Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Steel Searching with Swicki and Google community.

Regular visitors have probably noticed that to the right of our articles are two search engine scripts. These are optimised for steel related searches. Regular readers, will be aware that we have been experimenting for some time now with the Eurekster powered Swicki, and more recently with the Google powered community search.

The problem with general search engines is that they are "weighted" towards the more general and popular search queries. This can be frustrating when you are looking for more specialised information. This is made worse for us, in that many steel industry searches are for technical specifications that consist of "apparently" random sequences of letters and numbers. Frustratingly these often result in catalogue or model numbers for all sorts of random products, and make sifting through the results to find what we are looking for difficult.

Our two steel search engines are "tuned" to give results that are more relevant to the steel industry, and accordingly likely to yield more appropriate links. Whilst they use slightly different approaches, they are similar in the way they use the community to increase the relevancy of results.

Eurekster have recently made improvements to the Swicki, that I hope will lead to the search engine giving even better results.

If you are interested in what the steel community are searching for you can also subscribe to an RSS feed to the Swicki.

Please let us know through comments, if you find our search engines useful.

1 comment:

steven edward streight said...

Quite astute post here, friend.

I am so happy to see people experimenting with custom search engines, like Swicki, which I love, but I need to "train" the little feller more.