Distributing The Search Burden

from the good-or-bad? dept

In the few months that it’s been running, I’ve been very skeptical of LookSmart’s plans for a “distributed search engine. Their idea is to use tools similar to SETI@Home or whatever other cause of the day gets a distributed app, and letting it help them better search the internet. I wondered why anyone would want to help LookSmart – a for-profit company – for free, when their spare cycles could go for some “good cause” instead. The latest Rafe Needleman column provides a hint. It appears LookSmart is positioning this distributed search capability as a way to make sure your own site gets searched frequently and updated in the LookSmart database. This would, of course, have a much bigger impact if anyone actually used LookSmart. Still, it is a reason that some might adopt the software. However, as Google has pointed out in the past, the real issue isn’t how many sites you search or how often – but how relevant the results are to the person doing the searching. The article also hints at the fact that, should LookSmart find any success, Google is prepared to offer their own such tool.

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