Re: Real-time distributed Web search (Gnutella knockoff?)

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From: Kragen Sitaker (
Date: Tue Jun 27 2000 - 18:34:24 PDT

Nicolas Popp writes:
> Somebody pointed out to me that this approach was doomed.
> If you give destination sites control of the search query, many will lie.
> Most commercial sites want to hijack traffic from search engine and appear
> very high in a results list whether or not their site is actually relevant
> to the query. That's a real world fact and that's actually why meta tags
> have failed (and ignored by search engines these days).
> In other words, if you give control of the query to the Web sites that want
> to be found and lose control of the relevance ranking, you will return
> garbage...

You can use the same argument to prove that Usenet will consist only of
garbage, or that mailing lists will consist only of garbage, or that
the contents of your email box will consist only of garbage, or that
domain names will map only to garbage (in the absence of lawsuits).
It's part of the truth, but it's not all of it.

Google seems to have a fairly decent approach to finding relevant
pages: they show you pages containing your term (I don't remember
whether they use meta tags or not, but AltaVista did last time I
checked) and order them by quality, not relevancy.

It's ironic that someone from RealNames would post such an assertion. :)

<>       Kragen Sitaker     <>
The Internet stock bubble didn't burst on 1999-11-08.  Hurrah!
The power didn't go out on 2000-01-01 either.  :)

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