Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Prowess of GahooYoogle

I was quite surprised when information scientist
Amanda Spinks told us at a talk that search engines usually have a 5% overlap in terms of hits. What this means is that searching is an art more than anything else -- what we come up with really depends on the tools, techniques, experience, and expertise of the searcher. (And dare I say, a certain element of luck, too).

Take a look at GahooYoogle, a nifty search engine which allows us to see results of both search engines, side-by-side. Does this make searching easier? Not really. In my opinion, if you want to do that, then go for a meta-search engine. But if you want to see how the magic of the Google algorithm works compared to another "normal" search engine which uses keyword searching, then try this out.

Do you notice something? One can simply type in the article's full title (or even parts of it, provided it's wrapped around with "quotations"), and wham! there you go, the first few hits will usually lead you to the full or abstract, whereas in a search engine such as Yahoo!, you'll have to work a lot harder to find what you're looking for.

Ah yes, what can't Google do? Another reason why it's still the information professional's best friend.


Anonymous said...

This gahooyoogle.com is amazing, I have already set my homepage to that! Thank you for sharing the address.

Dean Giustini said...

SO many search tools....so little time. Where would you place this in terms of available search tools in medicine? Would you recommend it, or is it merely a novelty?


Allan said...

I would place this tool somewhere in between useful and novelty. As I had said in the blog posting, I would not recommend serious searching using GahooYoogle.

I'd direct users to a meta-search engine such as Vivisimo. However, I would definitely use this tool as a visual case example of the differences between two types of search engines: (1) Google's page rank algorithm based on citation analysis; and (2) the typical "older" search engine such as Yahoo's, which still uses keyword terms as the basis for where the relevance of results.

I would use this in a classroom setting to show my students this. Having this tool is indispensable.

From a medical/ health sciences perspective, GahooYoogle is also useful. I will blog this in a future posting; however, for the meantime, I just want to point out that doing an article search (with the title already available) in incredibly simpler with Google compared to other search engines.