July 28, 2008

Searching to Buy

Yes, yes, we all know that there are multiple wonderful offers online: cheaper, better, faster, in violation of the old engineering rule that you can only have two out of those three. But how do you find out what are those offers? How do you find out who is offering them?

Well, those lovely people at Shopping.com and Dealtime.co.uk have been able to work out how to help you there. For example, imagine that you were off looking to buy Lingerie. Try clicking through that to see the results you'll get: looking at it just now I got 50 pages with 30 entries each page.

That's enough Lingerie for even the most polyamourous man's harem, isn't it? And yes, you get a similar cornucopia of results for just about any other thing you might want to buy.

Certainly beats schlepping down Oxford Street, doesn't it?

July 28, 2008 in Search Engines | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Cuil.com is the latest of the new search engines. It's pronounced "cool", just in case you need to know.

The point is that it indexes many more pages than Google or any other engine: the ex-Googlers who run it say that they're indexing 120 billion pages rather than the mere 40 billion that Google does.

One thought is that while there may indeed be 120 billion pages, are there actually 120 billion interesting ones?

A start-up led by former star Google engineers on Sunday unveiled a new Web search service that aims to outdo the Internet search leader in size, but faces an uphill battle changing Web surfing habits.

Cuil Inc (pronounced "cool") is offering a new search service at www.cuil.com that the company claims can index, faster and more cheaply, a far larger portion of the Web than Google, which boasts the largest online index.

The would-be Google rival says its service goes beyond prevailing search techniques that focus on Web links and audience traffic patterns and instead analyzes the context of each page and the concepts behind each user search request.


Hmm, does that mean we'll have to change our keyword techniques? Hope not, it took long enough to learn these ones.

The search engine wars are heating up again with the public launch tonight  of Cuil (pronounced "cool").

The Menlo Park start-up behind the website, at  www.cuil.com, isn't trying to be a Google killer -- it's trying to reinvent search, said Anna Patterson, president and co-founder of Cuil.

She's an ex-Googler, the architect of the Web giant's TeraGoogle search index that launched in 2006. She joined Google in 2004 after her work on Recall, then the largest search engine with 12 billion pages, which she began programming during a difficult pregnancy. That feat spurred a bidding war among search engines for her services. (Note to moms: Microsoft does not allow breast-feeding in its lobby.)

As exciting as her three years at Google were, Patterson said she soon discovered she was an entrepreneur at heart.

The results are shown rather differrently too:

Cuil's search results may seem like a major departure for anyone used to Google's 10 blue links. Rather than showing results in a single column, Cuil displays them in several columns across the page, along with more lengthy snippets of text and thumbnail photographs related to the query.

To narrow their queries, users can click on automatically generated categories that appear on the results page.

Google's relevancy relies on its PageRank algorithm, which gauges the importance of a Web site based on the quality of Web sites linking to it. Cuil, however, looks only at the contents of individual Web pages - analyzes the concepts and context - without considering the links to those pages.

The strategy helps eliminate the problem of search engine spam, whereby sites game the system by linking to one another. Whether it opens the door to creating its own problems by giving preference to sites that are themselves spam remains to be seen.

Ah, yes, we are going to have to relearn keyword techniques. Sigh.

The full Cuil.com press release is here.

A little bit of testing shows that cuil.com has no entries at all for the search "worstall" while Google has 233,000. A little bit of a fail there I think.

July 28, 2008 in Search Engines | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

February 13, 2008

Doodle for Google

The Doodle for Google program has now actually made it to the US! Doodle for Google actually started in the UK:

Doodle4Google Competitions

The Doodle4Google competitions are British based, and are hosted every year. The competition is opened to students aged between 5 and 16 in the UK. There is usually a deadline, of which all submissions should be entered. Each doodle requires a title and a statement that is less than 60 words. The process of choosing a winner is split into different sections. After some time, the regional winners are announced and then the winning doodles go onto the Doodle4Google website, where the public get the opportunity to vote for the winner. The prize is a trip to the Google campus in California and the hosting of your doodle for 24 hours on the Google UK website.

There's also been an Australian version of Doodle for Google:

Australia celebrates its national day on January 26 with a swag of official events, and one of the 21st century's ultimate anniversary markers: a customized holiday homepage on the Google search engine.


The Web site will sport a Melbourne schoolgirl's doodle of a rusty outback shed and a kangaroo road-crossing sign on Saturday, after a 12-year-old's depiction of outback life won the Doodle 4 Google competition last year.


Drawn by Janelle San Juan, the shed and sign, common sights in the country's dry interior, were judged the most iconic by the man behind the cyber trend, "Google doodler" Kevin Hwang.


With just under a third of entries featuring indigenous animals such as koalas and kangaroos, the range of Down Under designs were fairly predictable.

And as above, the Doodle For Google program has now arrived in the US:

Google on Wednesday announced the launch of “Doodle 4 Google,” a competition that invites school children to design a Google logo inspired by the question, “What If ...?”

The winning student’s doodle will be displayed on the Google homepage on May 22, 2008; the champion “doodler” will also win a $10,000 college scholarship and a $25,000 technology grant for his/her school.

The “Doodle 4 Google” competition is open to U.S. students K-12.

Perhaps the most amusing thing is that entries to Doodle for Google will not be accepted by electronic mail....

Google is inviting students to design a "Doodle 4 Google" that will be featured on the search giant's site on May 22. Each school can submit six entries, which will be judged in categories based on the designer's age and region.

The theme is "What if...?"

The irony is that Google, the world's most powerful Internet company, won't accept any electronic submissions. "We're only accepting entries by mail; please don't email your doodles to us!,"

And if you'd like some examples of what a Google Doodle actually is, here's some from the man who has been preparing them for years.

And in other news, Google appears to be launching a cell phone:

February 13, 2008 in Search Engines | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 29, 2007


Quintura has a new application in their search engine. You can create a word cloud of your search once you've actually made a search on the Quintura engine. Like, for example, this, for my name.

That's all very well: and I'm overjoyed to see that Quintura picks up "wtf" as being associated with me. However, I'm not all that terribly certain that this is very useful. Still, it it interests you can create your own Quintura word clouds simply by going to the Quintura site.

October 29, 2007 in Search Engines | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 09, 2007

The answer to life, the universe, and everything

If you place "the answer to life, the universe, and everything" into Google it comes up with the answer: 42.

Well, it would, wouldn't it?

July 9, 2007 in Search Engines | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 10, 2007

Paris Hilton


"What’s with the heiress thing?”

“Well, I was reading some newspapers about yer woman going to jail. They say ‘Heiress Paris Hilton has been sentenced to 45 days in prison. I thought it was just a polite way of saying...

May 10, 2007 in Search Engines | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 05, 2007

Paris Hilton Jailed!

Your dose of must have celebrity news is that Paris Hilton has been jailed for 45 days for driving on a suspended licence.

The average Hilton hotel room offers a comfy bed and en suite bathroom. The average room in the women's jail in Lynwood, south Los Angeles, offers a lumpy cot and an en suite, open plan toilet.

For now, Paris Hilton will have to settle for the latter. A judge in Los Angeles yesterday sentenced the hotel heiress, part-time pop star and general celebrity to 45 days in prison for violating the terms of an earlier probation order.

The Guardian goes on to snark that with her experience she might make The Simple Life in Jail. Not all that sure about that. I'm sure that her home made video actually got more viewers than the TV show so perhaps we might end up with som slightly campy lesbo prisoner video? You know, sort of a mix between her greatest hit and Prisoner Cell Block H?

May 5, 2007 in Search Engines | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 24, 2007


Well, yes, I suppose this is an honour. Number one .co.uk Google result for "How to fuck him". In fact, number one Google result.

No, not, sadly, a step by step guide for the young and inexperienced maiden who wishes to alter her status to something less virginal.

Rather, an instruction set for what to do with the Home Secretary of the time, a certain Charles Clarke MP.

Looking further, number one google result for "fuck him".

Whoop whoop, eh?

March 24, 2007 in Search Engines | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 21, 2007

More Googlery

Number one result for "Cameron idiot". Number one of 1.1 million results.

Pride doesn't begin to describe it.

February 21, 2007 in Search Engines | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 16, 2007

Random Google Search

It appears that this blog is Number 10 in the Google results for "John Edwards Stupid".

I'm so proud.

February 16, 2007 in Search Engines | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack