Ben Langhinrichs

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September, 2003
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Genii Weblog


Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.


Wed 3 Sep 2003, 09:29 PM
There have been several posts floating around the Domino blogosphere about Google and other search engines indexing information badly (e.g., Ed here and Colin here), so searches that make little sense find a blog which has mentioned a number of keywords in different contexts.   

A related problem comes with frequently updated information  which is not re-indexed quickly enough by Google or the other search engines.  A search may show your blog, and the search may even be a perfectly legitimate one, but the article to which it refers may have scrolled off into the archives.  This is annoying for the searcher, who can't see why a search for rich turtle geometry results in first place hit for GeniiBlog since the relevant article has been archived.  (This example is bad, because the index has now re-indexed and the archive is showing, but it was the case for a while).

A possible solution to both problems is suggested by Wolfgang Flamme here.   The gist is, when a search comes from a search engine, rather than just showing the webpage, the server could convert the search terms shown in the referrer from any of the well known search engines into a Domino search string.  Thus, the results shown would be  appropriate.

I was wondering if we could take it one step further.  My pal Andrew Pollack has a cool product called NCT Search which is pretty powerful and pretty flexible.  I was wondering if it would be possible to do a two step process such that a search would be done on the search terms, but if no results were found, a new page would display that would indicate why they were being sent here.  In other words, in this search that Ed Brill mentions, a Domino search would find no hits, but it would be worse than useless to put up a screen that said "No documents found".  It might also be useful to find out first if the current weblog content would be a hit, and show that instead of search results.  Smart searching of this nature would lead to a much better interaction with those searching, and better exposure to appropriate content, which serves our needs as well.

So, Andrew, what do you think?

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