intent -driven search

13 Jun 2005 - 12:55am
9 years ago
1 reply
358 reads
vimal sharma
2005

hi all,
latest from yahoo's research lab is yahoo mindset which adds to yahoo search engine as a slide control at the top of the page,the left hand shows shopping and rightend is researching having entered your search u can use the mouse to slide the button to the left to get more commercial results.sliding to the right gives you more analytical or informative results....
......................."this is a great tool to seperate the wheat from the chaff of the online search results. What is wheat and what is chaff is of course,your personal preference."the hindu.
http://mindset.research.yahoo.com

as philips says "lets make things better"

regards
Vimal Sharma
IDC
IIT Bombay

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Comments

13 Jun 2005 - 7:35am
Ben Hunt
2004

Wow, what an exciting area! Thanks Vimal.

I've been doing independent thought and concept development in this area
recently, which I was lucky enough to present to Google's European
Marketing team in the London last week.

The core of my argument is that the current search engine paradigm is
fine for information (i.e. the research end of the slider on the Yahoo
concept), but very bad when you're searching for products & services.

This is a problem because lots of searching is precisely for products &
services (i.e. the commercial end of the slider). And Google, for one,
earns a significant chunk of its money through advertising based on
search results. Who pays the most for AdWords placements? People
promoting products and services for money! Stands to reason.

Why are Google/MSN etc. bad at providing results for products &
services? Let's track the evolution of the search engine dancing bear!

(The clearest problem to me is that results are forced into a
minimal-dimensional view: keywords and relevance. For one thing, Google,
MSN et al take the entire universe of results and squeeze it into a long
line of results, one result wide. This is terrible, because the universe
is in fact multi-dimensional..)

1) In the olden days, AltaVista gave us 1-dimension: keywords/phrases.
That was OK. Wow, look, it searches the web!

2) Google turned that upside down by adding much more relevance:
interpreting content instead of metadata, and attaching value to the
relationships between web sites and pages. Wow, it can tell the most
useful sites from the least useful!

3) Google Local has added a third dimension: space! Now you can search
for a hotel near a certain postal code, which is really great! I love
Google Local! Wow, it can show me all the hotels near the event in a way
that I can quickly interpret, and choose which to contact, in the right
order!

But this isn't enough.. Whenever I sense that something isn't quite
enough, I look at the real world and at how existing systems solve
problems. In the real world, when I want a babysitter, I would ask my
friends: people like me whom I trust, if they can recommend someone. I'd
want someone within travelling distance of my house. I'd want someone
with similar values to mine (i.e. won't sit the kids in front of the TV
all night and feed them chocolate, won't use intimidation or violence...)

There's no search engine that can do this yet, but I've designed a
concept to do this. It adds the following dimensions, in addition to
keywords and locality:

* Preferences:
In real life, we all have preferences and prejudices that
influence our buying choices. Do you prefer to use liberal or
conservative businesses, vegetarians, start-ups or established
businesses, businesses that recycle or have ethical policies,
Muslim or Christian or Jewish or ethnic-run? Why not click a few
boxes to tell the search engine?
* Cross-referenced ratings:
What other people think really matters. If a computerized system
is going to do as good a job as asking people who know, it has to
use all the information available. My design would allow people to
rate any service from any provider. These would have to be
filtered carefully to prevent abuse, but this isn't too hard. The
trick will be to use ratings *in context*. i.e. Ratings of people
like me, or who live near me, should carry more weight.
Preferences, locality, and any other socio-economic indicators
should be used to predict the services/products I'd be most likely
to choose myself.

That's it, really. Conceptually, this would be a simple system. Sure,
there would be a lot of programming involved.

Google don't want to go down this route, because they have a strategic
intention to collect as little personal information as they can. I'd
argue that they will *need* to allow people to supply more information
in order to get better search results. They actually suggested that I
have conversations with Yahoo! or eBay, to see if there's more synergy
there.

Anyone from Yahoo! product development on this list?

- Ben

vimal sharma wrote:

>[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
>hi all,
> latest from yahoo's research lab is yahoo mindset which adds to yahoo search engine as a slide control at the top of the page,the left hand shows shopping and rightend is researching having entered your search u can use the mouse to slide the button to the left to get more commercial results.sliding to the right gives you more analytical or informative results....
>......................."this is a great tool to seperate the wheat from the chaff of the online search results. What is wheat and what is chaff is of course,your personal preference."the hindu.
>http://mindset.research.yahoo.com
>
>as philips says "lets make things better"
>
>regards
>Vimal Sharma
>
>

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