Sunday, May 20, 2007

Search.. Continues to Grow..

One of the biggest buzzwords to come out of the last decade is 'Search'. Since the evolution of the Internet from the days of the ARPA, there were millions of web pages in the early 90s with hardly any organization associated with them. Cometh the likes of Alta Vista, Infoseek, et al and we had the basic search torches with us. Google obviously redefined the search business through their PageRank algorithm. Its nearing the end of first decade of the twenty first century, and there has been this seamless migration towards metadata search and searching across networks. The trend's changing and last week had some startling news to support these facts.
Social networking is getting on the next level now. ZDNet reported last week on how Explode, the meta-social-networking site has added search api's which would enable searching for a soul across networks such as Flickr, Live Journal, Vox, YouTube, and Tribe, as well as the Explode network itself. Incredible as it may sound, but an 'A' can get across to a 'B' so damn easily now, even though not really knowing each other. I did try to check out Explode, but it's currently in the beta stage and accounts are created by invitation, and am yet to get one to try it. On similar lines, Spock was also launched which allows user to claim the search results, and linking themselves to the networks/communities that they belong to. No validation is done by Spock in this case, and is left to the community to authorize the details.
The whole fundamental issue of crawling across networks to yield search results is as exhaustive as it can get for the user. This might definitely look appealing but if referred to a more holistic view, the privacy takes a hit in the former case of Explode and Spock. Too much leverage to the end user and hence the feature itself partly becomes a security hole. The entire concept of metadata crawling and intra network search is bound to generate some heat when the beta stage websites go live.
Apart from social networking, last week Google also announced that its search results will now combine the results from other web services to provide a more exhaustive result sheet for the end user. For instance, searching Google Videos for a particular video would not also incorporate results from Metacafe. A classic case of dual level indexing, where the already indexed results by a certain search service is indexed again by another service.
'Search' is definitely going places..

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