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Tuesday, 18th July 2006

Search Briefs: Yahoo Earnings; Google News Lawsuit Continues; Semantic Web and Deception

+ Facts On File Announces Launch of Completely Redesigned History Online Databases

+ Yahoo second-quarter earnings meet expectations (via News.com)

+ Tim Berners-Lee and Google's Peter Norvig Discuss the Semantic Web
Dr. Norvig brings up several excellent points when challenging the Semantic Web.

1) Lack of knowledge of how the web works by the webmaster who would implement semantic stuff. Perhaps an analogy for librarians might be how the quality of cataloging can vary even amongst well trained catalogers. We also know that everyone is not a cataloger. We also know it's not as simple as it looks. Do others? Librarians and other info pros must be a part of the Semantic Web if Dr. Berners-Lee vision is to become a reality.

Norvig's also right to say that many people, even webmasters, have little idea of how the web works. Would they implement things correctly? Of course, the same is true for searchers. However, training the searcher, and perhaps even the webmaster, is an essential role for the info pro.

2) Competition, we're a company, why do we need to standardize? Of course, libraries have known the benefits of some standardization for years especially when it comes to cataloging and classification.

and finally...
3) what the Dr. Norvig calls deception, what others might call the gaming of the search engines. From the article:

The third problem is one of deception. We deal every day with people who try to rank higher in the results and then try to sell someone Viagra when that's not what they are looking for. With less human oversight with the Semantic Web, we are worried about it being easier to be deceptive," Norvig said.

The rest of the article includes a rejoinder from TB-L but he also agrees with Norvig that "deception" is an issue. It goes to illustrate the major issue that "deception" or perhaps a little less strongly, "gaming" or simply "spamming" are for search engines and reminds us once again that for many it's a "do whatever it takes" situation to get their pages to the top of web search results pages.

Of course, it's also another reason why knowledge about specialty databases and advanced search skills are so valuable vs. typing in 2.8 words into one engine and hoping for the best. It's also a reason for engines to become more "answer" engines for certain types of queries.

+ Judge: Google News lawsuit can proceed (via News.com)
Note: We've also posted a copy of the docket in this case updated through Tuesday here. We also posted
See Also: Two Recent Status Reports
+ Google (Filed 7/14/2006)
Main Doc ||| Exhibit A ||| B ||| C ||| D

+ Agence France Press Update (Filed 7/17/2006)

+ Court Order (7/18/2006), As Discussed in News.com Article

See Also: Full Text of Complaint in AFP v. Google (via SEW Blog)

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