Sphere Blog

June 8, 2006

700 vs 70,000 – hey, where did all our zer0’s go?

Filed under: Notable — sphere @ 11:31 pm

As the world woke up to the news that Zarqawi, one of the most wanted terrorists has met his end it’s normal to find the blogger community all over it. I got an email from one of our users pointing out a huge gap in the results number for Sphere and Technorati. So I did a comparison. A search on Sphere @ 6:00 am PST yields 700 from the last day (its now up to 2,922 @ 4:20 PST) while a search on Technorati comes up with close to 72,349.

I thought about this during my flight. Can that be right? 70,000 blog posts on an event that happened a few hours ago? Seems like an awfully inflated number. So I spent some time surfing through their results. What does Zarqawi have to do with apartment rentals in Florida? Is anyone really clicking on Zarqawi collectibles from ebay? Gee, I hope not. And results from 2 days ago have nothing to do with what the reader wants in this case – that is one of the reasons we offer date ranges in our search results, it helps you narrow the time range and generally gets you results that are the most up to date with the topic you’re interested in tracking.

My point is, more is not always better. Who has the time or the patience? Especially when most of the results have nothing to do with the actual search you’re doing. The Web is about ease and convenience–it’s about saving time by having the work done for you. Sphere’s advanced algorithms filter out the noise and surface only the most relevant results based on more than just keyword matching.The number of results should grow as more people hop on the story, but when you’re looking for a needle in a haystack, a small pile on a platter with relevant matches is preferable to sift through.

1 Comment »

  1. […] Quality vs. Quantity – in a culture obsessed with “bigger is better”, quality search offerings often have to overcome larger than life expectations and consumer biases. […]

    Pingback by Greg Hartnett’s Linkblog » Blog Archive » — June 19, 2006 @ 6:11 pm | Reply

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