How to beat Google

You beat Google by coming up with a method for organising the world’s information that is better than the way Google does it.

They find things for you by using an equation to guess whether a specific page is a good source of information on a subject. They look at the words on the page, the tags in the header and images and take special account of the sites elsewhere on the internet that link to the page in question. They add a lot of technical knowledge on how to examine millions of new and changed pages an hour.

How could that search be improved? There are two areas that could do with being upgraded: a better way of judging whether a page delivers the correct information, and a simple way to understand why a person is searching for something. I’ll leave my suggestion of how to solve the why question for a later post; what better ways can we find to analyze web content so that the correct page can be served up to every query?

It’s time for the Web 3.0 buzzphrase section. With the semantic web, you use humans to judge the authority of content. They supply the meanings to the internet. For the first few weeks those people who take up the challenge will tag and comment away on web content. They might use tools to review tags they’ve already assigned to content on Flickr, YouTube and blogs. Once reviewed, an individual could claim authorship of the tags and comments. They could also register agreement with other human-generated labeling.

You might ask: What if different people use different criteria to assign meaning to internet content? The Web 3.0 way will be to let the social media collective judge. Members of the community will trust the tags of the people they agree with. After a while top 50 charts will appear where you’ll see ‘search stars’ rising up the charts as they become well-known. The chart will become a self-fulfilling prophesy as new search users will first turn to the stars near the top of the chart because ‘they probably know what they’re talking about.’

A list of the top contributors to the Final Cut Pro support forum at AppleIt is similar to the kudos given to Twitterers who have tens of thousands of followers. If you read forums, you might give more attention to comments written by users who have posted a great deal. On Apple’s Final Cut Pro support forum, Shane Ross has posted over 17,000 times. He and the others on the list don’t work for Apple. They want to help others, learn from fellow Final Cut users and maybe some of them get reflected glory in the community for their work here. Maybe Shane has got work as a consultant after his free contributions here.

So, how are these search stars going to label, tag and comment on web content? Have a look at yesterday’s post, where I describe an extension to the tag in HTML 5. If that could be set up as a bidirectional link, where you would be able to see all the overlays on the internet for a specific piece of content, then Google might start worrying…

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