The Search Engine Experiment

Published in Application Programming Interfaces on Monday, November 28th, 2005

Via John Batelle, this interesting application of the three 'big' search APIs which were recently worked over here on Fiftyfoureleven.

Over at they have set up a sort of 'blind taste test' between MSN, Yahoo! and Google where you enter a search term or phrase, and it returns the first three results from each engine. You then have the option of choosing (blindly) the most relevant set of results, which they are tabulating here.

It would be really interesting to try something like this, and after having worked up those API examples, it would be fun to put them to use on something other than a site search.

I also feel, like many others have expressed in the comments on, that the method they are using for voting is lacking. A person can only choose the most relevant set of results, while having the ability to rank 1-2-3 would provide more accurate results than simply 'more relevant'.

<joking>But then, they use Ajax on their example, which is web 2.0, so they needed to keep it simple, and to use big buttons.</joking>

Anyways, I wonder if there would be too much bias running this type of test in a web development environment, as I assume that most of us use Google...

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