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View Full Version : Is Googol The Last Word in Search Engines?


tsunamisurfer
06-14-2001, 06:14 PM
When I need to find something fast, I rely on Googol, not on Yahoo! or MSN or Mamma or Northern Light or others. If I don't find what I'm looking for from Googol, I generally consider it a lost cause.

But should I? Just how exhaustive is Googol for non-academic subjects?

BTW, what is your favorite search engine--and why?

TheLoadedDog
06-14-2001, 06:30 PM
I've often wanted to ask this question too, but more in terms of, "What's the deal with Dopers and Google already? It's a great search engine, but do I get booted out of the club if I say, 'Here's a great thing I found on Altavista?'".

I used to use Altavista because it seems to be very comprehensive, but it's also slow and unwieldy. I can't stand Yahoo.

Before I get accused of heresy, I have to say Google is my favourite, with Search Bastard (http://www.searchbastard.com) a close second.

Phlosphr
06-14-2001, 06:55 PM
Yes Yes we all love google. It is our helper it is our friend, but it only skims the top of what is really out there. A typicale search engine only skims the top of the Web. What these search engines don't see is known as the "deep" or "invisible Web" The deep web contains nearly 550 Billion documents, where as the the surface only contains around 1 billion. I know Google advertises as searching just over a Billion pages, this is true.

The deep web consists of data that search engines usually miss, including PDF files and streaming audio and video and things contained in data bases etc..etc..

Searching deep web directories is not as easy as searching with a search engine and may take a user some time to get used to it. Here are some deep web searching tools that for the experiences are quite invaluable.

Direct Search: gwis2.circ.gwu.edu/%7egprice/direct.htm

InvisibleWeb.com: http://www.invisibleweb.com

InfoMine: infomine.ucr.edu/search.phtml

Happy searching...and OH Google God your still awsome

Phlosphr
06-14-2001, 06:56 PM
oops I forgot to link direct search and infomine, so just copy and paste :)

KneadToKnow
06-14-2001, 07:01 PM
Originally posted by tsunamisurfer
I rely on Googol
Which leaves me dying to know how you can possibly depend very heavily upon a web site who's name (and thus, presumably, URL) you can't spell ... :confused:

:D

Arken
06-14-2001, 07:01 PM
Do you use Gogol to search for souls, noses and overcoats? ;)

gazpacho
06-14-2001, 08:14 PM
Stangley enough http://www.googol.com has a search engine of sorts. It looks like it was a web page for some guy and then google came along and he had to add a greeting page to tell you to goto google.

Fear Itself
06-14-2001, 10:46 PM
Originally posted by TheLoadedDog
I can't stand Yahoo.

Surprise!! Yahoo's search engine is powered by Google; has been for over a year. Look in the top left corner. (http://google.yahoo.com/bin/query?p=%22straight+dope%22&hc=1&hs=6)

tsunamisurfer
06-14-2001, 10:48 PM
Originally posted by KneadToKnow
Originally posted by tsunamisurfer
I rely on Googol
Which leaves me dying to know how you can possibly depend very heavily upon a web site who's name (and thus, presumably, URL) you can't spell ... :confused:

:D

a website isn't a "who," knead.

P.S. Thinking "whose" instead? Still wrong.

(meow)

Una Persson
06-14-2001, 10:54 PM
Originally posted by Phlosphr
The deep web consists of data that search engines usually miss, including PDF files and streaming audio and video and things contained in data bases etc..etc..


Google does search into PDF files, BTW. It has resulted in a 20x increase in my ability to find info in government documents.

eunoia
06-14-2001, 11:00 PM
Originally posted by Arken
Do you use Gogol to search for souls, noses and overcoats? ;)

This kinda stuff is what makes straightdope.com great.

Some Guy
06-14-2001, 11:20 PM
likewise, www.ggogle.com (http://www.ggogle.com) has a direct link to google (and yes, they probably make a bunch off of ad impressions). Same with Yaho! (http://www.yaho.com)

I used to use SavvySearch, back when it was an experimental engine running at the U. of Colorado. I have yet to see a search engine out there that comes close to the depth you could get from an intentionally wide search. Sadly, the commercialized version got progressively crappier, until it wasn't worth using. Google and Altavista are my top choices, but I definitely get better results from Google.

TheLoadedDog
06-15-2001, 01:54 AM
Originally posted by Fear Itself
Originally posted by TheLoadedDog
I can't stand Yahoo.

Surprise!! Yahoo's search engine is powered by Google; has been for over a year. Look in the top left corner. (http://google.yahoo.com/bin/query?p=%22straight+dope%22&hc=1&hs=6)

I don't quite get this. The link you gave me, Fear Itself, is quite obviously some sort of Google-powered Yahoo search, but when I go to the main Yahoo page and search from there, I see no menton of Google. The search you gave me had a URL starting with http://google.yahoo.com (which I'd never heard of until you gave me the link), but when I typed just that into my browser, I was redirected to the Yahoo homepage. WTF?

Anyway, Yahoo's search engine, Googlified or not, is probably quite powerful, but the thing I don't like about the original one is the way the results are presented. Your Googlified one seems a bit better.

galt
06-15-2001, 02:13 AM
I don't quite get it either. Before visiting the link that Fear Itself provided, yahoo searches did not go to the "Powered by Google" results page (I verified this on another machine), but now they do. It must be either depositing a cookie on my machine that indicates that the google results page should be used.

But wait, I just did another search and got a results page which doesn't say "powered by google". Perhaps it depends on which engine gives better results?

galt
06-15-2001, 02:16 AM
It must be either depositing a cookie on my machine that indicates that the google results page should be used.

That should have been "It must be either depositing a cookie ... or remembering my IP address".

Lockfist
06-15-2001, 02:34 AM
Is Googol [sic] The Last Word in Search Engines?

Yes.

black rabbit
06-15-2001, 02:44 AM
Yahoo pays Google a fee for every web search that Google serves to Yahoo; the aforementioned web search, however, is only served if the search doesn't result in any hits in Yahoo's directory.

I'd like to pretend that I use the open directory project (http://dmoz.org) for directory searches rather than Yahoo, but I'd be lying.


Just what the hell does dmoz stand for, anyway?

TheLoadedDog
06-15-2001, 02:50 AM
That makes sense. Thanks, black455.

black rabbit
06-15-2001, 02:59 AM
Originally posted by black455


Just what the hell does dmoz stand for, anyway?


"Copyright 1998-2001 Netscape"

Directory MOZilla perhaps? Maybe.

TLD: No prob. Actually, I think that external searches are Google's major source of revenue. Can't remember where I read it, though.

Measure for Measure
06-15-2001, 04:07 AM
Finding Information on the Internet, A Tutorial (http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/FindInfo.html).

Crusoe
06-15-2001, 04:24 AM
Google is particularly popular because it claims to have the edge in the number of pages indexed. I was a diehard user of Raging ( http://www.raging.com/ ), which is AltaVista's cut-down cousin, and FASTSearch, ( http://www.alltheweb.com/ ), but some test searches on Google got me more results.

A good source for comparative information is Search Engine Watch (http://www.searchenginewatch.com/). According to them:

Google is a special case. It has indexed 705 million pages, but because of the way Google uses link data, it can actually return listings for sites it has never visited. This gives it coverage of over 1.3 billion pages...

Search Engine Showdown (http://www.searchengineshowdown.com/) claims that Google is ahead, with an estimated 625m pages indexed (700m claimed) against 539m indexed (607m claimed) from the nearest competitor, FASTSearch.

London_Calling
06-15-2001, 07:55 AM
With all due respect to the above posters who've shared good information, I tend to take a different approach.

If you just want a fast and dirty search then, sure, Google is good. However, it's a search engine and, as such, highly susceptible to result manipulation (by people wanting to promote their web pages) while also, still, contains too many dead, old and poor quality pages.

It's important to remember that with search engines there remains little effective quality control as people submit their pages and they go straight into the database. Also, your keyword searches tend to generate a lot of false leads.

The distinction I draw is with Directories such as Yahoo and, more particularly, the Open Directory Project (http://dmoz.org/)(ODP). Directories are quality led in as much as all the content is checked by human editors before being put in the database.

Some people don't quite understand how to drill down through the Directory categories, others prefer to use the fast and dirty search box: Sometimes speed and quality aren't comfortable bedfellows.

Currently the ODP contains:

2,676,374 sites - 37,660 editors - 378,646 categories (about double that of Yahoo). That's whole sites, not pages - as is the above quoted Google number. Also, as said, there's little or no rubbish in the database.

I like to use it when I can because it's a volunteer led organisation the editors are unpaid and the philosophy non-corporate (in the spirit of the original 'open source' culture of the web).

I guess you choose which engine or which Directory to use according to the subject matter of the search.

Yossarian
06-15-2001, 10:14 AM
Elsevier Scientific (http://www.elsevier.nl) has a science-only search engine that finds both web sites and peer-reviewed articles available via the internet:

http://www.scirus.com

Some articles aren't accessible if you're not logging in through an academic or government network that subscribes, though, but you can still get the cites and actually walk (gasp!) to the library.

Papermache Prince
06-15-2001, 11:21 AM
An overview of search engines can be found at:

http://www.zdnet.com/searchiq/

I like the features at Vivisom: sorting into categories and the option to open a result in a new window or preview in the list itself.

http://vivisimo.com/

To search for news stories:

http://w.moreover.com/

Why A Duck
06-15-2001, 11:54 AM
Yet another reason to love Google:

Bork-Bork-Bork! (http://www.google.com/intl/xx-bork/)

Sofa King
06-15-2001, 12:54 PM
As a matter of fact, Googol is

100000000000000000000-
00000000000000000000-
00000000000000000000-
00000000000000000000-
00000000000000000000

times better than the next search engine.

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

If you'd like a detailed explanation as to why Google and "hypersearching" is the schnitzit, you might be interested in this Scientific American article (http://www.sciam.com/1999/0699issue/0699raghavan.html).

romansperson
06-15-2001, 04:36 PM
I like Dogpile myself:

http://www.dogpile.com

It's a meta-search engine (it searches other search engines), and its reach is wide rather than deep, though if you are getting good results from one of the engines, you can ask to see more results. If I'm looking for some obscure thing it can usually get me going in the right direction.

Plus I just really like the name :)

friedo
06-15-2001, 05:59 PM
Originally posted by Fear Itself
Originally posted by TheLoadedDog
I can't stand Yahoo.

Surprise!! Yahoo's search engine is powered by Google; has been for over a year. Look in the top left corner. (http://google.yahoo.com/bin/query?p=%22straight+dope%22&hc=1&hs=6)

Yahoo's search is powered by the Google engine, but the "real" Google doesn't have 80,000 links cluttering up the front page to annoy the hell out of me.

Remember the good ol' days, when Yahoo was just a logo and an input box, like Google is now?

dropzone
06-15-2001, 06:02 PM
I can only find myself on Google and Altavista.

whitetho
06-15-2001, 07:30 PM
Originally posted by London_Calling
If you just want a fast and dirty search then, sure, Google is good. However, it's a search engine and, as such, highly susceptible to result manipulation (by people wanting to promote their web pages) while also, still, contains too many dead, old and poor quality pages.
I'm going to respectfully disagree here. Because it is largely based on the links it finds to pages, and also superior analysis of page organization, Google is largely immune to manipulation. The top listed pages tend to be very high quality -- just do a search on any topic you know a lot about, and it's almost certain that the top choices will be the among the best on the web. (When you do a search on radio history my page is listed first, so I admit I'm a little biased). And Google handles the dead links/down server problem by including a cached copy of the page as it was when it spidered the site.
It's important to remember that with search engines there remains little effective quality control as people submit their pages and they go straight into the database. Also, your keyword searches tend to generate a lot of false leads. Again Google is a lot more sophisticated than that, because it anaylzes the links and other pages which point to the site. Also, Google is a lot better than most search engines -- this is especially true of meta searchers -- about not quietly mixing paid sites with the "real" ones.

dropzone
06-15-2001, 08:27 PM
Google doesn't seem to have updated its links since it started. I'm getting more dead ones and an awful lot of stale ones.

phartizan
06-16-2001, 09:50 AM
If not "whose", then what? Whats? Who's wrong now (I'm dying to know)?
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by KneadToKnow

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by tsunamisurfer
I rely on Googol
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Which leaves me dying to know how you can possibly depend very heavily upon a web site who's name (and thus, presumably, URL) you can't spell ...


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


a website isn't a "who," knead.

P.S. Thinking "whose" instead? Still wrong.

(meow)

KneadToKnow
06-16-2001, 10:14 AM
Originally posted by phartizan
If not "whose", then what? Whats? Who's wrong now (I'm dying to know)?
To say it grammatically, I probably should have said:
Which leaves me dying to know, how can you possibly depend very heavily upon a web site the name (and thus, presumably, URL) of which you can't spell
Of course, to keep tsunamisurfer happy, I probably should have just kept my mouth shut. After all, I'm sure nobody else noticed the spelling error besides me. :rolleyes:

One of these days I'll learn that a :D is no guarantee that the ribbee will understand they are being ribbed.

mongrel_8
06-16-2001, 10:43 AM
Originally posted by dropzone
Google doesn't seem to have updated its links since it started. I'm getting more dead ones and an awful lot of stale ones.

I'm not sure if this is what you are talking about but when I use Google and sometimes click directly on a link it has an error opening it. However, if I click cached the same link will open up fine.

elfkin477
06-16-2001, 11:26 AM
I don't like google very much.

I use engines in this order:
1. start on Yahoo! if I don't find what I want
2. search on Altavista if I don't find what I want
3. Search on Dogpile and/or google.

I usually don't get as far as step 3.

Alan Smithee
06-16-2001, 11:47 AM
It is perfectly correct to use whose to refer to a thing. I used to think it wasn't, too, but I was wrong.

Damn, now you'll be asking for a cite....

phartizan
06-16-2001, 12:02 PM
quote:
Originally posted by KneadToKnow
To say it grammatically, I probably should have said:

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Which leaves me dying to know, how can you possibly depend very heavily upon a web site the name (and thus, presumably, URL) of which you can't spell
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Of course, to keep tsunamisurfer happy, I probably should have just kept my mouth shut. After all, I'm sure nobody else noticed the spelling error besides me.

Actually, I wondered about the spelling error, too, as did those overcoat & nose people. But "whose" can mean "of which" in the sense of "a possessive adjective corresponding in meaning to the relative pronoun 'which'" (according to Webster's 3rd New International Dictionary).

Looking up "whose" and "of which" with google got old pretty quickly.

Lumpy
06-16-2001, 03:45 PM
Is Google The Last Word in Search Engines?

No, eventually there will be googleplex. :)

tsunamisurfer
06-16-2001, 06:19 PM
Originally posted by Alan Smithee
It is perfectly correct to use whose to refer to a thing. I used to think it wasn't, too, but I was wrong.

Damn, now you'll be asking for a cite....

Actually, at one time, it wasn't.

But then, that's not the point, old boy. No, the real point is that when one makes a major gaffe in the opening post, rather than subsequently admitting to it and thus losing face, it's much easier to counterattack, even if the substance of the counterattack is weak and irrelevant and fools absolutely nobody. Afterward, you can only hope that the thread disappears into the ether which, this very post, of course, makes quite impossible.

P.S. Somebody has GOT to do something about that idiotic smiling face, Knead. Tweak it somehow. Add a goatee or dreads. Maybe a beret. Those idiotic buck teeth really freak me out.

capacitor
06-16-2001, 06:30 PM
I like Google because "dumb motherfucker" still points to a hotlink to George Bush's web site.

No Bones
06-16-2001, 08:45 PM
iLor is a front end to Google that allows more answers to come back, and has better navigation to view results without losing your place (opens new windows).

KneadToKnow
06-17-2001, 08:02 AM
Originally posted by tsunamisurfer
Somebody has GOT to do something about that idiotic smiling face, Knead. Tweak it somehow. Add a goatee or dreads. Maybe a beret. Those idiotic buck teeth really freak me out.
It's not a beret, they're not dreads, and IANAJ, but how about this: ;j

:p

vl_mungo
06-17-2001, 06:52 PM
Yeah google is pretty good, but I rely more often on
http://www.hotbot.com
It has the best search interface out there. You can specify all sorts of parameters, and rather than getting a heap of useless sites, you can really narrow things down.
The Open Directory Project (http://www.dmoz.org), as mentioned above is also excellent.

racinchikki
06-17-2001, 07:14 PM
NO no no. The last word in "seach engines" is ENGINES! Didn't anyone learn anything from the three words in the English language that end in -gry?

TheLoadedDog
06-17-2001, 07:23 PM
Originally posted by racinchikki
NO no no. The last word in "seach engines" is ENGINES! Didn't anyone learn anything from the three words in the English language that end in -gry?

Nurse!

;)

Alan Smithee
06-19-2001, 01:17 AM
Thanks, phartizan! Saved me the trouble of looking it up myself. I went away for the weekend and came back thinking, "Great! Now I'm going to have to search through on-line dictionaries and grammer guides untill I come up with a cite, or those Teeming Millions will never let me forget it!"
Originally posted by tsunamisurfer
Actually, at one time, it wasn't.
So maybe when I thought it was wrong, it was! :D

Chronolicht
06-19-2001, 05:54 AM
Gogol stood under the tree and waited.

DVous Means
06-19-2001, 10:09 AM
For what it's worth, I use Metacrawler for my searches. Not only because I have always got reasonable results from it, but also because it searches the the major engines such as Google, Alta Vista, Yahoo, Look Smart etc.

DVous Means
06-19-2001, 10:27 AM
For what it's worth, I use Metacrawler for my searches. Not only because I have always got reasonable results from it, but also because it searches the the major engines such as Google, Alta Vista, Yahoo, Look Smart etc.