Leading information on search development.

Added Twitter

Twitter has been added to the homepage of MultiZ as a search option. Twitter’s search allows realtime searches of user posts and comments.

MultiZ is a fairly sophisticated multi search engine, but it’s layout does not work very well with smart phones. An alternative to this is to use my other multi search called uGuX.com. It is entirely mobile and PC friendly and a lot simpler.

A new currency converter has just been added. It is able to convert over 30 currencies, and all calculations are seen as you type. (It has similar functionality as the Ajax dictionary).

There have been a few errors that needed to be fixed on MultiZ.

1. Recently, many of the media corporations have been changing there site structure — so the news page had to be completely reformatted.

2. Cuil was officialy launched.  It doesn’t appear as if it will be overcoming Google soon, but it does have a large index and is worthy of placement on the MultiZ homepage.

3. The MultiZ translator managed to hit 8,500 visits in one day — thanks to StumbleUpon.  It is now consistantly achieving a few hundred visits per day and remains the most popular page on MultiZ.  The translator was also “spitting out” error messages when the translation text became long and sophisticated (i.e., special characters).  This should be fixed now.

Those are all of the errors that have come to my attention, and hopefully there won’t be many more. :)

A little while back I posted on how MSN/Live.com has improved their search algorithm, but it appears they have in some cases but in others have depreciated.

The below image is a search for “multiz” at MSN/Live.com that should have shown my own site as ranked number one, but as for their new “smart” algorithm that automatically detects your spelling “mistakes” — it believes I’m searching for “multi” as well.

msn-mistake.png

Well, it certainly seems great for the MultiPureCo.com site. :(

yellow-pages.jpgAbout a month ago, MultiZ came out with a yellow pages search — which will search within a certain proximity of where you live or where you’re looking for a business. It’s nothing too fancy that will create an “oooo…ahhh” in anyone that is a regular user, but it is a step closer to covering every type of search at MultiZ.

In summary

Five yellow pages sites were added, and in a search to determine which was the best — “I have made no conclusion.” I believe its quite possible that they receive all of their information from the same source — so, if anyone knows if they collect their information from the same source (for free :) ), I’d be glad to implement a version hosted here that wouldn’t show any advertisements (if possible).

The economic aspect

dex.pngIf you’re interested in the business/economic aspect of it, to the right is the 5-year trend of DEX — which seems to have improved but is now slightly weakening.

In a study from PennState, they studied 56 participants from 18 to 29 years old (the demographic most targeted by marketers) to examine various search engine results.

In one part of the study, they flipped the organic search results and the sponsored results (so, the user would feel he/she was viewing opposite results) and the researchers found out:

…on more than 80 percent of the searches, study participants went first to the results identified as “organic.” Sponsored links were viewed first for only six percent of the time.

And researchers also noticed that:

While study participants rated 52 percent of the organic results as “relevant,” searchers described 42 percent of sponsored links as “relevant” even though both sets of results were identical. That 10-percent spread reflects a significant degree of bias against sponsored links, Jansen said.

This 10-percent bias also may reflect (or become noticed) when the individual searcher may feel less obligated to purchase from the marketer. If you’ve ever searched with DogPile or any other InfoSpace sponsored metasearch engine, you may have noticed that they essentially hide their advertisements within the search results — here’s an example:

dogpile-results.png

Fig. An example search for “free” on DogPile.

If can see that small, under search results 2 and 5, you can see the text, “Sponsored by:” & “ [Found on Ads by Google]” by the URL for both of these results. Actually out of the 20 results they display, 6 of them were sponsored.

To examine beyond this study, I took a peek into the MultiZ/Google search logs. I looked from May 20, 2005 (when the original MultiZ came out) to October 16, 2007:

Percent Click Rate: 0.85%

0.85% shows and certainly reflects that bias. It is truly doubtful in my mind that 99.15% of the sponsored results are irrelevant. However, I hardly click any of those advertisements either. ;)

Update: For this year (Jan. 1, 2007 – Oct. 17, 2007) — the rate has gone up to 2.45%.  And that’s a 288% increase. :)

Here’s the results that were calculated from AOL’s Search:

Ranking Number 1 receives 42.1 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 2 receives 11.9 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 3 receives 8.5 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 4 receives 6.1 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 5 receives 4.9 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 6 receives 4.1 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 7 receives 3.4 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 8 receives 3.0 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 9 receives 2.8 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 10 receives 3.0 percent of click throughs.

To sum it up, you’d have about 42.1% chance you’d click the first search result over the other/following results.

It’s also interesting to notice that you have a greater chance of clicking the 10th result (3.0%) over the ninth (2.8%).

chart.jpegAccording to a study, 1.4 million searches are done every minute, from comScore. Most of these searches are done directly through Google.

Worldwide, Google earns approximately 60% of all searches worldwide, but in the US Google only earns up to about 50% of all online searches.

The study also stated:

Yahoo Inc. was second worldwide with 8.5 billion, followed by Baidu at 3.3 billion, Microsoft Corp. at 2.2 billion and NHN at 2 billion.

Baidu.com is actually a Chinese-based search engine, and NHN is South Korea-based.

live-com.jpg Live.com (Microsoft’s new approach to searching) now provides a different way of searching than before. Its algorithm changed a little to display different content (rather than just search results) for specific search terms.

These improvements range from having an automatic display of movie showtimes to showing a comparison of shopping results when a user types in a movie title or a product, respectively.

Just a bit better — and still at the MultiZ homepage.

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