Friday, July 25, 2008

Search relevance and the data-driven web

My frustration with CNET's informative but misguided article on Microsoft's BrowseRank has only redoubled with the reading of some other stuff like Andy Ha's breathless and utterly silly piece on VentureBeat -- I refuse to link to it, but you can go look it up if you're curious. Example phrases (good for searching on, too ;-):

"could really shake up the search landscape"
"it would upend the way companies get attention online."
"it might be able to reverse MSN Search’s slide towards irrelevance."
"a new kind of search"


I decided to channel my powers for good instead of evil, and rather than trolling in the VentureBeat comments, I decided to trawl through the Onotech archives and pull together many pieces I've written about search relevance into this one handy post that I can refer to in the future.

Note that this is not just about search. Search is just one facet to the golden rectangle of the data-driven web -- search, ad targeting, discovery, and analytics -- that makes every modern web company rivers of cash. All of these product mechanisms share underlying concepts and technologies, and I've blogged about them (and the infrastructure that makes them possible) many times over the years. Here, in time order, are some of the better posts on the concepts behind the data-driven web.

Another time, I'll pull together a second summary blog post on infrastructure thoughts - because there are some really cool software technologies that make this all possible.

This is also probably a great time to show off my birthday present from Somer Simpson:
machine learning power to the data poster
Schweet. I may make T-shirts -- email me if you want one ;-)

OK, here we go:

Click data drives not just search, but all advertising

The impact of monetization on search result ranking

Query type differentiation and machine learning

All search is social search because people determine value

On relevance/selection mechanisms, and types of voting

The four fundamental ways to determine ranking

How to better understand user intent

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