SML Search

Friday, November 9, 2007

Thoughts on Google Personalized Search Results

I did some random Googling this morning and found that my initials SML is featured on page one again (Google: SML) which is sweet. However, I noted something interesting when I performed the same search at work.

In both cases, I was logged into Google account—which technically speaking should give me the same results. Well, apparently not. I did some screenshots so you can scrutinize it:

Home: SML Flickr: Google: SML / 2007-11-08 / SML Data

Google: SML / 2007-11-08 / SML Data (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Work: SML Flickr: Google: SML / 2007-11-08 / SML Data

Google: SML (from work) / 2007-11-08 / SML Data (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Noting this, I can't help but wonder if Google uses algorithms to randomize results a bit to test which links people would click on in various times—a strategy that I hypothesize is being used on Flickr to determine interestingness as well.

In turn, this suggests an interesting visualization exercise: what would the results pages look like if I search for the same thing over and over again by taking screenshots of the results page? It would be a kind of a SERP time-lapse, if you will. And if the data is available, all the merrier. It would surely be nice to see search results nodes moving at real time. Now I just need two more instances of SML working on these projects while I can still live my 24-hour day.

More random searches
Additional random searches that I like to do are Google: Google SML vs Google: SML Google, which gives different results. This means that Google's search algorithm give weights to the ordering of the words. By how much? I'll let you genius programmers find out. Feel free to email me your results when you do. I LOVE DATA!

Related SML Universe
+ SML Data
+ SML Google
+ SML Search

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©2007 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe. All rights reserved.

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