23 July 2011

Search Queries Tools – Part II: Soovle

    Soovle is a customizable engine that provides suggestion services from several major search engines (e.g. Google, Yahoo, Bing, Answers) and content providers (e.g. Amazon, YouTube, Wikipedia), several others being available within just a simple drag and drop away (see Engines).  Soovle blog provides additional information, like a short history of the tools used for developments (current version was built with jQuery) and several tips. You should check the demo too, even if the tool it’s quite easy to use.

    I tried Soovle using as input the “knowledge” keyword:

search comparison - Soovle knowledge google

    As can be seen, excepting several common terms (e.g. “knowledge”, “knowledge management”), the output for each engine it’s quite different. Because there is no visual aid, the extraction of common terms between engines it’s not so easy as it should be. Maybe something should be done in this direction – for example using colors, font weight or sorting.

    When multi-term words are used (e.g. “data information knowledge wisdom”) the output becomes difficult to read, so maybe some styling would be useful in order to help determine the start/end of a group of terms.

    Currently, the tool allows selecting a group of 7, 11, respectively 15 search engines. It would be useful to reduce maybe the number of search engines and increase the number of terms, allowing to compare the results for only 2-3 search engines. A matrix (terms vs. engines) could facilitate maybe the visualization of data.

    As it seems the spaces influence the output, for example “DIKW” vs. “DIKW ” vs. “ DIKW” will return different results.

    I really like the fact that by providing a first letter of the second term (e.g. “knowledge a”), the output can be limited only to the terms whose second terms start with the specified letters. (I needed this kind of functionality some time ago and I had to rely entirely on Google’s autocomplete feature.)

    I was searching for my favorite quote from J. Keats “a thing of beauty is a joy forever” (with quotes). Unfortunately, none of the default 7 engines returned the quote, even if Bing’s result included some “joy”-related results. I tried the same search directly in Google and Bing, and matches were found?! Same result for “joy+forever”. Without some deeper knowledge of the architecture of the search engines and the tool itself, it’s hard to find what causes this behavior or to identify some of the differences in processing.

Comment: In the initial post it seems I misquoted Keats. I can't recall if then I used the misquoted chunk of text or the actual quote. Rechecking Soovle, it actually returns results for Google, YouTube and Bing.

2 comments:

  1. Isn't it "A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever" by John Keats !!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, you are right! I wonder how I arrived to replace "thing" by "joy". Thank you for correction!

    ReplyDelete