can. With Web History, you can view and search across the full text of the pages you’ve visited, including Google searches, web pages, images, videos and news stories. You can also manage your web activity and remove items from your web history at any time.

Get the search results most relevant to you.
Web History helps deliver more personalized search results based on the things you’ve searched for on Google and the sites you’ve visited. You might not notice a big impact on your search results early on, but they should steadily improve over time the more you use Web History.

Follow interesting trends in your web activity.
Which sites do you visit frequently? How many searches did you do between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.? Web History can tell you about these and other interesting trends in your web activity.

I’m not sure I am so comfortable with letting Google store my browsing history. I don’t do many illicit things any more, but having this kind of information stored means the chances of it being seen by anyone becomes greater. Imagine going to a job interview, and the interrogator can pull up the last 50 websites you visited. Hmmm. Hope they like porn.

The other issue I am having is the loaded responses from the search. Google, Yahoo!, et al., are major players in the new Corporate Government of America. Controlling the media has been rule #1 in a overthrow, and since the 80s we have seen a massive corruption of the media as we once knew it. The Internets are the last frontier of free ideas. Now when one corporate partner controls 82% of internets searches, it is pretty easy for them to manipulate the answers to show what they want to show us. At first it was ad based. Now, who knows? I do see a lot of right-wing blogs listed whenever I search for old news stories. And Yahoo!…they want to be a big player in delivering news. Everything with a slant.

I found a new search engine. It is called “Yandex.com.” From Russia with love.

Filed under:La Voz del Norte — la voz @ 0:00 am
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