Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact|
Back by popular demand, your weekly dose of all that's weird, wonderful and
whacky on the web.
the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook
are revealed for all to see!
What's wrong with this picture? You might have to look quite closely and
it takes most people about a minute to figure it out -- but there's something
very wrong with this picture.
Electron Band Structure In Germanium, My Ass
Here's a scientific paper produced by someone who clearly isn't enjoying their
Some local content for a change. This site was reportedly promoted by spamming
(tsk, tsk) but it's worth a browse just to read some of the Engrish being
used. "What is ICNZ stand for?", etc, etc.
Aardvark's Web-site Survey Service|
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one, or just frustrated that your web-presence isn't peforming as it should then
maybe you need an Aardvark Site Survey.
Could Search Engines Do Better?
There are quite literally thousands of different search engines on the Net,
although the vast majority of queries are handled by just a few well-known
names such as
In recent times, Google has taken the search-engine crown both through the
massive size of its index and the effectiveness of its ranking system.
Google is an interesting site insomuch as it appears to have avoided the
temptation to accept money for preferential placements in search results and
has stuck very much to its knitting. It's made no attempt to be "all things
to all people" in the way that so many of the other engines have.
Surprisingly enough, it's this KISS attitude and the integrity of its results
that have helped Google become one of the few search engine sites that actually
has black (rather than red) ink coursing through its veins.
But Google (and its peers) are not perfect.
Already there are people who have figured out how to exploit Google's ranking
system so as to artificially boost the position of their own sites and that's
However, I think the biggest problem with today's search engines is that they
take so long to spider and index new content.
I regularly submit the same queries to various search engines and what I want
to see is the new stuff that has been added just recently. So far I've not found
any way of requesting that results be sorted in order of "freshness" -- and that's
Do I really want to have to wade through all same old stuff each time? Why can't
I just say "give me the new stuff" and save a heap of time?
Could it perhaps be because few search engines are actually carrying "fresh"
If you go to most of the search engines you'll find that they appear to be
deliberately introducing delays in spidering your new submission -- unless
of course you're willing to pay an "express submission" fee that will
miraculously shorten the time before your site is visited and indexed.
Some sites are even so arrogant that they simply won't list you unless
you pay the fee. An example of this is
which wants you to hand over US$299 for its "express" submission processing
or pay US$149 and wait two months for its "basic" submission service.
You have to wonder just how comprehensive or fresh such a search engine can
be when it's effectively turning away 99% of all prospective new material.
Even if a search engine can't cope with indexing new submissions in a timely
manner, it should at least offer a page like
at SearchNZ where you can see what's recently been submitted.
And as for ranking -- how about this as a method of improving the accuracy of
the rankings: Measure the time between a visitor's clicks on result links.
The theory here being that if a result contains a lot of interesting and
relevant information, a user will spend more time there perusing that page
than if it's useless.
Those pages which don't engage the visitor can be demoted on the results list
whereas those which obviously keep the user's attention for a good span of time
can be bumped up.
Despite Google's dominance, I think there's still plenty of room for
improvement -- and that means there's opportunity for a new player to come
out of the cold and steal the crown.
Have your say.
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