uff.. not again!!
Search engines, one of the most discussed topics when it comes to internet :p. And yes am going to discuss on it again with state of the art in it.
Google not the poineers in it, but still poineers in the way of organizing the web in a way that one can search to get what (s)he wants. Yahoo, MSN, askjeeves are other big names in the same field. With ever increasing internet growth, everyone of them is trying to cope up with the large number of web pages build everyday. Everyone is building more tools, incorporating more features into their search facility to attract more users like toolbars etc.
In this feat, Yahoo sometime back said that the pages they are searching are around 19 billion i.e. arnd 2.5 times the google engine shows on their homepage. Google in reply to this removed the no. of pages they are querying from their main page and said that what matters is the quality of results and not quantity (and even if one considers the quantity then one can always match the no. of results returned on yahoo vs google).
MSN on the other hand is trying to beat the google with the way we discussed earlier, and even talks are going on. Here is link to earlier article (i lost a newer one :( )
While big players in this market are fighting for attracting more users via these _useless_ ways rather than trying to improve the quality of search results and providing the users what he wants and not what these engines want to give. Rather than some context based optimizations (or SEO's), I have not read any article since long that anyone of them is working on "invisible web" or even trying to ways to access or crawl it or anyone has some cutting edge technology for the context based search. There are some new startups in search field providing context-based search results but the result list is so small that one cannot rely on them fully.
Vivismo which is their since long, a automatic categorization tool organizes search results into meaningful categories without requiring any preprocessing of documents. Didnot got much success because of the small number of the results that are returned to the user. The categories formed here are more less depend on the various meaning of the search word and/or the various attributes the search phrase may have.
Then, their is KartOO a flash based online search tool which provides a new and interactive kind of experience dividing the search results into various categories. Interesting part is categories are formed based on the categorization of the results rather then some pre-defined taxonomies or meanings.
Grokker is another engine in the market that uses yahoo search power with java technology to categorize the search results in small circles inside a big circle (representing the whole set). Here small circles represents the subsets with some results belonging to that category. The results here are combination of the above two approaches. Where the process is sort of recursive when u enter one of the categories u choose.
The problem with last two is that they provide very few results, so can be used only when one wants some specific information about some topic or field.
But there is new search engine in the market namely, Wink, which is an folksonomy based search engine. Folkosonomy (tagging in lay man langauge) is current approach of categorization showing high acceptance in web 2.0 era. Wink other than using google search API's allows users to tag and rank the search results as per the their choice and then when someone else search for "similar" keyword other than google results, these user driven results are also shown to users.
you can even rank (0-5) and tag the results. I think these options were also used to be there in early search engines. Anyways nice work and cool interface.