Search Engines

WPopac Gets Googled

A discussion on Web4Lib last month raised the issue of Google indexing our library catalogs. My answer spoke of the huge number of searches being done in search engines every day and the way that people increasingly expect that anything worth finding can be found in Google. There were doubts about the effectiveness of such […] » about 800 words

Information Behavior

| It was more than a year ago that <a href="http://orweblog.oclc.org/archives/000540.html" title="Lorcan Dempsey's weblog: Eat your spinach, it's good for you ...">Lorcan Dempsey</a> pointed out this bit from <a href="http://chronicle.com/prm/weekly/v51/i18/18b01301.htm">The Chronicle</a>: <blockquote>Librarians should not assume that college students welcome their help in doing research online. The typical freshman assumes that she is already an expert user of the Internet, and her daily experience leads her to believe that she can get what she wants online without having to undergo a training program. Indeed, if she were to use her library's Web site, with its dozens of user interfaces, search protocols, and limitations, she might with some justification conclude that it is the library, not her, that needs help understanding the nature of electronic information retrieval.</blockquote> » about 300 words

The Library vs. Search Engine Debate, Redux

A while ago I reported on the Pew Internet Project‘s November 2005 report on increased use of search engines. Here’s what I had to say at the time: On an average day, about 94 million American adults use the internet; 77% will use email, 63% will use a search engine. Among all the online activities […] » about 1000 words

More Trends In Online Behavior From Pew Internet

It turns out that the Pew Internet and American Life Project sort of keeps a blog. Here are some points from a November 2004 post by project director Lee Rainie regarding “surprising, strange, and wonderful data:” The vast majority of most Internet users (80%) and many non-users (about 40%) expect that they will be able […] » about 400 words

OCLC Report: Libraries vs. Search Engines

So, the report was released Monday, and it’s actually titled Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources (2005), but the part I’m highlighting here is the results of the question that asked users to compare their experiences with search engines against their experiences with libraries. Here’s the quesiton: Satisfaction with the Librarian and the Search Engine […] » about 200 words

Pew Internet Report: Search Engines Gain Ground

According to the recently released Pew Internet report on online activities: On an average day, about 94 million American adults use the internet; 77% will use email, 63% will use a search engine. Among all the online activities tracked, including chatting and IMing, reading blogs or news, banking, and buying, not one of them includes […] » about 100 words

What’s In A Web Search?

Sometimes the answer isn’t as interesting as the question. Consider this note from Yahoo Buzz:

On Sunday, the day before the nomination became official, [searches for] Alito sprang up a sudden 320%.

Did searches for Alito spike on tips White House staffers, or were White House Staffers vetting their nominee via the search engines?

Is Search Rank Group-think?

Way back in April 1997, Jakob Nielsen tried to educate us on Zipf Distributions and the power law, and their relationship to the web. This is where discussions of the Chris Anderson’s Long Tail start, but the emphasis is on the whole picture, not just the many economic opportunities at the end of the tail. […] » about 400 words

Now Search Lamson Library at A9.com

A9, the search engine from Amazon.com, does some pretty interesting things that libraries should be aware of. First, any library considering a metasearch product should look at what can be done for free, and second, libraries should take a look at the OpenSearch technology that drives it. So now, when searching for Harry Potter, you’ll […] » about 200 words