Thursday, August 13, 2009

Google Caffeine

Google unveiled their next-generation search technology, a project code-named Caffeine. As google puts it, "It's the first step in a process that will let us push the envelope on size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness and other dimensions".

Being cynical (of all tall claims) the way I am, I set-out to verify the developer preview site of google caffeine. My tried and trusted search query for testing out any search engine is my (relatively unique) full-name and I tried the same on both google sites (the one live vs the developer preview site).

And the result.. Google Caffeine works..

At least it's faster and more comprehensive (77400 hits in 0.11 secs with Caffeine vs 77300 hits in 0.17 secs in the current google site)
- on a separate note Bing gives me 355 hits only :-(..but hey! isn't it a decision engine?

Back to caffeine - User Interface is unchanged, ordering of search results is nearly same..I couldn't make out if there is any improvement in accuracy..may be that part is still work in progress!

While I eagerly wait to see Caffeine live in action, I can't help but wonder 'what's next'


Rohan Daxini said...

Hi LD, Nice post. I think just number of hits shouldnt be only parameter for evaluation. How many times we scroll and check search results on pages higher than 10 or 15. Even if do, the info and results are not too useful (this is my personal experience). Thus I would prefer lesser but useful and effective results. Yeah google helps me but bing results are effective too :))

Lalatendu said...

I agree, nothing against Bing and at time bing also brings up relevant results :-). Generally under normal circumstances I would also probably not go beyond first 10-15 hits.

But free netizens of the free web, am I not entitled to get all possible hits that's out there? Should I not have the ability to choose what I need? Somehow 'letting Bing decide what's good/appropriate for me' (ie. the decision engine propaganda)..kinda interferes with my limited intelligence!

sounds kind of old school but it's my personal opinion..hence I still cheer for google :-)

Rohan Daxini said...

I think everyone still cheers google, including me :) So there is no second thought about it. At the same time, I prefer having "OPTIONS" being a free netizen rather than sticking to one engine.

Bing doesnt force you to decide whats appropriate for you but Bing tries to give you close options of "Keywords" arranged in categories which helps you to reduce your overall search time. Its a different way of hitting and arranging information. Bing delivers search results tailored to the part of the world you are living. So let me take my example, if I search for "Kingfisher" airlines in India, Bing gives me comparison in terms of fare, quality, comfort etc of all 8 to 9 operators in India. Even if I search for routes, it helps me reduce time for searching similar information for comparison.

Well its more of a personal choice playing with engines around and trying to learn from them :-)

Lalatendu said... doubt Bing is trying it's best to tailor the results.

But the problem is Bing excludes a number of possible scenarios assuming they are worth-less (i.e if you refer to my little search experiment, Google returns 74k hits for my name, where are Bing return only 450).

Bing may do a better job in arranging info, but what concerns is Bing ignores the remaining 73k possible hits assuming they may not be of interest to me. That part is scary.

Rohan Daxini said...

hmmmm, check this out :-)
Search "top restaurants in mumbai" on Google and ull get 12 Lac 80 (12,80,000) thousand results but same string will result in 27 Lac 80 thousand (27,80,000) results on Bing :-))

And there are many such examples where Bing might outperform numbers compared to Google. But yeah Google is market leader at present on searching web whereas Bing is just a new born child :)