Is Googling Sufficient?

Googling has become synonymous with internet searching, but is googling sufficient? What about other search engines? I did a search using the keywords “healthy memory” on google.com, bing.com, yahoo.com, and ask.com. The first item returned was the same for all the search engines. After that, discrepancies appeared, although there was notable commonality among the four lists. I found it disturbing that all four searches also returned urls for foam mattresses. I also was disturbed, but not surprised, to see that the healthymemory blog was not among the items returned on the first page. This similarity in search results is not surprising as the search algorithms are quite similar and apparently companies can buy their way to a higher listing. I find it particularly annoying when you search for a tax form for a particular state and still see commercial firms at the top of the listings. It would be nice to have a search engine that did not allow firms to buy their way to the top of the listings. If anyone know of such a search engine, please comment.

I have maintained a standing query on Google to send me notices of entries on healthy memory. The returns I receive are slim. I find this depressing because I think this would be a topic of general interest, particularly among baby boomers who are facing the prospect of losing their memories. For a while I did receive notices occasionally about postings I had made to the healthymemory blog. Google changed some of its search criteria and I have not seen a single return regarding the healthymemory blog since. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a hot topic. Its objective is to recommend keywords that increase the probability of your blog or website being picked up by a search engine. I would like to increase the readership of this blog. But I don’t want to compromise it by trying to work “Lindsay Lohan” into my postings, nor do I have the resources to pay for high placements. On the other hand, I have little difficulty finding most of my published professional papers on the scholar.google.com search engine.

So how does one find websites and blogs like healthymemory? Using Google’s blog search, blogsearch.google.com, has some chance of catching one of healthymemory’s postings. Using the regular google.com the following query will yield healthymemory postings

wordpress.com:healthymemory.

The bottom line is that search engines are driven by a sites popularity and by commercial payments. Quality, by itself, does not come in to the search. So users need to use their wits, multiple search engines, and clever search strategies.  

© Douglas Griffith and healthymemory.wordpress.com, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Douglas Griffith and healthymemory.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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