China Scientists Shut Out ‘Noise’ from SERPs

Ashley Bailes - July 10, 2007

Two scientists from the Taiyuan University of Technology in China have created a new search engine technology aimed at reducing the ‘noise’ from search results. ‘Noise’ is an industry term used to denote listings relevant to a search query, but not the end-user’s intended target.

“The returned result’s often contain a wide array of possible intended meanings based on our few words. We might have searched for “scientific discovery cap”. The search engine doesn’t know us, what we were looking for or what we were hoping to find. Did we want scientific discoveries relating to ice caps, ball caps, electric capacitors or something else?” (Full Article: China Develops New Search Engine Technology with Information about You)

This new technology is similar to Google’s Personalized Search, however created ‘search agents’ crawl multiple search engines for both keywords and meta data. This information is configured algorithmically with your personal user profile to produce the results most relevant to your query.

“As their algorithms compile information, they determine which results should match a user’s query most directly. The team believes this “intelligent agent search” on something like “apple” will only return fruit related results (instead of Apple computers) when that’s what we were looking for.” (Full Article: China Develops New Search Engine Technology with Information about You)

While everyone would love to see more relevant search results, privacy issues will undoubtedly be called into question. The European Union, for example, already has a watchdog group (The Working Party) investigating Google’s privacy policies and has recently announced an evaluation of ‘all Internet search engines.’

“The 28-member panel, which advises the European Commission and EU governments on data protection issues, said it still needed to analyze Google’s response and would also look at other search engines in the coming weeks to evaluate what data protection issues were at stake.” (Full Article: EU Probe to Look at All Search Engines)

– How much privacy are you willing to forfeit to receive such qualified search results?
– Would give search engines permission to gather your personalized data?
– Does your opinion change if personal information is utilized for marketing strategies?

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