Friday, July 29, 2005

Surfing or shall I say crawling on the Web!

The readings and lecture regarding search engines was very interesting. I learned several different things. Like how the search engines actually operate. The information regarding the search engines spiders was very interesting. I learned that they go out to other web sites and map out the links and the data contained in each of the webs. I also found it interesting that if you are linked to other sites that have spiders & unless you ask not to be crawled, your site will be crawled by a spider and then logged into the search engine db’s. It was also interesting to see how the search engines actually rank the sites they crawl, basing their values on Key words, the number of links & the direction of the links go. I had always thought that the ranking on search engines was based on $$ paid to the search engine provider, I guess I was wrong. Recalling Monday’s lecture on how one sided the web is, I can now see why companies are focusing on designing web sites that are optimized for the search engine spiders. From my own personal experience I realize that I rarely go past the top five links in any given search so I can see why being on the top of the list is critical.

Other things I found interesting was the different types of search engine available. Here is a list of the most popular search engines as identified by http://www.mashama.com . I also liked visiting the off shoots from Google like Froogle & elgooG, and the Google duel sites. I was having a lot of fun this afternoon reviewing and surfing the web. I can see why some folks can get addicted.

With this in mind, I decided to do a little research on my neighbors so I asked them if they surfed the web and if so what search engine did they use. The response I got was somewhat lopsided. Of the six neighbors I asked, 4 of them primarily used Google. This make since as they appear to be the leader in search engines. One of my other neighbors use MSN Search. She is a Microsoft employee and she went on to explain that MSN Search was a new search engine from Microsoft. The last neighbor said he used Meta Crawler http://www.metacrawler.com which is a web site that utilizes other web sites to do the searches. He said there are several search engines like this but this is the one he liked to use. I decided to give Meta Crawler a shoot and one of the things that I noticed was that they also have Meta Spy. I liked Meta Spy as it allows you to view what others are searching for and if you wanted to could also visit the link that they requested, that was kind of cool. Another reason I like Meta Spy was I dug around and did some research about Meta Crawler I found out that it was originally developed here at the UW which I thought was neat as well. http://www.infospace.com/info.metac/about/corporate/about.htm . With this information I think I have a new search engine to try out.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Ugh Oh, I really don't know much about the Web/Internet!

Now that I have had the opportunity to read through the first two chapters and sit through the first lecture I have come to the realization that I really don’t know much about the web or the internet. Ok sure I have a computer at home and I use it to go to my favorite sites, Comcast news (http://www.comcast.net/home.html), EBay (http://www.ebay.com)& Yahoo (http://www.yahoo.com), and I send e-mails to my friends but I realize that I don’t use it for anything else. In fact from a business to customer perspective, if I look at my e-bay account which I have had since 1998 I realize that I have only purchased 21 items since then. So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at how little I knew about the web and how much there is for me to learn.

On the learning note I picked up on some of the obvious basics. The first being that the Internet and the Web is not the same thing. I have always used them interchangeable, well now I won’t do that as I realize there is a difference. The other thing that amazed me was how big the web is. I always knew in the back of my mind, that the Web was large but when we started to discuss the size of the web and that Goggle search engines only see about 20% of the web or only 8 Billion pages. I started to realize how big the web really was. Another thing that caught me by surprise was that how one sided the web is. I have always know about the 80-20 rule, in fact I use it quite often in my daily management decisions, but what I didn’t realize was that the PARC study shows that the Web is more like 5 – 85. Which really made me think? I guess I have always know that not everyone was successful with the web I didn’t realize that their was this much disparity.
Realizing where I am at today, i.e. little to no knowledge of the web, it is going to be interesting to see how many times I get the wow factor. This makes since why didn’t I think of that before. Anyways, I am looking forward to what I am going to learn in the next few weeks.