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Search Engine Risk Dependency by Ronan Chardennau
 

Search Engine Risk Dependency by Ronan Chardennau

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A very interesting study by a student/researcher whom i met a few months agoi and sponsor

A very interesting study by a student/researcher whom i met a few months agoi and sponsor

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    Search Engine Risk Dependency by Ronan Chardennau Search Engine Risk Dependency by Ronan Chardennau Document Transcript

    • Risks of search engine dependency and its influence on data quality A thesis submitted for the European Master in Business Studies (EMBS) by Ronan CHARDONNEAU Institut de Management de l'Université de Savoie d'Annecy (FR) Università degli studi di Trento (IT) Universität Kassel (GER) Universidad de León (SP) Date of submission: June the 26th, 2009 Master Thesis
    • Acknowledgements Sincere and grateful acknowledgements have to be made to:  Mr Francesco VALOTTO, Co-founder of Edexon (Italy) who gave me the idea to study the world of search engine optimization which finally ended to the following topic.  Mr Roland ZIMMERMANN, from the University of Kassel (Germany) for his help in structuring the thesis and his rereading.  Mr Eugenio POZZOLINI, from the Advancia Business School (France) for all his advice.  Mr Andrea MOLINARI, from the University of Trento (Italy) who accepted to be the tutor of the thesis.  Mr Charles KNIGHT, editor at AltSearchEngines (United States) for promoting the thesis on his website.  Mr Daniel Arias-Aranda, associate professor at the Universidad de Granada (Spain) for his rereading and feedback.  Mr Charles NODOT, first year student (France) within the European Master in Business Studies, for his rereading, feedback and corrections. 2
    • Contents Acknowledgements...................................................................................................................2 Contents ....................................................................................................................................3 Table of figures .........................................................................................................................6 Foreword ...................................................................................................................................8 Chapter 1: Introduction of the topic background ....................................................................10 1.1 Relevance of the subject ...............................................................................................13 1.2 Major terms...................................................................................................................14 1.3 Focus, goals and structure of the report ........................................................................15 1.4 Chaper 1: Key points ....................................................................................................17 Chapter 2: Concept of data quality .........................................................................................18 2.1 Data quality definition ..................................................................................................20 2.2 Data quality issues within businesses ...........................................................................21 2.3 Origins of data quality issues: Garbage In Garbage Out ..............................................24 2.3.1 Poor data quality content: the Wikipedia example ................................................24 2.3.2 Poor data quality content: the commercial example ..............................................25 2.3.3 Metadata ................................................................................................................26 2.3.4 Findability ..............................................................................................................27 2.4 Data quality solutions ...................................................................................................29 2.4.1 Learning how to use search tools ...........................................................................29 2.4.2 Check out the information: the Triangle method ...................................................30 2.5 Chapter 2: key points ....................................................................................................32 Chapter 3: Search engines dependency ..................................................................................33 3.1 Search engine categories...............................................................................................34 3.1.1 Commercial search engines ...................................................................................34 3.1.2 Enterprise search engine (ESE) .............................................................................37 3.2 Search engine market ....................................................................................................37 3.2.1 Commercial search engine market .........................................................................37 3.2.2 Commercial search engine market: Consumer behavior .......................................38 3.2.3 Enterprise Search Engine market ...........................................................................40 3
    • 3.2.4 Enterprise Search Engine market: Consumer behavior .........................................41 3.2.5 The commercial search market repartition ............................................................43 3.2.6 The commercial search engines in the world .........................................................43 3.2.7 Commercial search engine leaders presentation ....................................................46 3.2.8 Commercial search engine complexity ..................................................................50 3.2.9 Search engine market shares configuration ...........................................................51 3.2.10 Search engines competition .................................................................................52 3.3 Search engine dependency aspect .................................................................................54 3.3.1 Search engines dependency proves........................................................................54 3.3.2 Types of search engines dependency .....................................................................55 3.3.3 Search engine loyalty .............................................................................................56 3.3.4 Search engines dependency issues .........................................................................57 3.3.5 Privacy issues.........................................................................................................58 3.3.6 Search engine awareness .......................................................................................59 3.4 Search engine dependency conclusion .........................................................................64 3.5 Chapter 3: key points ....................................................................................................65 Chapter 4: Risks of search engines dependency and its influence on data quality .................66 4.1 Search engine dependency and its influence on data quality: Issues ............................67 4.1.1 Search Engine Optimization ..................................................................................67 4.1.2 Commercial advertisement and perception ............................................................70 4.1.3 Censorship .............................................................................................................72 4.1.4 Technological partnerships ....................................................................................73 4.1.5 The Visible Web .....................................................................................................74 4.1.6 Invisible Web .........................................................................................................76 4.2 Search engine dependency and its influence on data quality: Solutions ......................77 4.2.1 A deeper knowledge in search engine abilities ......................................................77 4.2.2 Taking the best part of each search engine ............................................................79 4.2.3 Technological evolution .........................................................................................80 4.3 The future of Internet search .........................................................................................87 4.5 Chapter 4: Key points ...................................................................................................89 Chapter 5: The Google example .............................................................................................90 5.1 Google presentation ......................................................................................................91 5.1.1 Google....................................................................................................................91 5.1.2 Google's success ....................................................................................................91 4
    • 5.1.3 Google image .........................................................................................................92 5.1.4 Google dependency state .......................................................................................93 5.1.5 Google added functionalities .................................................................................94 5.1.6 Google success is his weakness .............................................................................94 5.2 Google's disappearance consequences ..........................................................................96 5.2.1 Google Search engine failure.................................................................................96 5.2.2 Google Gmail failure .............................................................................................98 5.2.3 Google other services failure ...............................................................................100 5.2.4 Google collateral damages ...................................................................................101 5.3 Chapter 5: Key points .................................................................................................102 Conclusion and recommendations ........................................................................................103 List of literature ....................................................................................................................110 5
    • Table of figures Figure 1: Internet Domain Survey Host Count January 1994 - January 2009 ........................11 Figure 2: Do you use a personal blog? ...................................................................................12 Figure 3: How frequently do Internet users participate in the most popular activities? .........12 Figure 4: Most used information source when people need help ...........................................19 Figure 5: How much of the information on the World Wide Web overall is generally reliable? ................................................................................................................................................20 Figure 6: Enterprise findability goal .......................................................................................23 Figure 7: 1st and 2nd results for "data quality" are Wikipedia websites ................................25 Figure 8: A query made on Google images with the keyword "P5170009" ...........................27 Figure 9: How well is findability understood in your organization? ......................................28 Figure 10: How critical is findability to your Organization's Business Goals and Success? ..28 Figure 11: Triangle method application ..................................................................................31 Figure 12: Ask search engine home page ...............................................................................35 Figure 13: Yahoo home page ..................................................................................................35 Figure 14: An example of vertical search with Yahoo Images ...............................................36 Figure 15: A semantic search engine: Wolfram Alpha ............................................................36 Figure 16: Top 10 Worldwide Search December 2007 ...........................................................37 Figure 17: How Much Of The Information On the Internet Do You Think is Reliable and Accurate? ................................................................................................................................39 Figure 18: Enterprise search satisfaction ................................................................................41 Figure 19: Influence of the consumer web on enterprise search tools ....................................41 Figure 20: Success rate of finding the information with enterprise search tools ....................42 Figure 21: Worldwide Search by Region ................................................................................43 Figure 22: Search engine leaders (>50%) per country personal estimation ...........................44 Figure 23: Search engine market in the USA, source: Hitwise, february 2009 ......................46 Figure 24: Google logo ...........................................................................................................46 Figure 25: Yahoo Logo ...........................................................................................................47 Figure 26: Japanese search engine market, source:webcreate.ga-pro.com, May 2009 ..........47 Figure 27:Chinese search engine market, source:China IntelliConsulting Corp. sept 2008...47 Figure 28: Baidu logo .............................................................................................................47 Figure 29: Bing logo ...............................................................................................................48 Figure 30: Korean search engine market, source: July 2007 Koreanclick..............................48 Figure 31: Naver logo .............................................................................................................48 Figure 32: Yandex logo ...........................................................................................................49 Figure 33:Search engine market in Russia, source: LiveInternet.ru:December 31, 2008 ......49 Figure 34: Seznam logo ..........................................................................................................49 Figure 35: Search engine market in Czech Rep, source: navrcholu.cz, June 2008 ................49 Figure 36:Search engine market in Iceland, source: statice.is 2007 .......................................50 Figure 37: Leit.is logo.............................................................................................................50 Figure 38: An example of a customized interface on iGoogle................................................51 Figure 39: Search engine market shares in 2007 for the Czech Republic ..............................52 Figure 40: Google market shares in Europe in 2008, source:Comscore .................................56 6
    • Figure 41: Use of search engines in 2004 and 2005 ...............................................................56 Figure 42: Search engine dependency relevancy ....................................................................57 Figure 43: Search users blame themselves not the technology...............................................58 Figure 44: Search engine syntax examples .............................................................................60 Figure 45: Use of advanced search functionalities in Canada ................................................61 Figure 46: Do users know how to use Boolean operators? .....................................................61 Figure 47: Use of meta search engines ...................................................................................62 Figure 48: Use of specialized search engines .........................................................................63 Figure 49: U.S. Advertising Market - Media Comparison – 2008 ($ Billions) ..........................67 Figure 50: Internet Ad Revenues by Advertising Format - 2008 Annual Results...................68 Figure 51: Search engine user behavior regarding results pages in the USA .........................68 Figure 52: An eye tracking study on several search engines ..................................................69 Figure 53: Differences between organic and sponsored results ..............................................70 Figure 54: Type of Search Result Selected .............................................................................71 Figure 55: Results relevancy according to users by search engine in 2004............................71 Figure 56: Attitudes towards search engines in India .............................................................72 Figure 57: Powered by Google logo .......................................................................................74 Figure 58: Powered by Yahoo logo.........................................................................................74 Figure 59: Estimation of the indexable web per search engine ..............................................74 Figure 60: Distribution of Public Web Sites By Country in 2002 ..........................................75 Figure 61: Percentage of Web Sites Covered by Google in 2002 ...........................................75 Figure 62: Google vertical search engines ..............................................................................78 Figure 63: Search engine search within website content comparison ....................................79 Figure 64: Future of web 2.0 ..................................................................................................80 Figure 65: Search engines are not the Internet .......................................................................81 Figure 66: Time and knowledge lag .......................................................................................82 Figure 67: Delicious bookmarks search..................................................................................83 Figure 68: Home page of the Similicious website ..................................................................83 Figure 69: Twitter real time information search engine ..........................................................84 Figure 70: Kartoo search results presentation.........................................................................85 Figure 71: 2008 Web trend map..............................................................................................86 Figure 72: 2007 Web trend map..............................................................................................86 Figure 73: Significant age-related differences in article discovery methods ..........................88 Figure 74: Google domination in Europe Figure 75: Google domination in Latin America ................................................................................................................................................93 Figure 76: Google coverage representation of the visible web...............................................95 Figure 77: Google search failure ............................................................................................96 Figure 78: Figure 77: Google bug analysis on January the 31st 2009 ....................................97 Figure 79: Google evolution traffic during the bug on January the 31st 2009 .......................98 Figure 80: Google Gmail failure.............................................................................................99 Figure 81: Main use of Internet ............................................................................................100 7
    • Foreword A general trend of the early 21st century has been the use of the Internet despite of TV as an information provider1. There are today 1,596,270,108 Internet users in the world2 and basically most of them already have their habits: checking their e-mail box(es), making research, finding information about goods and services, online chatting, reading the news3. Most of the functions described above can be done through an unique information exchange provider: the search engines. According to the main actors in Internet traffic measurements search engines are by far the most visited websites4. The main search engines actors are nowadays providing all kind of services making the Internet use very comfortable. However using a single search engine everyday make people conditioned to process information in a certain way. Such habits taken at home may unfortunately be present at work or the other way around. It is for sure comfortable to have a standard when dealing with computers. As an example Microsoft is the leading Operating System on computers with more than 90% of the all market5. But is Microsoft the computer? The same question arise with search engines: are they the Internet? 1 Cogar, P. (ed.) (2007). TV vs. the Internet: Internet wins. [online]. Available from : http://www.bit- tech.net/news/2007/08/23/tv_vs_the_internet_internet_wins/1 [Accessed 17 June 2009] 2 Internet World Stats. (2009). World Internet Usage Statistics News and World Population Stats. [online]. Available from: http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm [Accessed 17 June 2009] 3 Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission. (2005). Household use of the Internet survey 2005. [online]. Available from: http://www.skmm.gov.my/facts_figures/stats/pdf/Household_use_internet_survey2005.pdf [Accessed 17 June 2009] 4 Alexa Web. (n.d). Alexa Top 500 Global Sites. [online]. Available from: http://www.alexa.com/topsites [Accessed 17 June 2009] Netcraft. (n.d). Most visited websites. [online]. Available from: http://toolbar.netcraft.com/stats/topsites [Accessed 17 June 2009] 5 One Stat. (2007). OneStat Website Statistics and website metrics - Press Room. [online]. Available from : http://www.onestat.com/html/aboutus_pressbox54-windows-vista-global-usage-share.html [Accessed 20 June 2009] 8
    • « Risks of search engine dependency and its influence on data quality » has been written in the scope of understanding the potential risks of search engines addiction on businesses. Search engines such as Google are used by all Internet users. According to studies, Internet users are confident, satisfied and trust search engines 6 . They unfortunately show that users are unaware and naïve as well. Search engines are set up to find information on the Internet, information being the basis of any good decision making we can then understand how important and interesting it is for businesses to understand what are the consequences of their use. Ronan CHARDONNEAU 6 Fallows, D. (2005). Search Engine users. [online]. Available from: http://www.pewinternet.org/~/media//Files/Reports/2005/PIP_Searchengine_users.pdf.pdf [Accessed 17 June 2009] 9
    • Chapter 1: Introduction of the topic background 10
    • The Internet has been created to share information and to communicate with each others. It is hard to evaluate how big is the Internet, estimations among companies are very different, it varies from 15 to some 30 billion Web pages7. The number of websites is increasing everyday and estimated at more than 600,000,0008 for 2009 with a constant augmentation since the creation of the world wide web. Figure 1: Internet Domain Survey Host Count January 1994 - January 2009 Websites are used now in diverse manners if it comes to be a standard for companies (enlargement of their business activity, new opportunity for advertisement) it is also a space for many individuals (blog phenomenon). 7 Cf. Koch, P. / Koch, S. (2009). How big is the Internet?. [online]. Available from http://www.pandia.com/sew/383-websize.html. [Accessed 19 January 2009] 8 Internet Systems Consortium. (2009). The ISC Domain Survey Internet Systems Consortium. [online]. Available from https://www.isc.org/solutions/survey [Accessed 17 June 2009] 11
    • Figure 2: Do you use a personal blog?9 A study realized on 29 countries shows that almost 25% of Internet users under 34 year-old are using a blog, this trend is moreover growing since 2003. The vulgarization of the Internet and the fact that anyone can create his own website for free increased drastically the number of contents. The explosion of social networks (Facebook, Hi5…), blogs (Wordpress, Blogger, Myspace…), microblogging (Twitter) are changing the nature and fabric of the world wide web: from an Internet built by a few thousand of individuals we moved to one made by millions.10 If we take into account that searching is after e-mails the biggest activity Figure 3: How frequently do Internet users participate in the most popular activities? 9 USC Annenberg School. (2008). The impact of the Internet. [online]. Available from: http://advertising.microsoft.com/sverige/WWDocs/User/sv-se/NewsAndEvents/Events/jeff_cole.ppt [Accessed 21 June 2009] p.7 10 Cf. UCL. (2008). Information behaviour of the researcher of the future. [online]. Available from: http://www.bl.uk/news/pdf/googlegen.pdf [Accessed 19 June 2009] p.16 12
    • which is made of the Internet11: We can then understand that more sophisticated tools are needed to find the right information on the Web. So far we access to websites through three ways:  Direct access (for example entering directly the URL in the address bar, clicking on a bookmark);  External links (access to a website through the link of another website, this is the case in most of websites, catalogs, advertisement);  Through Search Engines; By using only the first two options one cannot browse the Internet normally. It has been said as well that the first way is disappearing more and more in profit of search engines12. A search engine is then indispensable in order to crawl the web properly. 1.1 Relevance of the subject The Internet is becoming more and more our information provider. As studies show: ‖More people turned to the internet than any other source of information and support, including experts, family members, government agencies, or libraries‖13. The Web is the primary source of information for many people with an increase of its recognition14. 11 USC. (2008). Annual Internet Survey by the Center for the Digital Future. [online]. Available from: http://www.digitalcenter.org/pdf/2008-Digital-Future-Report-Final-Release.pdf [Accessed 21 June 2009] p.4 12 cf. Ohayon, O. (2008). Google, moteur de recherche ou moteur de navigation?. [online]. Available from : http://fr.techcrunch.com/2008/10/30/fr-google-moteur-de-recherche-ou-moteur-de- navigation/ [Accessed 17 June 2009] 13 Estabrook, L. /Witt, E./ Rainie, L. (2007). Information searches that solve problems. [online]. Available from: http://www.pewinternet.org/~/media//Files/Reports/2007/Pew_UI_LibrariesReport.pdf.pdf [Accessed 17 June 2009] p5 14 Cole, J. I./Suman, M./Schramm, P./Lunn, R/Aquino, J.S. (2003). Surveying the Digital Future. [online] Available from: http://www.digitalcenter.org/pdf/InternetReportYearThree.pdf [Accessed 17 June 2009] 13
    • The number of Internet users is estimated to 1,463,632,361 (world population 6,676,120,288) with a growth rate from 2000-2008 fixed at 305.5 %15. The Internet is then our main information provider and his number of users is increasing every day. This rule is the same for businesses as for individuals. More and more information is digitalized and it comes then easier for companies to get data from the Internet rather than extracting it in the former way. As an example it is simpler to access the Yellow pages online, making copy and paste of some information rather than opening the hard copy book and typing in the data you want to work on. The Internet is then a place where the working environment is crossing the one of the individual. This information sharing have some consequences (lot of information, accuracy issues, internet users are subject to many commercials). This is moreover problematic because this is the first time that an information provider is gathering in such extend those two sources of information. It was not the case with TV, Radio or even newspapers. As we will see later some companies are only relying on information, finding quality websites is then critical for businesses. 1.2 Major terms In this thesis the following expressions will be used: search engines, search engine dependency, data quality, Web 2.0 and following versions. Search engine is the most flexible technology which has been created in order to browse the web. A search engine is no more than a web application which is processing information. It does not create data it just process some information it has in his index. ―A search engine is simply a means to ask information on the Web, a system for organizing the data held on the Internet. A search engine can be metaphorically 15 Internet World Stats. (2009). INTERNET USAGE STATISTICS The Internet Big Picture.[online] Available from: http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm [Accessed 17 June 2009] 14
    • compared to several activities: a miner panning for gold, a clerk looking for a document in a cabinet…‖16 Search engine dependency is the fact that Internet users use a single search engine when looking for information on the Internet. This dependency can be created from different factors such as loyalty, patriotism or convenience. Data quality is the quality of data. Data are of high quality "if they are fit for their intended uses in operations, decision making and planning"17. Alternatively, the data are deemed of high quality if they correctly represent the real-world construct to which they refer. These two views can often be in disagreement, even about the same set of data used for the same purpose.18 Web 2.0 and following versions are not the name of a specific software or technology. As an example Web 2.0 is an online movement that encourages users to participate in the fresh, interactive nature of the Internet by using widely available, 19 less expensive, and more mature state-of-the-art technologies . 1.3 Focus, goals and structure of the report The focus of this work is to put in evidence that there is a critical lack of how to use the Internet either at home that within businesses and that one is influencing the other. Such lack of knowledge is raising from the over evaluation we are making about technologies, commercial search engine strategies, lack of awareness, strong addiction to search engines, lack of training within businesses and educational institutions. This has some critical consequences on business decision-making as well as day to day choices. 16 Friedman, B. G. (2004). Web search savvy. p.19 17 Juran, J. (1999). Juran’s quality handbook: Fifth edition. p.976 18 Kaplan, I. (2008). Bad Data Can Cost You Big Time. [online]. Available from: http://www.federationofcredit.com/base/document/Newsletter/IKaplanSept08.html [Accessed 17 June 2009] 19 Meyerson, M./Scarborough, M. E. (2007). Mastering Online Marketing. P.223 15
    • If those risks are relevant it is then very important to put them in evidence showing concretely what are those risks, where are they coming from and how much is the gap of information between a search from a search engine addicted user and the most rational way of looking for the information. The structure of the report is as follow: The first idea is to introduce the concept of data quality. What do we mean by data quality? How to get data quality on the Internet? The next point is dealing with the world of search engines and the dependency which is coming out from them. Analyzing the world of search engines is important to understand how the Internet is not as rational as one could think and what are the actors of the dependency (search engines may be not the Internet, search engines may be different from a country to another). Once this analysis made, a look at the facts and figures regarding search engine users attitudes will be conducted. This should drive us to the conclusion that Internet users are not using an all set of search tools but only a couple of them: the dependency concept. Once the dependency concept introduced we will measure the risks of such addiction on data quality. Google being in Europe the most used search engine and it will be used as a concrete example in the last part. In the last part recommendations will be given for companies interested in improving their information research system and reducing data quality issues when looking for information on the Internet. 16
    • 1.4 Chaper 1: Key points  The Internet is used to share information and to communicate;  The number of websites created increase everyday;  Websites are used for diverse purposes (making advertisement, expressing personal opinions, running businesses…);  25% of young people Internet users aged of <34 year-old have a personal website;  In a decade we skipped from an Internet built by a thousand of individuals to one made by millions;  Search is the second biggest activity made on the Internet after e-mails;  Search engines are so far the only way to crawl the Internet properly;  The Internet is our main information provider;  On the Internet, flows of information from businesses are mixed up with the ones of individuals, it can then be subject to confusions;  Search engine are the origin of those confusions, it seems then critical to analyze how those technologies are working and what are the consequences of their use; 17
    • Chapter 2: Concept of data quality 18
    • A recent study in the United States showed20 that the Internet is the most used source of information when people need help: Figure 4: Most used information source when people need help This information is far more valuable if we consider that the World Wide Web is now the largest resource of information21. The Internet has then several strengths: the most used information system, the biggest resource of information, it is moreover the most global and accessible one (free and mobile).22 The issue is how to use it wisely to get quality information. If we have a look at the perception that Internet users have regarding the quality of information on the Internet we can see that a high percentage of users are considering the data quality issue. Most of them however agree that in general the Internet is a reliable source of information23: 20 cf. Estabrook, L. /Witt, E./ Rainie, L. (2007). Information searches that solve problems. [online]. Available from: http://www.pewinternet.org/~/media//Files/Reports/2007/Pew_UI_LibrariesReport.pdf.pdf [Accessed 17 June 2009] 21 Muñoz, C./Moraga, A./Piattini, M. (2008). Handbook of Research on Web Information Systems Quality. p.286 22 Albarran, A.B./Chan-Olmsted,S.M./Wirth,M.O. (2006). Handbook of media management and economics. p471 23 Pierce, J. (2008). The World Internet Project. [online]. Available from: http://www.digitalcenter.org/WIP2009/WorldInternetProject-FinalRelease.pdf [Accessed 20 June 2009] 19
    • Figure 5: How much of the information on the World Wide Web overall is generally reliable? 2.1 Data quality definition ―Data has quality if it satisfies the requirements of its intended use. It lacks quality to the extent that it does not satisfy the requirement. In other words, data quality depends as much on the intended use as it does on the data itself. To satisfy the intended use, the data must be accurate, timely, relevant, complete, understood, and trusted.‖24 In general one agrees to define data quality according to six dimensions. Accuracy: The quality of being near to the true value25. Accuracy is the most important dimension.26 Timelessness: unaffected by time27. Relevant: the degree to which search results meet the requirements or expectations implicit in the query28 Complete: bring to a whole, with all the necessary parts or elements. Understood: perceive (an idea or situation) mentally. 24 Olsen, J. (2003). Data quality: The accuracy dimension. p.24 25 Wordnet.princeton.edu. (2009). Accuracy definition. [online]. Available from: wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn [Accessed 17 June 2009] 26 Olsen, J. (2003). Data quality: The accuracy dimension. p.3 27 Wordnet.princeton.edu. (2009). Timelessness definition. [online]. Available from: wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn [Accessed 17 June 2009] 28 WhamTech . (n.d). Glossary of less-than-usual terms used in the Web site. [online]. Available from: www.whamtech.com/glossary.htm [Accessed 17 June 2009] 20
    • Trusted: inclined to believe or confide readily. Each of those dimensions can be accepted with a certain level of acceptance. As previously said everything depends on the intended use of the information. For example a database with 70% of accuracy may have a value for some company departments (e.g: marketing for estimations) because those 70% of data are exploitable. On the other hand it can be useless for others, for e.g: an accounting department releasing a balance sheet of 70% accuracy. Data quality is a complex topic and some additional dimensions can be included for the use of the data such as: Accessibility, Accuracy, Amount of data, Applicability, Attractiveness, Availability, Believability, Completeness, Concise representation, Consistent representation, Cost effectiveness, Customer support, Currency, Documentation, Duplicates, Ease of operation, Expiration, Flexibility, Granularity, Interactive, Internal consistency, Interpretability, Latency, Maintainable, Novelty, Objectivity, Ontology, Organization, Price, Relevancy, Reliability, Reputation, Response time, Security, Specialization, Source's information, Timeliness, Understand ability, Validity, Value-added.29 2.2 Data quality issues within businesses As we saw previously accurate data is the most important dimension of data quality. Data is the heart of any good businesses or organizations. Some companies such as financial ones are only living on information. The use of the Internet increased the flow of information and now company's data are used by other companies to make decisions such as purchasing and selling. 29 Muñoz, C./Moraga, A./Piattini, M. (2008). Handbook of Research on Web Information Systems Quality. p.138 21
    • So if company A is providing bad quality data which afterward are retaken by company B it enters in a vicious circle where the flow of biased information never stop. As Jack E. Olson mentioned it in his book ―Data quality‖: ―Data is generated by more people, is used in the execution of more tasks by more people, and is used in corporate decision making more than ever before.‖30 Data quality is critical. Even though databases are recognized as the most important asset, companies tolerate enormous inaccuracies in their databases. According to the same author this issue is not only present within businesses but as well in governmental organizations and educational systems:  Businesses and organizations are aware of data issue;  They all underestimate the consequences of it;  They have no idea of the cost linked to those issues;  They have no idea of the potential value in fixing the problem; Jack E.Olsen gives us as well in his book an estimation of the loss associated to data quality fixing it at 15 to 25% of the operating profit. Those losses are of different kinds: transaction rework costs, costs incurred in implementing new systems, delays in delivering data to decision makers, lost customers through poor service, lost production through supply chain problems. Those issues are normally not coming from the data management system (DMS are conceived to answer a specific request). The failure is mainly coming from its users. To avoid this they need to be aware of three things: - what are the system capabilities; - how to use it properly; - how to interpret its results. 30 Olsen, J. (2003). Data quality: The accuracy dimension. p.5 22
    • The main remedy of this issue stands to be a long term strategy in which teams within the organization are trained in the concept of data quality management. The concept of data quality is very relevant when dealing about search engines. Most of the search engines we know as consumers are commercial search engines. But as we know the main objective of a commercial company is to make profit and from this a lot of issues are raising. According to a study untitled ―Findability‖31 most of businesses (62%) agree that finding information is critical however on the other hand most of them do not know the criticality level of finding information and this due to a general lack of awareness. It shows as well that strategy are almost mainly not defined (49%): Figure 6: Enterprise findability goal And proper goals not clearly expressed. It draws the same conclusions as some authors on this topic32. As we saw technology is not responsible of quality issues but the use of technology and the interpretation made out of the information retrieval is a source of quality problems. This can be reduced by implementing methodologies such as: – Putting in place a better information research management strategy33 mainly based on employees training. It does not only mean to train employees on how to use technologies but as well how to develop a pro efficient behavior when making 31 cf. The Association for Enterprise and Content Management. (2008). Findability: The Art and Science of Making Content Easy to Find. [online]. Available from: http://www.aiim.org/Research/MarketIQ/Findability-7-16-08.aspx [Accessed 17 June 2009] p.22 32 Olsen, J. (2003). Data quality: The accuracy dimension. p.7-8 33 Kehoe, M. (2009). Overview of the Enterprise Search Market. [online]. Available from: http://www.ideaeng.com/tabId/98/itemId/181/Overview-of-the-Enterprise-Search-Market-2009.aspx [Accessed 17 June 2009] 23
    • research. It means reconsidering the information process and participating in the improvement of the all research information system (cf.chapter:2.3.4). Computer users are expecting too much from technologies waiting to be fed with the most rational solution whereas it is not yet on the market; – Implementing a more user oriented research application. Studies are showing that regarding libraries too many of them did not investigate enough in this field, focusing on the size of their database rather than how to retrieve the information34. This is one of the reason why people move from libraries to the Internet as an information provider; 2.3 Origins of data quality issues: Garbage In Garbage Out ―On two occasions I have been asked,—"Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" … I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question. “ — Charles Babbage As we previously saw data quality issues with search engines are not coming from technology. They are in fact coming from: – The one who wrote the contents of the results, it can be misspellings, no concrete sources to justify himself, no adoption of standards, advertisement; – The one who type in the request (cf. chapter 3.3.6.1: Search engine use awareness); The next parts will develop this first point in detail. 2.3.1 Poor data quality content: the Wikipedia example Wikipedia is an easy example to illustrate the data quality issue with Internet content and introduce well the chapters coming afterward. 34 Cf. UCL. (2008). Information behaviour of the researcher of the future. [online]. Available from: http://www.bl.uk/news/pdf/googlegen.pdf [Accessed 19 June 2009] p.31 24
    • Wikipedia is one of the greatest collaborative world wide web project ever but on the other hand it has a couple of drawbacks. Those disadvantages are mainly arising from an absence of standards in data quality, here are some of those points: – Everybody can provide his contribution and have the possibility to sign it as anonymous, so in theory a 3 year-old kid can write an article. According to Sara Baase: ―Accuracy and quality are impossible. Truth does not come from populist free-for-alls. Some articles are biased and one sided‖35; – Some articles without reliable sources can be validated by an administrator, Internet users may then take the displayed information for granted; – The success of Wikipedia: word of mouth; – Wikipedia's popularity36 made it ranks first on Google on most of the requests. It has a page rank of 9 out of 10 which corresponds to almost the maximum recognition Google can give to a website. Figure 7: 1st and 2nd results for "data quality" are Wikipedia websites 2.3.2 Poor data quality content: the commercial example In a study untitled ―Of course it’s true I saw it on the Internet!‖ 37 aimed at understanding how American students conduct searches the following question was asked: ―List three major innovations developed by Microsoft over the past 10 years‖. 35 Baase, S. (2007). A gift of Fire. p352 36 Baase, S. (2007). A gift of Fire. p351 37 Graham, E. L./ Metaxas, P. T. (2003). Of course it’s true I saw it on the Internet!: Critical thinking in the Internet. Available from: http://www.wellesley.edu/CS/pmetaxas/CriticalThinking.pdf [Accessed 17 June 2009] 25
    • The survey was submitted to 180 college students in the United States during the school year 2000-2001. As an answer 63% responded by using only one source of information: Microsoft‟s website but is a commercial website a reliable, neutral and trusting source of information? One thing is sure a company have no interest to critic herself on her own website so it may be high probable that they will tend to sell themselves more than keeping a neutral point of view. The commercial aspect of search engine will be retaken and more developed in the next chapters. 2.3.3 Metadata Metadata is the key in order to understand how search engines are currently working and to understand how to perform good search. Commonly speaking the definition of metadata is data about data. As an example a librarian is archiving his books by assigning to each of them a reference. For example the reference ―AA1‖ corresponds to ―gone in the wind. Each web page on the Internet has several metadata such as the ―title‖ of the page ―keyword associated to the page‖ ―description‖ etc etc… Metadata issues are coming mainly because they are not representing all the data. The best example we can find is the one of images search. Today when typing a request to look for pictures we get as a result a strange cocktail of a bit everything. The reason in this case are a lack of metadata and a use of them which is not appropriate. As an example most of Internet users are uploading pictures without giving them any names, letting just a number as identifier. This is an incredible amount of data which is unusable. 26
    • Figure 8: A query made on Google images with the keyword "P5170009" This is introducing another issue which is findability. 2.3.4 Findability ―Findability Precedes Usability In the alphabet and on the Web You can’t use what you can’t find‖38 Findability is the art and science of making content findable. The science is library science; the art is language arts and the user interface design.39 Findability is more or less understood by businesses and too often confused as search. 38 Morville, P. (2005). Ambient Findability. p.111 39 The Association for Enterprise and Content Management. (2008). Findability: The Art and Science of Making Content Easy to Find. [online]. Available from: http://www.aiim.org/Research/MarketIQ/Findability-7-16-08.aspx [Accessed 17 June 2009] p.9 27
    • Figure 9: How well is findability understood in your organization? Findability is not only about making research but also on how to make information findable. Most of businesses agree on this point: Findability is critical in Organization’s Business Goals and Success (62%). Figure 10: How critical is findability to your Organization's Business Goals and Success? However as a study on findability shows40 and as we will see later in Chapter 3 findability is not well defined and implemented within companies and this is mainly due to a management failure. 41 As Peter Morville describes it in his book ―Ambient Findability‖ Findability is defying classification. It flows across the borders between design, engineering, and marketing. Everybody is responsible, and so we run the risk that nobody is accountable. Findability is the matter of everyone within a company for example when designing the company website you have different actors: designers, engineers, information architects, brand architects, marketing department. Another example is the one of a secretary or an archiver when storing documents. He or she have to think about how to make those materials easy to find for everyone (by choosing the right metadata, the right technology) this include a 40 Cf. The Association for Enterprise and Content Management. (2008). Findability: The Art and Science of Making Content Easy to Find. [online]. Available from: http://www.aiim.org/Research/MarketIQ/Findability-7-16-08.aspx [Accessed 17 June 2009] 41 Morville, P. (2005). Ambient Findability. p.111 28
    • collaboration with all departments within a company. If not those contents are not findable and lost in a certain way. The solutions given by the Peter Morville are two: cultivate cross-functional collaboration and on an individual level to learn how to be pro efficient and to go beyond the job responsibility. 2.4 Data quality solutions A problem well defined is a problem half-solved." –John Dewey Data quality issues are coming from: - Garbage In Garbage Out; - No check of information accuracy; Solutions are then easy to find out: - Learning how to use search tools; - Check out the information; 2.4.1 Learning how to use search tools The main issue with Internet users is that they stick to the “Principle of Least Effort” invented by George Kingsley ZIPF: “Each individual will adopt a course of action that will involve the expenditure of the probably least average of his work (least effort).”42 And according to Calvin Mooers’ ―people will not seek information that makes their jobs harder (even if it may benefit the organization they work for)‖.43 Studies are in fact showing that users are sacrificing information quality 42 Case, D. O. (2007) Looking for information. p.151 43 Morville, P. (2005). Ambient Findability. p.54 29
    • for accessibility44. So users do not care about quality there are interested in easy to access information. This is mainly why the Google Advanced search option is rarely used. People assigning Advanced to complex.45 Whereas Advanced should be the right way to search. 2.4.2 Check out the information: the Triangle method Commonly used in the educational system the triangle method consists in lo- cating three independent sources that point to the same answer in order to pro- duce the most accurate information. This method is not making a distinction be- tween quality websites and poor quality ones but it helps in checking the infor- mation. Applying this concept can be more powerful that we can imagine. As an ex- ample one can take a recent news event such the riots in Tibet in 2008. If we look at the news provided from the United Kingdom46 and Germany47 as symbols of West- ern media Tibetans were suffering a true chaos in March 2008. On the other hand by having a look at CCTV (China Central Television)48 some information posted by Western media were according to them totally biased and incoherent. And when having a look at the proves advanced by the Chinese Me- dia it is actually giving them reason 49. The inaccuracies came from the facts that 44 Hirsh, S./Dinkelacker, J. (2004). Seeking Information in order to produce information: an empirical study at Hewlett Packards Labs. p.816 45 Olausson , A. M. (2007). Advanced Search: Is the name a problem?. [online]. Available from : http://digital-lifestyles.info/2007/09/21/advanced-search-is-the-name-a-problem/ [Accessed 17 June 2009] 46 BBC. (2008). Tibetans describe continuing unrest. [online]. Available from : http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7300312.stm [Accessed 17 June 2009] 47 Berliner Morgenpost. (2008). China rüstet sich für « die entscheidende Schlacht ». [online]. Available from : http://www.morgenpost.de/printarchiv/politik/article169230/China_ruestet_sich_fuer_die_entscheiden de_Schlacht.html [Accessed 17 June 2009] 48 XinHua. (2008). Commentary : Facts about Tibet should not be distorted. [online]. Available from: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-03/24/content_7847789.htm http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-03/24/content_7847789_1.htm [Accessed 17 June 2009] 49 Beijing Review. (2008). Dialogue: Media Coverage on Tibet. [online]. Available from: http://www.bjreview.com.cn/special/txt/2008-03/22/content_107054.htm [Accessed 17 June 2009] 30
    • Western media did not know well enough the Chinese and Tibetan cultures and lan- guages and were associating captions to images which were not true. In this configuration looking at three independent sources is critical. Who could have thought that Western medias can be wrong for example. Figure 11: Triangle method application Reliable sources is then a necessary condition for data accuracy but this condition is not sufficient you need moreover to look at three independent and reliable sources information which point to the same answer. 31
    • 2.5 Chapter 2: key points  The Internet is the most used, largest, global and accessible source of information;  The majority of Internet users consider the Internet has a reliable source of information and are aware of quality issues;  Accuracy is the most important dimension in data quality and can be accepted in some cases with a certain level of acceptance;  Some companies are only living on information;  Company's data are used by other companies to make decisions;  Data quality issues are touching all kind of organizations;  The loss associated to data quality is estimated from 15 to 25% of the operating profit;  In most of the cases Database Management System is not the cause of data quality issues;  A majority of businesses do not have proper goals defined regarding the findability of their material within their research environment;  Cultivate cross-functional collaboration and pro efficient behavior within companies are the keys to set up good information retrieval systems;  Making content findable is the job responsibility of everyone within a company;  People will not seek information that makes their jobs harder (even if it may benefit the organization they work for)  Users are sacrificing information quality for accessibility;  People are assigning Advanced to complex. Whereas Advanced is the right way to search.  Accuracy issue can be reduced by checking the information from three independent and reliable sources; 32
    • Chapter 3: Search engines dependency 33
    • As previously seen search is the second most popular activity made of the Internet and search engines are the most appropriate tool to do so. Before introducing the search engine dependency concept it may be interesting to know the search engine market configuration. Even if Google is recognized as the leading brand in this field, his superiority may be not worldwide. A strong effort has been made in this thesis to make it as global as possible. Most of the publications in this area have been written considering the American and European market as a representative sample of the market. The raising up of India and China in the technological world and the increase of information on the Internet allow us now to get information about the Asian market. If most of new technologies are coming from the United States it is interesting to enlarge the research study to Asia to get a more representative and exclusive panel. 3.1 Search engine categories Search engines can be divided into two categories:  Commercial search engines available for free for the mass public mainly in exchange of advertisement display;  Enterprise search engines for businesses. They are generally paid services, free of advertisement and customized for a specific need. 3.1.1 Commercial search engines Commercial search engines are divided into four categories:  Standard: the most well known search engines such as www.google.com, www.bing.com, http://www.ask.com/. They are looking for any kind of in- formation through the Internet and are characterized by a very light inter- face (mostly text-based applications): 34
    • Figure 12: Ask search engine home page  Portals: Portals are a mix between standard search engines and direc- tories. Differently from search engines, directories are using human being instead of robots to index websites address. In theory (if we did not take into consideration the commercial aspect) directories should provide qual- ity information rather than quantity.50 Portals are then characterized by a lot of information on their home page including the search engine func- tion. The most well known portal is Yahoo. Figure 13: Yahoo home page  Specialized search engines: they belong to a subcategory of the first group and are also called vertical search engines. Vertical search engine is to search the information sources of one industry or a kind.51 Specia- lized search engines are crawling only a restricted area and not the entire web. For example they can search only in a specific website or only a specific kind of document (books, images, .pdf documents, videos…). If specialized search engines are not a revolution in themselves (they are for most of them a filter of bigger search engines) they however find their 50 Friedman, B. G. (2004). Web Search Savvy. p.21 51 Wang, W. (2007). Integration and Innovation Orient to E-Society Volume 1. p.666 35
    • place when standard search engines are providing too many results for a given request. Figure 14: An example of vertical search with Yahoo Images  Semantic search engines: Most of search engines on the market are based on keywords and documents popularity (for example Google page rank) without taking into account the real content52. The idea behind se- mantic is to understand the hidden meaning of the information. A re- cent example of such search engine called ―Wolfram Alpha‖ just came out on the market, qualified as a ―knowledge engine‖53 designed to give you answers to your request rather than driving you to a website which may have it. Semantic search engines belong to the Web 3.0 generation where machines interpret the meaning of the data.54 Figure 15: A semantic search engine: Wolfram Alpha 52 Priss, U./Corbett, D./Angelova, G. (2002). Conceptual structures. p.92 53 Valentiner, Z. (2009). New search tool on the block: Wolfram Alpha. [online]. Available from : http://www.mndaily.com/blogs/tech-corner/2009/05/20/new-search-tool-block-wolframalpha [Accessed 17 June 2009] 54 Cf. Sankar, K./Bouchard, S./Mancini, D. (2009). Enterprise Web 2.0 Fundamentals. P.161 36
    • 3.1.2 Enterprise search engine (ESE) Enterprise Search Engine are dedicated to search within companies environment such as Internet, Intranet, Customer Management System, Databases, Wikis, Software Applications. Their use can be clearly understood when employees within companies are looking for information which are not public or want to get pertinent information within their own environment. Enterprise search engines have more or less the same technology and function as commercial web search engine, they just target a specific group rather than a mass public audience55. 3.2 Search engine market 3.2.1 Commercial search engine market The commercial search engine market is segmented as follow: Figure 16: Top 10 Worldwide Search December 2007 55 cf. The Association for Enterprise and Content Management. (2008). Findability: The Art and Science of Making Content Easy to Find. [online]. Available from: http://www.aiim.org/Research/MarketIQ/Findability-7-16-08.aspx [Accessed 17 June 2009] 37
    • - Google is the major leader with more than 60% ; - Yahoo has a comfortable second position with more than 10%; - Three other major search engines are sharing the 3rd , 4th and 5th place with market shares from 2,4 to 5%: Baidu, Microsoft and Naver; - The presence of some specialized search engines in the top 10; As mentioned above, in 2007 the top 10 search website showed an interesting market with the presence of: - 2 specialized search engines such as eBay and Alibaba.com; - 4 Asian search engines: Baidu, NHN, Yandex and Alibaba.com; This clearly shows the presence of Asian technologies. Moreover Baidu, NHN and Yandex are nationally oriented as we will see later in chapter 3.2.7. 3.2.2 Commercial search engine market: Consumer behavior A study made in the United States shows that Internet searchers are confident, satisfied and trust search engines 56 some of those results are confirmed by a Taiwanese study57: • 92% are confident about their searching skills; • 87% have a successful search experience; • 68% believe that search engines are a fair and unbiased source of information; • 44% of searchers say they regularly use a single search engine, 48% will use just two or three, 7% will use more than three; 56 Fallows, D. (2005). Search engine users. [online]. Available from: http://www.pewinternet.org/~/media//Files/Reports/2005/PIP_Searchengine_users.pdf.pdf [Accessed 17 June 2009] p.2 57 Insight Xplorer. (2006). 創 市 際 市 場 研 究 顧 問 . [online]. Available from: http://www.insightxplorer.com/specialtopic/co_info_acquisition.html [Accessed 17 June 2009] 38
    • • 62% are not aware of a distinction between commercial and non commercial results; Moreover according to a study untitled: ―surveying the Digital Future‖ 58: Figure 17: How Much Of The Information On the Internet Do You Think is Reliable and Accurate? A huge majority of them is seeing it as a reliable and accurate source of information over the time.  According to another study 22% of Internet users have a search engine such as Google, Yahoo as their home page. This trend doubled since 2005.59  Regarding search engines reliability and accuracy 51% in 2007 are saying that most or all the information produced by search engines is reliable and accurate. They were 62% in 2006;  Internet users find high degree of reliability and accuracy on their favorite web sites, they were 81% in 2005, 83% in 2006 and 83% in 2007;60 58 UCLA Center for Communication Policy. (2004). Surveying the Digital Future. [online]. Available from: http://www.digitalcenter.org/downloads/DigitalFutureReport-Year4-2004.pdf [Accessed 18 June 2009]. P.39 59 Center for the Digital Future (2008). Annual Internet Survey by the Center for the Digital Future. [online]. Available from http://www.digitalcenter.org/pdf/2009_Digital_Future_Project_Release_Highlights.pdf [Accessed 19 June 2009] p.4 60 Center for the Digital Future (2008). Annual Internet Survey by the Center for the Digital Future. [online]. Available from http://www.digitalcenter.org/pdf/2009_Digital_Future_Project_Release_Highlights.pdf [Accessed 19 June 2009] p.5 39
    •  In 2007, 80% of Internet users are considering that most or all of the information posted by well known media such as the New York Times and CNN is reliable and accurate. They were 77% in 2006. It seems that commercial Internet users have a positive search experience. Even if they recognize data quality issues they seem not to understand where those problems are coming from. It should then interesting to inform them more regarding the commercial aspect of free search engines. 3.2.3 Enterprise Search Engine market The Enterprise Search Engine market is far more confused and crowded 61 than the commercial one. There are not many information on it but what we can say is that actors are different and that enterprise search engines are customized for a specific use. In a book untitled ―Practical aspects of Knowledge Management― and written in 2008 by Takahira Yamaguchi, a rank of the main actors in this field is given62: 1st autonomy.com 2nd Fastsearch.com 3rd Endeca.com As we can see those three companies were not listed in the commercial search engine ranking. However some commercial search engine firms are present on this market such as Google with Google Search Appliance and Microsoft with Microsoft Search Server. 61 Feldman, S. (2005). Desperately seeking search. [online]. Available from: http://www.kmworld.com/Articles/Editorial/Feature/Desperately-seeking-search-9665.aspx [Accessed 17 June 2009] 62 Yamaguchi, T. (2008). Practical aspects of Knowledge Management. p.41 40
    • 3.2.4 Enterprise Search Engine market: Consumer behavior The Enterprise search engine market has a different configuration that the commercial one. However the main protagonists such as Google and Microsoft are still present63. In opposite to the commercial web search engines, enterprise search engine users are mostly disappointed by their search experience. Figure 18: Enterprise search satisfaction It is quite impressive to see that almost the majority (49%) have a negative image about searching for information within their enterprise search tools. The major reasons for this are: – The lack of training and consulting of those search tools within organizations64; – The expectation to have results which are as pertinent as commercial web search engines; Figure 19: Influence of the consumer web on enterprise search tools 63 Kehoe, M. (2009). 2009 Overview of the Enterprise Search Market. [online]. Available from: http://www.ideaeng.com/tabId/98/itemId/181/Overview-of-the-Enterprise-Search-Market- 2009.aspx [Accessed 17 June 2009] 64 cf. The Association for Enterprise and Content Management. (2008). Findability: The Art and Science of Making Content Easy to Find. [online]. Available from: http://www.aiim.org/Research/MarketIQ/Findability-7-16-08.aspx [Accessed 17 June 2009] p.36 41
    • A vast majority (82%) agree to say that their consumer web experience on how to look for information on the Internet influence their expectations regarding the implementation of such technology within companies. As Ron Miller (cited in the following study) explained it: « On the web, search engines like Google have the advantage of searching the entire web. Therefore, the likelihood of finding query matches is much greater than in the enterprise where the number of possible right answers is much smaller, and could in fact be found in just a single document. (Of course finding more results doesn’t necessarily mean finding right ones, but that’s another issue altogether.) » It is then not surprising to see that most of enterprise search engines are not successful in finding what they are looking for: Figure 20: Success rate of finding the information with enterprise search tools The problematic according to Ron Miller should then be as follow: "I don‟t think the technology is failing us, I think it‟s the way we are using the technologies," but he adds, "If I can’t find my content, it doesn’t exist."65 This part clearly put in relevancy that searchers within companies are confusing commercial search engines with enterprise search engines associating directly one to the other. It shows as well the lack of training to those technologies and confirm then the lack of technology literacy of Internet users. Moreover it clearly define what the market is: simple and easy to use applications. 65 Miller, R. (2009). Unlock Power Enterprise Search. [online]. Available from: http://byronmiller.typepad.com/UnlockPowerEnterpriseSearch.pdf [Accessed 17 June 2009] p.5 42
    • 3.2.5 The commercial search market repartition Regarding the repartition of search use on the Internet we can see that the block “Europe+ North America” is representing more than half of the market with 55%. The Asian-Pacific area is well represented with one third of the market. Figure 21: Worldwide Search by Region Northern American and Asian Internet users are more or less experiencing the same volume of search whereas it is in Europe and Latin America that Internet users are performing it the most per capita. This part will be more developed in chapter 5.1.4: Google dependency state. 3.2.6 The commercial search engines in the world As mentioned in chapter 3.2.1, 6 research out of 10 on the Internet are made on Google. However it does not mean that each country in the world has a population of 60% Google users. 43
    • Figure 22: Search engine leaders (>50%) per country personal estimation66 The world is not covered entirely by Google. There are some 7 other leaders: Yahoo, Yandex (Mail.ru), Baidu, Microsoft, Naver, Seznam and Leit.is. Almost all the American continent is using Google as well as Europe, Northern Africa, Southern Africa, Australia and India. In one word almost all countries which have strong links with the Anglo- Saxon culture. The strong presence of Yandex in Eastern Europe (ex-soviet countries) and Russia could let us think about a possible « boycott of American technologies » and support of Russian technologies. The recent partnership between Yandex (main search engine in Russia) and the browser Firefox is increasing those suspicions67. 66 Alexa Web. (n.d). Alexa Top 500 Global Sites. [online]. Available from: http://www.alexa.com/topsites [Accessed 17 June 2009] 67 cf. Houste, F. (2009). Russie: Yandex sera le moteur de recherche par défaut de Firefox. [online]. Available from: http://www.search-engine-feng-shui.com/2009/01/russie-yandex-sera-le-moteur- de-recherche-par-defaut-de-firefox/ [Accessed 23 January 2009] cf. Schwartz, B. (2009). Firefox Drops Google For Yandex In Russia, But Big Loser May Be Rambler. [online]. Available from: http://searchengineland.com/firefox-drops-google-for-yandex-in-russia-but- big-loser-may-be-rambler-16107 [Accessed 23 January 2009] 44
    • The same observation can be made in China. The recent advertisement broadcast by Baidu 68 (the search engine leader in China) are going in that sense, showing clearly the will of getting rid of foreigner search engines.69 The Russian and Chinese cases are contradictory with the concept mentioned in the book ―Winners, Losers and Microsoft‖ which is saying that the best product always win70. The search engine market is then not a rational one. Information regarding Caribbean areas and Central Africa are hard to find and are not very relevant taking in account that the Internet is not well implemented yet. On the other hand the Pacific area region is quite interesting because containing all the « Tigers » (Taiwan, Thailand...) are all in red: Yahoo. As a conclusion the search engine world is divided into two parts:  The Google planet: which is composed of all the Anglo-Saxon countries as well as countries which have strong links with the United States or Great Britain. Czech Republic and Iceland seem only to be a matter of time?71.  The Asian – Pacific regions: Asia is composed of a lot of countries and then a lot of cultures. Among them we can identify four players: o Yandex (Mail.ru) which is dominating all the ex-soviet countries; o Baidu which has a total control over China; o Naver (NHN Corporation), a 100% South Korean product which is the best example that search engines work by culture; 68 Baidu. (2006). Baidu advertisement. [online]. Available from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPnmsFl__nU [Accessed 17 June 2009] 69 cf. Einhorn, B. (2007). Baidu Thinks It Can Play in Japan. [online]. Available from:http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/feb2007/gb20070215_649662.htm?chan=gl obalbiz_asia_technology [Accessed 23 January 2009] cf. Grallet, G. (2009). Baidu, un autre Google s'éveille. [online]. Available from: http://www.lexpress.fr/actualite/high-tech/baidu-un-autre-google-s-eveille_734826.html [Accessed 23 January 2009] cf. Shijun, Z./Peng, N./Weifeng, X. (2006). 时尚中国—网动中国英. p.45 70 Liebowitz, S. J./Margolis, S. (1999). Winners, Losers and Microsoft 71 cf. Rafat, A. (2008). Czech Portal Seznam Could Fetch $900 Million; Google, Apax, Warburg and Others in Fray. [online] Available from: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp- dyn/content/article/2008/08/15/AR2008081502517.html [Accessed 23 January 2009] cf. Mar Hauksson, K. (2007). Global search report 2007 [online]. Available from: http://www.e3internet.com/downloads/global-search-report-2007.pdf [Accessed 23 January 2009] p.8 45
    • o Yahoo which is leader in almost all ―Tigers‖ Asian countries. Yahoo being an American technology how can we explain his domination in Asia? The reason is mainly cultural, Yahoo is a shiny portal and that Asian culture on the Internet recognize a quality website to the number of animations on it72. Another explanation could be the leading presence of Yahoo in Japan which can influence the tigers countries. Moreover Japan has one of the highest rate of the Internet integration in the world per capita73. 3.2.7 Commercial search engine leaders presentation Knowing search engine leaders and the services they are providing is critical to understand the search engine dependency concept. Here is a list of the main commercial search engine actors: Google: 74 Created in 1998 in the United States. Physically present in 34 countries around the world. Services provided: News, Blogs, Images, Videos, Maps, Mail services, Social networks, e-commerce, Online advertising… Language supported: More than 65. Figure 24: Google logo Figure 23: Search engine market in the USA, source: Hitwise, february 2009 72 cf. Tobin, R./Hotchkiss, G./Lee, P. (2008). Chinese Search Engine Engagement. [online]. Available from : http://www.enquiroresearch.com/download-research-whitepapers.aspx [Accessed 17 June 2009] p.28. 73 Internet World Stats. (2009). Internet Usage in Asia. [online]. Available from: http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats3.htm [Accessed 17 June 2009] 74 Miller, M. (2006). Googlepedia. p.11 46
    • Yahoo (―Yet Another Hierarchical Oracle‖):75 Created in 1994 in the United States it started as a directory to become later an Internet Portal. Physically present in 20 countries around the world. Services provided: News, Business directory, Maps, Videos, Images, Online advertising, Mail services, Jobs, Questions/Answers…. Language supported: More than 20. Figure 25: Yahoo Logo Figure 26: Japanese search engine market, source:webcreate.ga-pro.com, May 2009 Baidu:76 Created in 2000 in China. Physically present in China and in Japan. Services provided 77 : News, Business directory, Maps, Music, Videos, Images, Online advertising, Social networking… Language supported: 2 (Chinese and Japanese). Figure 28: Baidu logo Figure 27:Chinese search engine market, source:China IntelliConsulting Corp. sept 2008 75 Yahoo Inc. (n.d.). Company Overview. [online]. Available from: http://yhoo.client.shareholder.com/press/overview.cfm [Accessed 17 June 2009] Yahoo Inc. (n.d.). Yahoo dans le monde. [online]. Available from: http://world.yahoo.com/?c=fr [Accessed 17 June 2009] 76 Shijun, Z./Peng, N./Weifeng, X. (2006). 时尚中国—网动中国英. p45 Baidu Japan Inc. (n.d.). Baidu (バイドゥ)会社情報 - 会社概要 . [online]. Available from : http://www.baidu.jp/info/corp/data.html [Accessed 17 June 2009] 77 Baidu Inc. (n.d.). Baidu products. [online]. Available from : http://ir.baidu.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=188488&p=irol-products [Accessed 17 June 2009] 47
    • Microsoft: Microsoft main search engine is named ―Bing‖ (since June 2009). Search engines being not the core activity of Microsoft it is quite complex to give a description of it. Internet users do not go properly on Bing to use it but on Microsoft other sites services such as hotmail. Microsoft is physically implemented all over the world. Services provided: News, Social Networking, blogs, Mail services, toolbar… Language supported:78 41 Figure 29: Bing logo Naver: 79 Created in 1999 in South Korea. Naver is an Internet Portal. Physically present in South Korea, China, Japan and the United States. Services provided: News, e-commerce, Social Networking, blogs, real time information, Books, Mail services, toolbar. Language supported: Korean. Figure 31: Naver logo Figure 30: Korean search engine market, source: July 2007 Koreanclick Yandex:80 Created in 1997 in Russia. Yandex is physically present in Russia, Ukraine and the United States. 78 Microsoft. (n.d.). Préférences Bing. [online]. Available from: http://www.bing.com/settings.aspx?sh=2&FORM=WIWA [Accessed 17 June 2009] 79 NHN Corporation. (n.d.). NHN Corporation. [online]. Available from : http://www.nhncorp.com/ [Accessed 17 June 2009] 48
    • Services provided: News, e-commerce, Social Networking, blog search engine, Maps, dictionary, Mail services, photos, website, videos, professional network, online payment service, online advertising. Language supported: Russian, Ukrainian and English. Figure 32: Yandex logo Figure 33:Search engine market in Russia, source: LiveInternet.ru:December 31, 2008 Seznam81: Created in 1996 in Czech Republic. Seznam is an Internet Portal. Physically present in Czech Republic. Services provided: Search, Business directory, Images, Mail services, Online advertising, e-commerce, News, Social Network, Jobs, Online Games. Language supported: Czech. Figure 34: Seznam logo Figure 35: Search engine market in Czech Rep, source: navrcholu.cz, June 2008 Leit.is:82 Leit.is is an Icelandic Internet portal created in 1999. It is physically present in Iceland. Services provided: Images, Music… 80 Yandex inc. (2008). Russia’s largest internet search engine and a leading internet and technology company. [online]. Available from: http://download.yandex.ru/company/mini_book_v19.pdf [Accessed 17 June 2009] 81 Seznam inc. (n.d.). Vize firmy | O společnosti Seznam.cz.[online]. Available from : http://firma.seznam.cz/cz/vize-firmy.html [Accessed 17 June 2009] 82 Leit.is. (n.d.). Leit.is - Um leit.is :: Um leit.is. [online] Available from: http://www.leit.is/umleit/ [Accessed 17 June 2009] 49
    • Language supported: Icelandic and English Figure 37: Leit.is logo Figure 36:Search engine market in Iceland, source: statice.is 2007 As we can see none of those search engine leaders are simple search engines anymore. All are providing a bunch of services linked to their search activity. Moreover they all have at least ten years of experience in the search field. The one accumulating the most market shares are the one who play internationally. 3.2.8 Commercial search engine complexity As previously mentioned commercial search engines are not only providing a search experience. They are all moving toward a personalized interface with a set of associated services. In fact they are changing to a personal desktop environment where by creating a simple free account you can access to your emails, search engine, personal documents, software suite solutions such as spreadsheet, slides or word processor. iGoogle is a good example of it: 50
    • Figure 38: An example of a customized interface on iGoogle It is like an Operating System (Google) within the Operating System (Microsoft, Linux, Mac OS). In such configuration commercial search engines are providing more interesting services because more instinctive tools than the ones within companies. Companies employees frustrations can then be understood. The technological mass public market is for them moving faster than the business one. 3.2.9 Search engine market shares configuration A study untitled « Global Search Report 2007 »83 realized in 2007 made a clear view of the market. It shows that the configuration of each market is always the same: 83 cf. Wilsdon, N. (2007). Global Search Report 2007. [online]. Available from: http://www.e3internet.com/downloads/global-search-report-2007.pdf [Accessed 23 January 2009] 51
    • Figure 39: Search engine market shares in 2007 for the Czech Republic It is very rare to find a country where there is a close competition among search engines. Even if in the High Technology sector things change from a day to another you have often the following configuration where the first search engine is leading the game by more than 30 points on its followers. When a search engine get more than 50% of the market it is adopted as a standard. This trend seems quite relevant in the software industry, people seem to look for a standard used by all. This is the case for the Operating System industry, the browser industry, the e-learning industry. The explanation of such a success with- in a population can be found in the word to mouth, isn’t it how Google has been so successful? How never heard sentences such as « you just have to Google it » Google is even nowadays in dictionaries as a verb84. Markets are also define by a lot of small local search engines which are if original enough bought by the biggest ones or if not will disappear quickly (some examples are coming in the news every month). The only key of the success on the short term seems to be advertisement but on the long run you need the technology behind in order to compete. 3.2.10 Search engines competition 84 cf. Merriam Webster. (2001). Google - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. [online]. Available from: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/google [Accessed 17 June 2009] 52
    • Google has been created in 1998 and was not a pioneer in the field of search engines. In a short period of time Google succeed to take the lead and among the pioneers in this field only Yahoo (created in 1994) is still in place. Even if Google has a dominating position on the market it will take him a lot of time to be the number one in all countries (as we saw this market is not rational mainly due to political and cultural reasons). This situation is in fact giving hope/time to its competitors. Yahoo is still in discussion with Microsoft in order to buy Yahoo search technologies. One can understand how strategic can be such acquisition. Yahoo having the research knowledge and Microsoft the funds as well as the software ownership. Regarding Baidu we cannot clearly see how they could compete against Google outside of China. What about new comers? Starting from nothing they could maybe beat famous search engines in a small period of time. It could have been the success of some services such as Cuil launched in summer 2008 which received a lot of advertisement through the news85. But the search engines market is a very ungrateful world where visitors are giving no more than one chance: the product works or it does not. In the case of Cuil it did not. ―An information retrieval system will tend not to be used whenever it is more painful and troublesome for a customer to have information than for him not to have it.‖86 Users want the information as soon as they can. When you move from Google to another search engine you are often intransigent. At the first result which does not fit your expectations you will go back to Google. But is the search engine wrong or is it because it is responding differently that on what you were used to? As a conclusion it is hard to say how Google can lose his dominant posi- tion. Until now only one company succeeds to make a such gap in the world of 85 cf. Arrington, M. (2008). Cuil On BusinessWeek's Most Successful of 2008 List. Huh?. [online]. Available from: http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/12/29/cuil-on-businessweeks-most-successful-of- 2008-list/ [Accessed 17 June 2009] 86 Mooers, N. C. (1959). A panel discussion at the Annual Meeting of the American Documentation Institute. 24 October. 53
    • search engine and it is Google itself and it was in a period where everything had to be created on the Internet. A new technology regarding research is however more and more recurrent in this field and is called semantic research. 3.3 Search engine dependency aspect As mentioned in the introduction search engine dependency is the fact that people are using only one search engine and then only one way to process data when looking for information on the Internet. 3.3.1 Search engines dependency proves The sources used for this part are coming from Canadian 87 , French 88 and Belgium students panels89. Some other information regarding Germany, China (Hong Kong)90 and the United States91 have also been used. Those studies have been made on different panels: students, workers (researchers), household and the following conclusion have been made: search engine is the first tool when looking for information on the Internet. It also states regarding surveys made on students that most of them did not receive enough training on how to look for information. 87 cf. Crepuq. (2003). Etude sur les connaissances en recherche documentaire des étudiants entrant au 1er cycle dans les universités québécoises. [online]. Available from : http://www.crepuq.qc.ca/documents/bibl/formation/etude.pdf [Accessed 18 June 2009] 88 cf. Université de Lyon. (2007). De la documentation au plagiat. [online]. Available from : http://www.compilatio.net/files/sixdegres-univ-lyon_enquete-plagiat_sept07.pdf [Accessed 18 June 2009] 89 cf. EduDoc. (2008). Enquête sur les compétences documentaires et informationnelles des étudiants qui accèdent à l'enseignement supérieur en Communauté française de Belgique. [online]. Available from : http://www.edudoc.be/synthese.pdf [Accessed 18 June 2009] 90 cf. Leung, H. W. 梁漢榮. (2004). A study of computer science students' conceptions of information literacy and their experiences in information search process and use. [online]. Available from: http://hub.hku.hk/handle/123456789/30758 [Accessed 18 June 2009] 91 cf. Enquiro. (2004). Search Engine Usage in North America. [online]. Available from: http://www.enquiroresearch.com/download-research-whitepapers.aspx [Accessed 18 June 2009] 54
    • The best study found on this topic is one made on all the registered PhD students (2,218 with an answer rate of 23,4%) last year (2008) on a whole region of France92. The study shows that 67,5% of the respondents have never received a training regarding how to look for information during their whole stay at the university and that search engines are used in 96% of the cases when performing research. Internet users are dependent of search engines. 3.3.2 Types of search engines dependency Different types of search engine dependency can be identified:  Search engine satisfaction: users are performing web search on a specific search engine which give them entire satisfaction. They then have no reasons and intentions to change;  Search engine patriotism: users are performing research on a specific search engine in order to support a specific cause, for example to support the nation- al economy: Yandex and Baidu;  Search engine convenience and lock-in effect: users are performing re- search on a specific search engine for all the other services it can provide: convenience. He may be lock-in as well in all the services he subscribed to and do not wish to change for this reason. For example it is more convenient to gather all the services under the same provider than going on each individ- ual website to use the service (using one email box for different accounts, displaying on the same page news from different providers…); As explained in chapter 3.2.7 most of all search engines leaders are moving in this direction. 92 cf. URFIST de Rennes. (2008). Enquête sur les besoins de formation des doctorants à la maîtrise de l’information scientifique dans les Ecoles doctorales de Bretagne. [online]. Available from: http://www.uhb.fr/urfist/enquete_besoins_formation_doctorants-maitrise_information [Accessed 18 June 2009] 55
    • Being search engine dependent means using massively a search engine for one of the reasons above and to not use and even think of others solutions. Search engines dependency reach very high rate in Europe: Figure 40: Google market shares in Europe in 2008, source:Comscore Most of the European countries have a strong addiction to Google with more than 70%. It means than most of European citizens are fed by using the same way to process information. 3.3.3 Search engine loyalty Studies are putting in evidence search engine loyalty. A study launched by the China Internet Network Information Center in August 200593 showed that: Figure 41: Use of search engines in 2004 and 2005 93 China Internet Network Information Center. (2005). China Online Search Market Survey Report 2005. [online]. Available from: http://www.cnnic.cn/download/2005/2005083101.pdf [Accessed 18 June 2009] 56
    • Rather in China or in the United States94 Internet users are using one or two search engines when looking for information. We also have to take into account that both in China and in the USA the search engine leader has around 60% of the market. In countries where Google has more than 80% of the market the use of a second search engine should not be relevant. In any case very few are the users making research on more than 2 search engines. 3.3.4 Search engines dependency issues At the first sight when using a search engine we are not thinking about all the issues which are coming out from them. We make our research and we get results from this and then we try the results one after the other until finding the one which fits the best our expectations. The first main problem is that when addicted to a specific search engine which normally gave satisfaction the day when the result is not the one expected we may think that:  The information is not displayed because the information searched does not exist;  The request was not good enough, we should try with other keywords, this assumption is confirmed by Canadian and American surveys. Search users are sticking to their search engines; Figure 42: Search engine dependency relevancy 94 iProspect. (2004). Search Engine User Attitude April May 2004. [online]. Available from: http://www.iprospect.com/premiumPDFs/iProspectSurveyComplete.pdf [Accessed 18 June 2009] 57
    • In fact according to a British study95 search users are blaming themselves more than the search engine: Figure 43: Search users blame themselves not the technology The main issue to highlight is that people are so confident with some search engines that they will normally not look for alternatives or even consider that their favorite search engine can be wrong. 3.3.5 Privacy issues Privacy issues are finding justifications in the way that search engines are collecting information. When analyzing search engines we have to consider that it is a free product for all of us (in fact search engines get paid by displaying advertisement on each web page). Each time a search is made on the Internet the search engine you are using registers the IP number of your computer and the research you made. Those data are supposed to be confidential but some are used for statistics as well as providing more targeted advertisement. The more information you give and the more they collect. If you open an email account on a search engine your name, address and some other information will be collected. 95 Harvest Digital. (2006). User attitudes to search. [online]. Available from: http://www.harvestdigital.com/uploads/assets/pdfs/2cec1cc789493f04e8af724694f23e8c.pdf [Accessed 18 June 2009] 58
    • Until now few are the cases where we got the proof that the information collected by search engines have been given to third parties. The most famous litigation case has been the one of Yahoo in China which filtered some emails and gave the names of some Chinese journalists who were denouncing facts about the Chinese government96. Until now no mass exploitation of data have been observed and the recent news given by major search engines (Microsoft and Google) are saying that the trend is to eliminate those data as much as possible in the fear of losing confidentiality97. In theory the more information you give to a search engine and the more it can fit your expectations, so reducing the collection of data is in a certain way neither in people interest neither in search engine interest. 3.3.6 Search engine awareness Search engine awareness is one of the key issue of risks of search engine dependency, it is composed of:  Poor search engine awareness regarding how to use a specific search engine;  Poor search engine awareness regarding the existence of other search engines; Both parts are fundamental. The first one deals with what we call search tools. It consists of a combination of keys in order to fit a specific request. 3.3.6.1 Search engine use awareness Search engines use different syntaxes to improve requests pertinence: 96 cf. Kahn, J. (2005). Yahoo helped Chinese to prosecute journalist. [online]. New York: New York Times. Available from: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/07/business/worldbusiness/07iht- yahoo.html [Accessed 18 June 2009] 97 cf. Boucq, I. (2009). Yahoo et vos données persos... [online]. Available from : http://www.erenumerique.fr/yahoo_et_vos_donnees_persos_-news-15162.html [Accessed 18 June 2009] 59
    • Figure 44: Search engine syntax examples The most famous are the ―Boolean operators‖ for example the following request: Search+engine will look at websites where only both those keywords are present. It exists dozens of those tools per search engine and syntaxes differ sometimes from one search engine to another. Some search engines are also providing some syntaxes which are not present in others. Some search engines are then complementary. The idea behind Boolean operators is ―I seek a good site on this topic, but I don’t have a specific site in mind. More than three quarters of the surveyed users desire to access the best site regarding this topic.‖98 According to a Canadian study 99 54% of Canadian users use Boolean operators: 98 Broder, A.Z. (2002). A taxonomy of web search. SIGIR Forum 36(2) pp. 3-10 99 Skooiz. (2008). Comment les Québecois utilisent ils et cherchent ils sur Internet ?. [online]. Available from : http://documents.skooiz.com/comment-les-quebecois-cherchent-ils-sur-le-web- 2008.pdf [Accessed 18 June 2009] 60
    • Figure 45: Use of advanced search functionalities in Canada According to a Chinese study100 66,7% of Chinese Internet users understand Boolean operators. On the other hand according to a Canadian101 and a Belgium102 study it seems that the most basic Boolean operators are not used properly: Figure 46: Do users know how to use Boolean operators? Another study103 untitled: ―How are we searching the World Wide Web‖ A comparison of nine search engine transaction logs‖ made in the United States and Europe shows that the use of Boolean operators has been stable from 1997 to 2002. 100 Insight Xplorer. (2006). 創 市 際 市 場 研 究 顧 問 . [online]. Available from: http://www.insightxplorer.com/specialtopic/co_info_acquisition.html [Accessed 17 June 2009] 101 Crepuq. (2003). Information Literacy: Study of Incoming First-Year Undergraduates in Quebec. [online]. Available from: http://www.crepuq.qc.ca/documents/bibl/formation/studies_Ang.pdf [Ac- cessed 18 June 2009] 102 EduDoc. (2008). Enquête sur les compétences documentaires et informationnelles des étudiants qui accèdent à l’enseignement supérieur en Communauté française de Belgique. [online]. Available from : http://www.edudoc.be/synthese.pdf [Accessed 18 June 2009] 103 Jansen, J .B./Spink, A. (2004). How are we searching the World Wide Web? A comparison of nine search engine transaction logs. [online]. Available from : http://ist.psu.edu/faculty_pages/jjansen/academic/pubs/jansen_searching_the_web.pdf [Accessed 18 June 2009] 61
    • It is also saying that the use of Boolean operators differ from Europe to the United States. For the USA it goes from 11 to 20% whereas in Europe from 2 to 10%. They put as well in evidence the existence of search engine dependency in terms of the use of query operators with a particular search-engine system. Another study104 made in 2004 is confirming those low figures stating that only 2% out of hundreds of millions queries were containing Boolean operators. Users then know the existence of Boolean operators, however they are not using them and if they do so they are not using them properly. 3.3.6.2 Search engines existence awareness Another issue is the search engine existence awareness. Most of Internet users are unaware of other search engines existence as it is showed in the following study105: Figure 47: Use of meta search engines 104 Beitzel, S.M./Jensen, E. C./Chowdhury, A./Grossman, D./Frieder, O. (2004). Hourly analysis of a very large topically categorized Web query log. [online]. Available from: http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1008992.1009048 [Accessed 18 June 2009] 105 URFIST de Rennes. (2008). Enquête sur les besoins de formation des doctorants à la maîtrise de l’information scientifique dans les Ecoles doctorales de Bretagne. [online]. Available from: http://www.uhb.fr/urfist/enquete_besoins_formation_doctorants-maitrise_information [Accessed 18 June 2009] 62
    • Figure 48: Use of specialized search engines According to a recent study 106 made in the United States on three search engines, vertical search (specialized search) are not used by 60% (including 25% who may did it without knowing). Images search is the most used with 26%, News search 17% and Video search 10%. It seems that even among the biggest search engines, Internet users do not use complex search tools. 106 iProspect. (2008). Blended Search Results Study – April 2008. [online]. Available from: http://www.iprospect.com/premiumPDFs/researchstudy_apr2008_blendedsearchresults.pdf [Accessed 18 June 2009] 63
    • 3.4 Search engine dependency conclusion Intensive use of commercial search engines is the starting point of a vicious cycle in the way we search for information. Commercial search engines as his name said include commercial websites which are no more than pure advertisement (no knowledge information) and represent then a risk for its users. It is moreover increasing the number of contents potentially displayable to any kind of request. No matter how pertinent is the request the results provided by commercial search engines are giving a feeling of satisfaction to Internet users. It makes him think that he knows how to make research on the Internet and do not make him think about reconsidering his search process. When users switch to enterprise search engines where the training and the implementation are not done properly the search engine user may think that the search tool is not working. Studies are comforting search engine users in this feeling107 « While people trained in library sciences may bemoan the fact that most users are not Boolean search experts (or « sophisticated » with search in general), the reality is that business people should not have to be search experts in order to find the information they need to do their jobs ». So Internet users do not know how search engines work but think they do, they have no desire to learn and as a result expect more from enterprise search technology. In this configuration search engine dependency do exist and has some strong consequences on businesses. It seems that the market is designed for simple and easy to use search applications. 107 Cf. The Association for Enterprise and Content Management. (2008). Findability: The Art and Science of Making Content Easy to Find. [online]. Available from: http://www.aiim.org/Research/MarketIQ/Findability-7-16-08.aspx [Accessed 17 June 2009] p36 64
    • 3.5 Chapter 3: key points  Search engine is the first tool used when looking for information on the Inter- net;  There are two categories of search engines: Commercial search engines (ad- vertisement –oriented, free) and Enterprise search engines (ESE) (paying, customizable service);  Google is the leader in the commercial search engine market with more than 60% followed by far by Yahoo. Presence of other strategic leaders in China, Russia and South Korea;  Internet searchers are confident, satisfied and mostly trust search engines. They say they know search engines but they do not use them properly;  They however trust more their favorite web sites and well established media;  The ESE market is confused and crowded, not transparent as the commercial one.  ESE users are disappointed by their search experience. The main reasons are the lack of training to those tools and the expectation to have results as pertinent as commercial search engines;  Commercial search engine leaders are not simple search engines anymore. They are all a complex set of attractive services making Internet users depen- dent of them.  Commercial search engines are well implemented and the market is quite ri- gid;  Internet users can be addicted to search engines for many reasons (conveni- ence, lock-in, loyalty).  Use of search engine is different from one to another which emphasize the importance of developing a culture of information research;  Commercial search engines have then a strong impact on businesses; 65
    • Chapter 4: Risks of search engines dependency and its influence on data quality 66
    • The following part is dealing with the risks evaluation of the search engine dependency. How much search engine dependency is affecting our day to day search experience and how to overcome the situation? 4.1 Search engine dependency and its influence on data quality: Issues 4.1.1 Search Engine Optimization According to David Meerman Scott108 Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the art and science of ensuring that the words and phrases on your site, blog, and other online content are found by the search engines and that once found, your site is given the highest ranking possible in the natural (non commercial) search results. Internet marketing is the third largest media used to make advertisement in the United States109. Figure 49: U.S. Advertising Market - Media Comparison – 2008 ($ Billions) It is in constant growth since year 2002 and out of Internet advertisement: 108 Meerman, D. S. (2007). The new rules of marketing and PR. p.242 109 Interactive Advertising Bureau. (2009). IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report. [online]. Available from: http://www.iab.net/insights_research/530422/adrevenuereport [Accessed 18 June 2009] 67
    • Figure 50: Internet Ad Revenues by Advertising Format - 2008 Annual Results Search Engine Optimization is the biggest activity of Internet marketing with 45%. So SEO is a growing industry and it is one of the biggest channel of making advertisement. Online marketing companies are offering as a service a position to company websites on the first page of search engine results. And if we look at the statistics: Figure 51: Search engine user behavior regarding results pages in the USA We can see that very few are the users who go beyond the second page and year after year it seems that the vast majority is only considering the first page. Statistics in other countries are confirming that almost no Internet users is considering results after the second page. 68
    • We can understand from here how valuable are the positions for marketing agencies to get a place within the first page of search engines. It is scientifically proved that the eyes of Internet users are unconsciously giving more importance to some results. Eye tracking is a technology which through a camera sensor technology detects the viewing of a screen by a person110 and allow to put this into relevancy. In the case of search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Baidu, Naver and MSN Internet users are giving more importance to the first results where they read almost entirely the information displayed 111 . We can observe some differences among Internet users (Chinese and Korean users seem to look almost all results) and search engines (Google users seem to stick only to the first three results). Figure 52: An eye tracking study on several search engines112 However in all cases Internet users are focusing more on the five results than the five others remaining. The colored parts are the ones where the eye focused where read is the maximum intensity. 110 Black box network services. (n.d.). Digital Signage: Glossary — Black Box Network Services. [online]. Available from: http://www.blackbox.com/resources/tools/microsites/digital- signage/what/glossary.aspx [Accessed 20 June 2009] 111 cf. Enquiro. (2008). Eye Tracking Studies. [online]. Available from : http://www.enquiroresearch.com/download-research-whitepapers.aspx [Accessed 18 June 2009] 112 Enquiro. (2006). Eye Tracking Studies: Eye Tracking Whitepapers from Enquiro Research. [online]. http://www.enquiroresearch.com/eyetracking-report.aspx [Accessed 20 June 2009] Pandey, S. (2008). Top most search properties in Asia Pacific. [online]. Available from: http://shalabh.wordpress.com/2008/10/02/topmost-search-properties-in-asia-pacific/ [Accessed 20 June 2009] Hotchkiss, G. (2007). Chinese eye tracking study: Baidu versus Google. [online]. Available from: http://www.cnblogs.com/dixin/articles/955369.html [Accessed 20 June 2009] 69
    • The more a search engine is popular and the more marketing agencies will make an effort to be present in those positions. In the case of Google where the first three results are the most viewed there is then a high competition. This is an issue because according to an American study113 36% of Internet users agree that companies listed as the first results are the best ones in their field. But actually it is not, they just are better at advertising themselves. Here it is quite obvious to see that such attitude make Internet users only browsing a tiny part of the World Wide Web. Moreover this tiny part of the Web is a battlefield marketing territory. The risks are then to pick up for granted some commercial information or/and to use the same sources that everyone use. Moreover this affect all sites for example companies may have an interest to promote themselves in an indirect way on websites well ranked, like writing an article on Wikipedia114. Another example is given in the next part about the risk of sticking to the first results page. 4.1.2 Commercial advertisement and perception Figure 53: Differences between organic and sponsored results 113 iProspect. (2006). Search Engine User Behavior Study. [online]. Available from : http://www.iprospect.com/premiumPDFs/WhitePaper_2006_SearchEngineUserBehavior.pdf [Accessed 23 June 2009] 114 Cf. Zittrain, J.L. (2008). The future of the Internet and how to stop it. p.140 70
    • In general natural results are according to users more relevant than sponsored ones. According to a study made on an American search engine user panel in 115 2004 : Figure 54: Type of Search Result Selected Most of search users are clicking on natural search results. It however appear that search engine users are in some cases finding paid results more relevant than normal ones: Figure 55: Results relevancy according to users by search engine in 2004 According to a study made on American search engine users in 2005116: - 68% of users say that search engines are a fair and unbiased source of information; - 38% of searchers are aware of a distinction between paid and unpaid results, 62% are not; - 18% of searchers overall (47% of searchers who are aware of the distinction) say they can always tell which results are paid or sponsored and which are not. This study can be put in correlation with another one made in India in 2007117 where Indian Internet users stated that: 115 iProspect. (2004). Search Engine Users Attitudes 2004. [online]. Available from: http://www.iprospect.com/premiumPDFs/iProspectSurveyComplete.pdf [Accessed 18 June 2009] 116 Fallows, D. (2005). Search Engine Users 2005. [online]. Available from: http://www.pewinternet.org/~/media//Files/Reports/2005/PIP_Searchengine_users.pdf.pdf [Accessed 18 June 2009] 71
    • Figure 56: Attitudes towards search engines in India Information coming from links are more trustworthy for 60% of Indian users. So even if it appears clear for the major part of Internet users that paid results are commercials there is still a confusion about it. In the case of some search engines such as Baidu it appears that there is a confusion between the sponsored links and the natural ones. ―Baidu merges its organic results with results from its paid listings service‖118. That kind of indexation can lead to strong data quality issues119. The most recent example is the ―milk scandal‖ 120 (Baidu accepted to high ranked unlicensed companies which were providing fake milk in exchange of money). This emphasize that businesses and individuals have to be aware of how search engines are dealing with information processes. According to the example given above such confusion between paid and natural results can be dangerous. 4.1.3 Censorship 117 Internet and Mobile Association of India. (2007). Search Engine Marketing 2007. [online]. Available from: http://www.slideshare.net/targetseo/search-engine-marketing-india-sem-india-imrb- presentation [Accessed 18 June 2009] 118 David Viney. (2008). Get to the Top on Google. p.210 119 cf. China Tech News.com. (2007). CCTV: Baidu Search Engine Fraud Exposed?. [online]. Available from: http://www.chinatechnews.com/2007/05/31/5459-cctv-baidu-search-engine-fraud- exposed/ [Accessed 18 June 2009] 120 cf. China Daily. (2008). Baidu cuts revenue forecast on ad scandal. [online]. Available from: http://www.chinadaily.cn/china/2008-12/14/content_7302341.htm [Accessed 18 June 2009] 72
    • By being information providers search engines have some obligations regarding the countries in which they are implemented. China is often used as an example to introduce this issue121. Censorship can mean that some search results have been removed or the access to the search engine has been denied. All search engines and countries are concerned about those obligations. For example Google has as well to adapt to French, German Turkish and Argentinean regulations122. The risk here is as mentioned before to believe that search engine are a trustful and unbiased source of information. Some companies such as Google seem clear and transparent about the policy they adopt for each country: ―Figuring out how to deal with China has been a difficult exercise for Google. The requirements of doing business in China include self-censorship – something that runs counter to Google’s most basic values and commitments as a company.‖123. But once more here Internet users have to be aware that censorship exists and to know which kind of content could have been removed. 4.1.4 Technological partnerships A huge part of alternative search engines on the market are in fact using exis- tent technologies from other bigger search engines. The most famous ones are AOL, Netscape Search which are both powered by Google. All The Web and AltaVista are powered by Yahoo. Both can be recognized by the following logos: 121 United Nations. (n.d.). Human Rights Translated: A Business Reference Guide. p.54 122 Turow, J. (2008). Media Today. p.559 Valle, F. S./Soghoian, C. (2008). Adios Diego: Argentine judges cleanse the Internet. [online]. Accessible from: http://opennet.net/blog/2008/11/adiós-diego-argentine-judges-cleanse-internet [Accessed 18 June 2009] 123 Wickre, K. (2006). Testimony the Internet in China. [online]. Available from: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2006/02/testimony-internet-in-china.html [Accessed 18 June 2009] 73
    • Figure 57: Powered by Google logo Figure 58: Powered by Yahoo logo Powered by Google means124 using the Google technology and choosing a specific number of websites to look for information. Here the risk is to use twice the same technology to search without knowing it. It is sometimes not explicitly indicated. Search engine users have to understand what “Powered by” mean and what are the search engines which are providing their own technology and then their own innovation. 4.1.5 The Visible Web The visible Web is in represented by what search engine can potentially index. Gulli and Signorini with a study made in 2005125 gave an estimation of the indexable web by general search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Microsoft: Indexable coverage Index content of other search engine Google 76,20% 68,20% Yahoo 69,30% 59,10% MSN 61,90% 49,20% Figure 59: Estimation of the indexable web per search engine Google seems to index 3 quarters of the indexable web but miss more than 30% of web pages indexed by others such as Yahoo and Microsoft. Gulli and Signorini gave also an interesting estimation of the index those three search engines have in common which is estimated at less than 30%. Here we clearly have once more the proof of the significance of using several search engines. 124 Alacra. (n.d.). What does "Powered By Google" mean?. [online] Available from: http://www.alacra.com/compliancesearch/faq.asp [Accessed 23 January 2009] 125 Gulli, A./Signorini, A. (2005). The Indexable Web is More than 11.5 billion pages. [online]. Available from: http://www.cs.uiowa.edu/~asignori/web-size/size-indexable-web.pdf [Accessed 18 June 2009] 74
    • Moreover we have to consider that this study has been made on American technologies and then are not considering the language aspects. One study has been made on this topic in 2005 untitled ―Search Engine Coverage Bias: Evidence and Possible Causes‖126 in order to discover if general search engines such as Google were covering American websites content in the same way as foreign websites. The results of this study shows the supremacy of American websites presence: Figure 60: Distribution of Public Web Sites By Country in 2002127 . In 2002 a large majority of websites were American. Because most of search engines are basing their algorithm on the number of links which point to a page American websites were far more covered than the foreigner ones. Moreover with time old American websites are keeping their leading position in the repartition of websites. The study goes further by giving figures regarding the percentage of web sites covered by Google according to the different countries. USA China Singapore Taiwan Google 87% 70% 56% 75% Figure 61: Percentage of Web Sites Covered by Google in 2002 The language here does not seem to be the problem because most of websites in Singapore are in English and are not covered by Google properly. But websites from Singapore may have not enough links which point to their pages as a result they are not covered as well as American ones. Here we see the importance of using different (local) search engines for 126 Vaughan, L./Thelwall, M. (2003). Search Engine Coverage Bias: Evidence and Possible Causes. [online]. Available from: http://www.scit.wlv.ac.uk/~cm1993/papers/search_engine_bias_preprint.pdf [Accessed 18 June 2009] 127 Online Computer Library Center. (2002). Trends in the evolution of the Public Web 1998-2002. [online]. Available from: http://www.dlib.org/dlib/april03/lavoie/04lavoie.html [Accessed 18 June 2009] 75
    • some countries which know better a specific market. The use here for some pure national services seem appropriate for two reasons:  a better experience in indexing the websites of their country;  giving less importance to American websites; For this part the risk for search engine users is to consider that a single search engine can browse by himself the all web. ―Believing you can find everything and anything online is unrealistic‖128. Some search engines are using different technology and each of them have gathered some experience in some particular fields that others did not. It is then important to take this into consideration when making research. 4.1.6 Invisible Web The invisible Web is in opposition to the visible web what commercial search engines cannot find. Also called Deep Web the invisible Web are ―Text pages, files, or other high- quality authoritative information available via the Web that general-purpose search engines cannot, due to technical limitations, or will not, due to deliberate choice, add to their indices of Web pages‖ 129 The invisible web is then containing all contents which are in a certain way protected and then for most of all very important material. 130 Here we are mostly referring to databases or special content protected by a login and password. According to some sources the invisible Web is 400 to 550 times bigger131 than the Internet as we know it, and it is the fastest growing category of new information on the Internet. 128 Friedman, B. G. (2004). Web Search Savvy. P.20 129 Sherman, C./Price, G. (2001). The invisible web. p.57 130 Cf. Hock, R/Notess, G. R. (2007). The extreme searcher’s Internet handbook. P.21 76
    • The risk of non considering the invisible web and then the independent databases is of course to not get valuable information. It is foolish to think that one can find everything with the visible Web. Company contents and reports which are public are made on purpose 132 (obsolete, incomplete information…). They are for sure less valuable that the ones protected by a password which require registration fees. The Invisible Web has to be seriously considered when looking for reliable and valuable information. 4.2 Search engine dependency and its influence on data quality: Solutions Issues are mainly composed of two parts:  A small awareness of search engines;  A small awareness of technologies in general; Solutions can then be found by answering those two problems. 4.2.1 A deeper knowledge in search engine abilities As mentioned previously there is today too much information on the Internet and too many direct and indirect advertisement. It is today very easy to manipulate information. There is a strong interest in getting a list of quality websites on which we can rely on. It is critical to know what search engines can and cannot do and how to take the best part of their technology. 131 Pedley, P. (March 2002). Why you can’ afford to ignore the Invisible Web. Business Information Review. 132 Cf. Shapiro, C./Varian, R.H. (1999). Information Rules: A strategic guide to the Network Economy. 77
    • Knowing and using properly Boolean operators is necessary. Too many functions are underused and unknown whereas they are important: “links:” “intitle:” “related:”. The second point with search engine is vertical search. Most of the biggest search engines are providing more than one search engine each having a specific use. It is not a hazard if Google provides so much of those tools, it is because it knows that the general Google cannot offer the best search experience. The same search on the general home page of Google, Google Scholars and Google Books will provide three totally different sources of results. Here is an example of some vertical search engines provided by Google di- vided by level of accessibility from google.com home page. For example the first level (Google Images, Maps etc…) is accessible through one click, level 2 through two clicks, etc etc… Figure 62: Google vertical search engines But once more according to the principle of least effort Internet users are sticking to the ground level. One important element in using those vertical search is that it may possible that a specific kind of file included in a website can be well indexed by a vertical search engine but not the all website. Finding this file may then find you the website. 78
    • For example an image within a website can be well indexed by an image search en- gine but not the website in itself. Knowing better how work a specific search engine is not fixing the de- pendency state but reduce the data quality issue. 4.2.2 Taking the best part of each search engine If it can be a strategic mistake to use two search engines with the same technology (cf chapter 4.1.4) it can be appropriate to use technology from the biggest search engines to compensate the disadvantages of smallest ones. Here is an example of how to take the best part of each search engine technology to improve data quality. By using the search term ―Yahoo‖ on the university website of the ―Universidad de Léon‖ www.unileon.es here are the results we obtain (9/06/2009): Search engine Internal search Google Yahoo engine of the Léon university Number of 2 14 (+92) 17 (+2) results Request entered Yahoo Yahoo Yahoo site:www.unileon.es site:www.unileon.es Figure 63: Search engine search within website content comparison Out of those results the 2 results found by the search engine of the university of Léon were found by Yahoo and Google search engine. Google and Yahoo were sharing 8 links in common. As explained in chapter 4.1.5 search engines using different technologies are not providing the same results because they are searching differently. There is then a strong interest in trying different search engines. Trying different search engines is a necessary condition to face search engine dependency but this condition is not sufficient. 79
    • 4.2.3 Technological evolution As we saw in chapter 3.2.2 (Consumer Behavior regarding commercial search engines) and according to a study conducted on young people133 ―the search engine, be that Yahoo or Google, becomes the primary brand that they associate with the internet‖ internet users are making a confusion between search engines and the Internet. Search engines are one part of the Internet and what is on the Internet may not be present into search engines. There is a time lag where search engines are in late with the new use made of the Internet. Figure 64: Future of web 2.0 Internet is changing according to the new technologies which are developed on it. We are currently at the end of the Web 2.0 generation. As described above from a PC Era where flows of information were few and almost unidirectional we moved to the Web 1.0 where the Internet was considered has an alternative source of information in plus of TV and radio. In Web 2.0 lots of individual took the control of the Internet and with it the 133 UCL – University College London. (2008). Information behavior of the researcher of the future. [online]. Available from: http://www.bl.uk/news/pdf/googlegen.pdf [Accessed 19 June 2009] p.12 80
    • use of its application. The Web 2.0 is representing what is the web right now, what is his configuration and the use which is made out of it. We saw previously that search engines are often associated with the Internet and from this assimilation a huge gap in terms of time adaptation is created. It is critical for businesses to understand that we are not evolving in a Web 1.0 configuration anymore and that the way of getting information has drastically changed. Sources of information are not anymore located in only one place. Web 2.0 is a new perception and conception of web applications and communities. Where continuous updates and social networking is the main focus.134 Search engines are not all evolving in a Web 2.0 configuration simply because some use of the Web 2.0 are against their policy: Figure 65: Search engines are not the Internet Search engine gurus want homemade technologies which mean no partnerships with enterprises offering this technology (unless they buy it). They want as well fast and easy to use applications which means based on texts. This is contrary to Internet technology innovations of the Web 2.0 period, no use of heavy applications such as visual representations. Web 2.0 is mainly based on information from individuals which mean low quality of information flows. This is not in accordance with search engine policy of providing quality information. Because search engines are not the Internet this is creating a time lag that companies and individuals have to catch up: 134 Bieberstein, N./Jones, K. (2008). Executing Service Oriented Architecture. p.169 81
    • Figure 66: Time and knowledge lag People already have a low knowledge regarding search engines, by being search engine dependent and making the confusion that search engines are the internet they do net explore other Internet technology capacity. There is then a double gap and even a triple one if we take into consideration the over evaluation they make about technologies. Businesses should not follow the evolution of search engines but the evolution of the Internet. The only way to fill in this gap is learning how to use properly search engines and being aware of new technologies. Some examples of Web 2.0 search tools are given in the following parts. In a Web 2.0 configuration information are fresh and coming from knowledge sharing. 4.2.3.1 Social bookmarking Social bookmarking is a good example of a good Web 2.0 search application. Social bookmarking allow users to store links to Web pages, otherwise known as bookmarks, that they find useful, those bookmarks are then stored on a web page representing user’s personal library. When combined with other personal libraries, they allow many social networking possibilities.135 This system allow to set up directories including websites unindexed by major search engines. In this case search engines are not set up by companies but 135 Sweeney, S. (2008). 101 Ways to Promote Your Tourism Business Web Site. P.288 82
    • by individuals. Delicious is the most popular of them: Figure 67: Delicious bookmarks search With the information collected from there other applications can be created such as Similicious which is looking for similar websites to the one you indicated him. Such applications are creating through labels that every Internet users is associating to a website: Figure 68: Home page of the Similicious website Social bookmarking is then a solution to explore the Visible web part that some search engines do not explore and some parts of the Invisible Web as well. 4.2.3.2 Real time information: the Twitter example Even if search engines are indexing the information faster and faster some applications do it quicker. Twitter is the example of it. Through the concept of microblogging. 83
    • Microblogging is the practice of posting brief messages (no more than 140 characters in the case of Twitter), regular updates about your thoughts, ideas, which can be viewed by a group of your choosing via text messaging, email, instant messages or the Web136. Twitter is looking for real time information, what is happening right now: Figure 69: Twitter real time information search engine Twitter has been recently very popular with the political situation in Iran 137, being the one of the rare technology being available. Real time information is not fixing the data quality issue, information is coming from individuals where the risk of hoaxes is high. However on the other hand fresh information is also critical for some businesses. 4.2.3.3 Visual representation of the results The web 2.0 is not only including the social aspect but also the vulgarization of Internet technology (Flash, RSS, Atom, Ajax) it allows for example search results to be displayed differently. Kartoo is an example of it: 136 Maximum PC. (2008). Microblogging. P.10 137 Yang, G. (2008). Despite many counter-measures and filters, digital democracy continues to trouble authoritarian regimes. [online]. Available from: http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/display.article?id=12493 [Accessed 24 June 2009] 84
    • Figure 70: Kartoo search results presentation Companies here have to understand that not only the use of the Internet changed but its technology as well. Major search engine do not follow them for the reasons explained in chapter 4.2.3 but it does not mean that companies should not adopt those solutions. 4.2.4 A better knowledge of the World Wide Web We have seen so far how to take the best of search engines and the technological evolution of the Web. We however did not took into consideration a simple fact evoked in chapter 4.1.5 regarding the coverage of the visible web of search engines. The Internet is exactly as our physical world, it has its most visited and popular places and this among each countries. The issue is that most of Internet users sticks to a couple of them and are not developing their true search potential. This can be fixed by considering the Internet as a world map. 85
    • Each year the website: http://informationarchitects.jp/start/ is providing a map of the most visited and famous websites in the world divided by category. Figure 72: 2007 Web trend map Figure 71: 2008 Web trend map Such representation of the world wide web allow Internet users to know what are the most popular websites within a specific categories. We saw in chapter 3.2.2 that Internet users trust more their favorite websites and well media established web- sites than search engines. Knowing what are those most famous websites through those maps is one solution to improve data quality and solve the search engine dependency state. 86
    • 4.3 The future of Internet search We developed so far only the current characteristics of search engine users and saw that the situation is quite critical. Is this situation can change in the future? An interesting study has been recently published 138 on this subject focusing on the “Google generation”. The Google generation is defined as Internet users born after the year 1993. Young students are now more comfortable with computers than with pens and papers however as the study show it does not mean that the Google generation is expert in finding information on the Web. Some behaviors linked with what have been written in this thesis are interesting: - The information literacy of young people, has not improved with the widening access to technology in fact, their apparent facility with computers disguises some worrying problems139; - Young people have unsophisticated mental maps of what the internet is, often failing to appreciate that it is a collection of networked resources from different providers; - Many young people do not find library-sponsored resources intuitive; - They spend little time in evaluating the information; - They make very little use of advanced search facilities, assuming that search engines „understand‟ their queries; - They are more competent with technology but use very simple applications and facilities; - They have very high expectations regarding ICT; - It seems that most teachers are information literate however their 138 UCL – University College London. (2008). Information behavior of the researcher of the future. [online]. Available from: http://www.bl.uk/news/pdf/googlegen.pdf [Accessed 19 June 2009] 139 UCL – University College London. (2008). Information behavior of the researcher of the future. [online]. Available from: http://www.bl.uk/news/pdf/googlegen.pdf [Accessed 19 June 2009] p.12 87
    • skills and attitudes towards information literacy is not transferred to pupils140; - They simply do not recognize that they have a problem: there is a big gap between their actual performance in information literacy tests and their self-estimates of information skill and library anxiety; The consumer behavior described in chapter 3.2.2 and the one of young students is not really different. It is even worst because users born before 1993 were not in a search engine dependency configuration. Former search engine users have not been well trained and are not training properly the young generation. The study goes even deeper by highlighting another critical point which is that searchers have different information needs at their time of their lives: Figure 73: Significant age-related differences in article discovery methods Young people are far more digital addicted users than any others. Attitudes towards search has totally changed. The situation is already critical for ―old users‖ but at least is compensated by the use of other sources of information whereas it is not the case for young users. 140 Merchant, L./Hepworth, M. Information literacy of teachers and pupils in secondary schools. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science 34(2) 2002, p.81. 88
    • 4.5 Chapter 4: Key points  The more a commercial search engine is popular and the more it is the target of advertisement;  Online Advertisement and indirect advertisement are not going to stop ;  Only a tiny part of the web is considered by searchers and is unfortunately the most commercial one;  There is a confusion for searcher to make the difference between commercial and non commercial websites, it has in some cases some strong consequences;  The potentiality of the visible web can only be maximized by mixing differ- ent search technologies;  Independent and paid databases representing the Invisible Web should se- riously been taken into consideration to improve data quality;  Use of search engines have to be understood;  Internet users have to take advantage of the use of each technology;  As the physical world, Internet users should understand that the Internet is a map as well;  Search engines are not the Internet;  Search users have to understand that they are evolving in a Web 2.0 configu- ration where technologies are different as well as their use;  Existence of Web 2.0 search technologies have to be understood as search engines;  Internet users should have a map of the Internet in their head;  Searching information is a critical skill which is not taught properly, it will have some huge consequences in the future; 89
    • Chapter 5: The Google example 90
    • With more than 60% of market shares in 2009 around the world Google is the best example of the search engine dependency phenomenon. 5.1 Google presentation Before evaluating the consequences of the Google dependency it is important to see how Google is providing this dependency state. 5.1.1 Google In January 1996 a 24 year-old PhD student called Larry Page studying at the University of Stanford was looking for a theme for his PhD thesis. Encouraged by his supervisor he studied the following topic ―exploring the mathematical properties of the World Wide Web― working in collaboration with another student called Sergey Brin. To make it simple, it is from this work and collaboration which will come up ―Google Inc‖ (officially created in September the 7th 1998)141. Two months later Google is already included in the Top 100 of world websites of PC magazine142 (a reference in the United States for computers). Even if Google is formerly a web based application in English it is a worldwide service available on the Internet for all. As his creator (Larry Page) said "Google's search engine has always had strong global appeal"143. Google is by facts what we call a “Killer App” a software application that bypass all of its competitors. 5.1.2 Google's success Google’s success may be linked for one part to the following strategy « Google provides for free a useful service that people actively seek out »144. 141 Cf. Scott, V. (2008). Google. p.5 142 Cf. Hitt, M.A./Miller, C. C./Colella, A. (2006). Organizational behavior a strategic approach. P.470 143 Page, L. (2000). Google Press Center: Press Release.[online]. Available from : http://www.google.com/press/pressrel/pressrelease22.html [Accessed 18 June 2009] 91
    • Most of users are looking for a free service, easy to use, better than the others and efficient. As mentioned in chapter 3.2.7 Google is providing a wide range of services and for most of them better that its competitors. For example Gmail (e-mail service) in comparison to Microsoft Hotmail or Yahoo mail services.145 Moreover Google is providing useful additional services that its competitors don’t have such as: images hosting services with huge storage capacity (Picasa), encyclopedia (Knol), free online suite office (Google slides, Google spreadsheets, Google word processor), websites (Google sites)… In one word there is no comparison in terms of volume of what Google can offer vis-à-vis its competitors. 5.1.3 Google image Google is in 2009 for the third year in a row, recognized as the most valuable brand in the world according to BrandZ146 and the number 2 in terms of reputation just behind Toyota147 in 2008. Google has a better image regarding its main competitors on the privacy issue and on the commercial aspect. In 2007 a survey made in the United Kingdom on 1,101 persons shows that 38% of the respondents trust that Google will keep their information private against 26% for Yahoo and 23% for Microsoft148. According to the same agency when users are asked: ―Is Google becoming 144 Eternal Dreamer. (2008). Why Google is so Successful?. [online] Available from : http://crumja.wordpress.com/2008/05/20/why-google-is-so-successful/ [Accessed 18 June 2009] 145 Miller, M. (2006). Googlepedia. p.352 Consumer Search. (2009). Webmail review. [online]. Available from : http://www.consumersearch.com/webmail-reviews [Accessed 18 June 2009] 146 Millward Brown Optimor. (2009). Top 100 most global brands 2009. [online]. Available from: http://www.brandz.com/output/ [Accessed 24 June 2009] 147 Reputation Institute. (2008). The World Most Reputable Companies. [online]. Available from: http://www.reputationinstitute.com/ [Accessed 24 June 2009] 148 Bigmouthmedia. (2007). Survey results: Uncertainty over Google’s privacy intentions. [online]. Available from: http://www.bigmouthmedia.com/live/articles/survey-results-uncertainty-over-googles- data-pri.asp [Accessed 24 June 2009] 92
    • too commercial?‖ 23 % of women answered no and 35 % of men said yes149. It seems that Google have a very good image towards Internet users it is important to highlight that it has even a better reputation than his main competitors. It may then keep his dominant position for a very long period. 5.1.4 Google dependency state Some continents are clearly under Google domination, this is the case for Eu- rope and Latin America: Figure 74: Google domination in Europe Figure 75: Google domination in Latin America150 As mentioned in chapter 3.2.5 those two continents are particularly interesting because this is where Internet users in average perform the most search per capita. The more search are performed and the more Google can collect information on its searchers. This allow him to fit better user expectations and to get many information about experienced search users. 149 Bigmouthmedia. (2007). Gender split in attitude towards Google. [online]. Available from : http://www.bizreport.com/2007/05/gender_split_in_attitude_toward_google.html [Accessed 24 June 2009] 150 Comscore. (2008) [online]. Available from : http://www.comscore.com/ [Accessed 24 June 2009] 93
    • Those are information that its competitors don‟t have and with more than 60% of market shares worldwide Google has all elements to keep developing high expected services and increase the dependency state. 5.1.5 Google added functionalities As mentioned previously and in chapter 3.2.7 Google is not a simple search engine anymore but provide an all set of services which are for most of all attractive, easy to use, instinctive, useful and exclusive (Blogger, Adsense, Picasa, Google Documents…). But registering in one of those make you create a Google account which is one day or another make you try another Google service and make you enter in a vicious circle of dependency which never end. For its more advanced users Google can be used as a far more complex tool (cf: chapter 3.2.8) acting like an operating system within the operating system. We can take as an example the iGoogle service which is an online customizable desktop playing the role of a portal to thousands of customizable applications151. Google dependency is mainly created from his associated services. 5.1.6 Google success is his weakness The fate of Google is linked also to the one of Search Engine Optimization which is the ability to well index a website on search engines. The main issue is that Google being the most well known search engine a lot of people from the marketing field tried and are still trying to understand how Google is ranking pages to get valuable advertisement positions. 151 Conner, N. (2008). Google Apps: The Missing Manual. p.411 94
    • The more experiments are made on it and the more the secret algorithm of Google is known. As we can imagine few are the marketing agencies interested in having a website in the latest pages of Google. As we saw in chapter 4.1.1 Online Advertisement is the third most Advertisement popular activity where search engine optimization is the most popular. An incredible amount of agencies have been built on Search Engine Optimization during the last years. This is why Google results as most of Internet users use them are not the most rational they can get. We can take as an example the following scheme: Figure 76: Google coverage representation of the visible web As we saw previously Google is not indexing all the visible web, but moreover the use of foreign languages is necessary to improve search skills as well as Boolean operators. Trends are for a couple of keywords and sticking to the first results and pages of Google which finally make users browsing a tiniest part of the World Wide Web. Mainly because of marketing agencies making simple keyword research on Google made us search the most commercial indexable part of the Visible web. 95
    • 5.2 Google's disappearance consequences Many Internet users including individuals and businesses are basing all their experience and activity on the Internet. Can we imagine the consequences if Google disappear or just do not fill his obligation during a period of time? It is hard to believe that a company such as Google can close his gates one day but as we know revolutions in the world of technology happen and the risk 0 does not exist. However Google faced this year in 2009 for the first time in the last 10 years three critical failures in a short period of time. Analyzing the consequences of those three failures will allow us to determine the consequences of the search engine dependency phenomenon. 5.2.1 Google Search engine failure On January Saturday the 31st 2009 a system error at Google was displaying all links on Google page results with the following warning 'This site may harm your computer'152. Figure 77: Google search failure 152 cf. AT Internet Institute. (2009). Google breaks down on the 31st of January 2009. [online]. Available from: http://www.atinternet-institute.com/en-us/focus-on-current-events/google-breaks- down-on-the-31st-of-january-2009/index-1-2-1-158.html [Accessed 18 June 2009] 96
    • This warning stayed displayed for 50 minutes and was viewable world widely. According to Google the failure origin was no more than a human error coming from a single and mere typo153. Actually there were no dangers at all for Internet users to click on the links but it however show how a single individual can have an impact on millions of people. If we have a look at the consequences of this Google bug on the Internet traf- fic we can see that in average 70% of Google users stop to use it. This clearly shows that users are quite uneducated about search engines. Search engines are just displaying links of websites and it is high probable that you know and trust a part of them: Figure 78: Figure 77: Google bug analysis on January the 31st 2009 It shows as well that people are blindly following Google instructions, if Google say that it may endanger the computer then they took it for granted. As a consequence Google lost until 90% of his traffic 20 minutes after the failure. 153 Mayer, M. (2009). "This site may harm your computer" on every search result?!?!. [online]. Available from :http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/this-site-may-harm-your-computer-on.html [Accessed 18 June 2009] 97
    • It is as well very interesting to observe that more than 20% of Internet us- ers leave the Internet with a peak of almost 30% at the beginning. It clearly once more emphasize the Google dependency phenomenon where some people consider Google as the Internet. A rational behavior should have been to go to another search engine to see if such information was displayed. According to this graph made by the AT Internet Institute: Figure 79: Google evolution traffic during the bug on January the 31st 2009 This bug did not even profit to other search engines because only 13,9% changed from Google to another and 16,2% made a direct access to websites. This clearly highlight once more the poor search engine awareness of Internet users The 70% remaining just abandoned their research on Google. Almost one fourth of Internet users are considering Google as the Inter- net and do not know other search engines. 5.2.2 Google Gmail failure 98
    • As previously explained Google's dependency is not only linked to its search function but also to the convenience of all services associated such as: email services, blogs, finance controlling, maps.... On February the 24th 2009 from 10:30 to 14:30 the Google mail service was not working. All Google mail users could not access and send emails.154 This issue if far more worrying when we know that Google mail is used by peers but as well by more than one million of companies. Figure 80: Google Gmail failure Gmail failure was a problem of accessing to data. This is a critical failure when we consider that it was a worldwide bug and that using email is the first activity on the Internet before making search155: 154 Beaumont, C. (2009). Google’s Gmail service crashes across world. [online]. Available from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/scienceandtechnology/technology/google/4797727/Googles-Gmail- service-crashes-across-world.html [Accessed 18 June 2009] 155 Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission. (2005). Household use of the Internet survey 2005. [online]. Available from: http://www.skmm.gov.my/facts_figures/stats/pdf/Household_use_internet_survey2005.pdf [Accessed 17 June 2009] Internet and Mobile Association of India. (2007). Search Engine Marketing 2007. [online]. Available from: http://www.slideshare.net/targetseo/search-engine-marketing-india-sem-india-imrb-presentation [Accessed 18 June 2009] Fallows, D. (2008). Search engine use. [online]. Available from http://www.pewinternet.org/~/media//Files/Reports/2008/PIP_Search_Aug08.pdf.pdf [Accessed 25 June 2009] 99
    • Figure 81: Main use of Internet The use of Gmail within companies is critical and extremely dangerous. Gmail services are very convenient but this convenience has some high risks. 5.2.3 Google other services failure Google documents is a storage place where Internet users can store several kind of documents in order to access them from everywhere. On March the 9th 2009 it is the Google Documents application which faced some troubles156. It appears that a bug allowed some Internet users to have access to some other Internet users documents without their agreement. As well explained by Google hierarchy: "The inadvertent sharing was limited to people with whom the document owner, or a collaborator with sharing rights, had previously shared a document. The issue affected so few users because it only could have occurred for a very small percentage of documents, and for those documents only when a specific sequence of user actions took place."157 it finally occurred to 0,05% of the documents hosted. Even if the number of documents concerned by this failure has not been very high it clearly shows that such issues can happen. It is then important to inform individuals and companies to such a risk. Companies should then not store confidential documents in those applications. Using commercial search engines applications for business seem risky. 156 Claburn, T. (2009). Google Informs Docs Users Of Security Lapse. [Online]. Available from: http://www.informationweek.com/news/services/storage/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=215801317 [Accessed 18 June 2009] 157 Mazzon, J. (2009). On yesterday’s email. [online]. Available from : http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2009/03/on-yesterdays-email.html [Accessed 18 June 2009] 100
    • 5.2.4 Google collateral damages On May the 14th 2009 some millions of people have been cut off from Google search engine, email and other Google services. The reason invoked has been a huge traffic coming from Asia. As a consequence it is 14% of its users who have been affected during one hour.158 Moreover according to Gomez, an American company specialized in Website Performance Monitoring services all websites which were using Google minor services such as Google Analytics (audience measurement application for websites) were twice slower to load.159 Here it is interesting to see that Google failures are coming from its own success and not from a human error. Here it shows that in any case if your company website is indirectly using some Google services it may have some consequences on it. 158 Liedtke, M. (2009). Google glitch disrupts search engine, e-mail. [online]. The Associated Press. Available from: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jJA_JCGApgxvxii3ryhhilxLuscgD9867IU01 [Accessed 18 June 2009] Hoelzle, U. (2009). This is your pilot speaking. Now, about that holding pattern... [online]. Available from : http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/05/this-is-your-pilot-speaking-now-about.html [Accessed 18 June 2009] 159 Hof, R. (2009). Google's Outage Affected More than Google Users; Other Sites Hit Too. [online]. Available from: http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/techbeat/archives/2009/05/googles_outage.html [Accessed 18 June 2009] 101
    • 5.3 Chapter 5: Key points  Google is a ―Killer App‖ composed of several others ―Killer App‖ such as Gmail, Google documents…  Google provides for free a useful service that people actively seek out;  Google has a strong and positive image towards its customers;  The number of useful free services associated to one single Google account make people dependent of Google;  Google has all elements in hand to keep his dominant position on the market and to provide highly demanded services which increase the dependency state;  Google being the most popular search engine it is the target of many marketing companies and individuals. Inexperienced Google searchers will always then explore a tiny part of the Visible Web which is the most commercial one;  25% of Google users are considering Google the Internet. In a case of a Google search failure 70% of Google users are dependent of him and do not know which are their alternatives if Google do not work properly;  Having a Google mail account as main mail account is very risky for businesses;  Companies and individuals should know that there are risks to store high value documents on Google documents;  If company websites are using some Google applications, even if they are minor they can be affected by Google failures; 102
    • Conclusion and recommendations 103
    • The Internet took the place of radio and TV as our main information provider. The former scope of the Internet which was to provide an extensive wide range of information has been quickly taken like TV and radios by advertising and marketing agencies. As currently used the Internet is a source of information ―media fast food‖160 for the mass where commercial and ―people‖ information are the main concerns. The Internet is an data platform mixing information written by businesses and individuals at the same time. This cross and share of information is a benefit but in- crease as well confusion and data quality issues. The implementation of simple and easy to use web applications did not help and has conditioned users to apply the least effort principle where they go for con- venience rather than quality. Search engine dependency is relevant and is critical firstly because commer- cial search engine is our main information provider on the Internet and secondly be- cause a large part of Internet users are uneducated about how they work. Those behaviors are unfortunately influencing the workplace as well. As any other field, information research is a skill, an art based on education, practice and pro efficiency which has to be taught within the educational system as well as within companies. Believing that you can find everything and anything online is unrealistic and companies should clearly took it into consideration. As mentioned in this report there are critical issues regarding data manage- ment within companies and this cannot be fixed without a proper education which is starting by teaching the fundamentals of the world wide web. There is clearly today an over evaluation of technologies where users are ex- pecting too much from them. Technology is in constant movement and as to be fol- low. 160 Romaní, C.C./ Kuklinski, H.P. (2007). Planeta Web 2.0. Inteligencia colectiva o medios fast food 104
    • One can be sure that if there was a perfect solution for Internet search every- body would adopt it. The solutions cited so far are explaining that the best way to get data quality is to use the best part of each search tool by always taking into account the Internet changing environment. Adapting those solutions to businesses will be very costly. Firstly because it would imply to implement a huge set of search tools. Secondly because the more search tools you implement and the more training you have to do. As we saw in chapters 2.4.1 Internet users are sticking to the principle of least effort and are focusing on accessibility rather than quality. Integrating a large set of complex tools have already been consider in the past, the study untitled ―Information behavior of the researcher of the future‖ cited above well explained how librarians did not adapt properly to the demand and make young students fleeing them. We discovered so far that the market is demanding easy to use, accessible, simple and instinctive search solutions. We know as well that commercial search engine users are blaming themselves and not the technology when they cannot find what they want. We saw that Enterprise search engine users are blaming the technology and not themselves when they cannot find the result they want. And finally that commercial search engine use influence the one of enterprise. We all know how reluctant workers are towards changes and that implementing a new information search system is critical. As we saw in chapter 2 there are some solutions which are implemented within companies but their goals is rather foggy and workers are not finding the information they want in most of the cases. The recommendation should then be the following: There is no need to invest in costly and complex search information system. Simply because they are very costly in terms of management and training. If you set up an information search system including several search tools employees will simply not use them and/or not use them properly. Technology has to adapt searchers and not the other way around. 105
    • So companies should invest in one, only one search technology but at least one that everybody in the company is familiar with. In the case of Google countries it means implementing Google Search Appliance within companies. This implementation should increase employees satisfaction and this will help in installing a more powerful search system afterward. Employees may not find all the material they want with only one solution but it does not matter for the reason that they did not find the contents either with several solutions. It should be hard for them to blame the technology with which they are the most familiar with and as a result they may reconsider their way of searching. Once this step made it will be easier to train people to search engine use and afterward implementing deeper search tools. The justification of this choice is customer satisfaction. If an Internet user is not finding the information through is favorite search tool it would mean that there is something wrong with the use that he is making of it. From here it prepare themselves better to receive training on information search. This solution is for sure not the most rational one because it is not fixing the issue of search engine dependency. It is even making it worst. But it is however fixing the issue of user satisfaction which drive to efficiency. As mentioned in chapter 3.4 employees do not need to be search information experts, they have to do their job. 106
    • Search engine users behavior within household summary: Policy search Search user characteristics Solutions Risks Number of tools used No search strat- Always find what they are looking for, confident, trusting and naive. For them there They can They are not expe- egy imple- Satisfied with their search experience. is no problem pick up the rienced searchers and mented Do not make the difference between commercial and non commercial so why should wrong in- use in average no links they find some formation more than 2 search 98% (95%) of their Internet use is dedicated to search. solutions. (health in- tools They used the Internet for many purposes such as answers regarding formation) health. Search engine user within the educational system: Policy search Search user characteristics Solutions Risks Number of tools used None or few pro- Even when trained students do not apply More training Information flow is always the same, Presence of library da- grams installed or the tools. Google's comfort. The Wikipedia and education, Wikipedia phenomenon. If the train- tabases but very few forecasted for the phenomenon has been put in evidence and special courses ing is not applied properly perfor- other search engines are future the educational system is alerted to this on the topic. mances cannot be seen in household known issue neither within businesses. Search engine users within Businesses: Policy search Search user characteristics Solutions Risks Number of tools used Poor implemen- Get used to experience search More training, better man- Bad image about Enterprise Search Engine, Several tation, if im- engine at home and do not agement implementation do not feel to be pro efficient and fix the prob- plemented goals understand why enterprise lem by themselves, Looking for info on the
    • are in half of search engines are not per- Internet when not finding it on Intranet the cases not forming as good as them. clearly defined. Very unsatisfied about their search experience More or less aware of the problem but are minimizing the consequences 108
    • Declaration I certify that this work has been done by myself and only myself. All the sources used for its realization have been well indicated. Ronan CHARDONNEAU European Master in Business Studies Institut de Management de l'Université de Savoie d'Annecy (FR) Università degli studi di Trento (IT) Universität Kassel (GER) Universidad de León (SP) 22th January, 2009
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