Search Phenomenon

02.12.2007 in WriteThings

Way back in 1998, my 1st encounter with the Internet was via www.yahoo.com. People publicized saying that one can find anything & everything in the Internet. Such a statement indirectly portraited the power of search engines. The importance of Google in www, in the recent times, just reinforces the potential of search.

Take a look at my “all time” search queries with Google:
Search History
The slump in December is because, I still have 30 more days to go. This is just Google, un-accounting things with Wikipedia & IMDB. But its hard to believe that one can do, on an average, about 400 searches a month. Thats the index about our dependency with Google or any other search engine.

Search queries are very much disjointed. Meaning, I may search for “OLPC” & once I get to know, I may move on to find out how a “Platypus is poisonous”. I may search for “Hill stations in India” one day & for “axxo” the other day. Such terms may prove meaningless in isolation but when associated with the person who queried for, one can manage to derive a lot of information. His personality & interests gets converted into related search terms. Provides a good amount of insight & introduction about the person.

With the visitor tracking tools available with the search engines, they can very well predict the various areas a particular organization is working on. Think of DRDO secretly starting to work on a Humanoid project to help-out troops in loading nuclear warheads on missiles. Google might instantly get to know this with the rise in search queries related to warheads & robots from DRDO. Or be it ISRO wanting to do some Diamond mining on the moon during its Chandrayaan mission. The search engines would be the 1st outsider to know about it. Policies on IT Security apart from blocking access to certain websites, should also offer guidelines on search engine usage. Or the IT team can annonymize HTTP connections made to the search engines.

Yesterday, we re-scanned all the channels in our set-top-box & the original channel ordering got messed up. So, we didn’t know which channel belongs to which number. We had to merely push the channel-up button & wait for our favorite channel to appear. Won’t it be good, if we have a search button & an AlphaNumeric keypad on our remote, & backed by a dictionary of channel names?

Search is a Gaint. Sometimes, a Goliath, maybe.