Monday, May 18, 2009

WNYC's On the Media critiques two new search engines

WYNC’s On The Media featured a segment this weekend on search engines. The segment discusses two savvy search engines, Wolfram Alpha and Cuil, but also is a good commentary on the current state of Search. Danny Sullivan from was interviewed.

  • Wolfram Alpha
    Wolfram Alpha is a new search engine that functions more as an “answer machine” in that it specializes in finding statistical facts. Some sample searches that yielded seemingly correct answers:

    Marshmallow AND Calories
    Lake Superior AND Average Depth
    Afghanistan AND Population
    United States AND Trade Deficit
    Ford AND 2008 AND Revenue
    Distance AND Moon AND Earth

    Interesting and fun, but I think the manner in which it displays the results is lacking. It is not exactly clear where the information came from so there’s no way to gauge the validity and reliability the information. The “Sources” link leads you to the formulas that calculated the results.
  • Cuil
    The article also discussed Cuil which indexes and crawls more pages than Google. Cuil’s results rely less on popularity of pages for search results and more on the presence of related words within the search page.

“Holy Grail 2.0.” On The Media. WNYC. May 15, 2009.

No comments: