Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Blind Search

'The goal of this site is simple, we want to see what happens when you remove the branding from search engines. How differently will you perceive the results?
This site is built as a fun experiment by
Michael Kordahi.'
Michael says: 'The system has many flaws that I know about already, the primary one of interest is the lack of localisation. So, all searches are going through the US as US searches. The other deficiency worth noting is that there is much missing from the actual experience of using these search engines eg, image thumbnails, suggestions, refine queries etc.
Ohh, and this site is very very beta, expect it to break!'

I did two test searches using the following:

1. New Zealand's top exports
2. New Zealand's top ten export destinations

For Search 1 Google produced the best result which was a Statistics New Zealand page. For Search 2 Bing produced a result which was helpful although not exactly what I wanted - it gave the top seven destinations one of which was North America which is too general when an enquirer might want to know whether Canada figures in the top ten.

In both searches the results were the wrong way round e.g. US exports to New Zealand. This may be explained by Michael's comments above. There were also Australian results like this some of which came at the top of the list. Other results were very specific and focussed on one products e.g. wine or electronics. And there were results which focussed on one export destination e.g. Thailand.

See also post on Bing below. The URL for Blind Search is: http://blindsearch.fejus.com/ I'd be interested in what others might have found.

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