Visualizing the Search Tail

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A discussion on how Web Search in general should move away from the listing presentation with its long tail bringing little values to users. One way of achieving that is for companies like Google, Yahoo! and M$ to analyze, store and query data in multiple dimensions.

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  • A discussion on how Web Search in general should move away from the listing presentation with its long tail bringing little values to users. One way of achieving that is for companies like Google, Yahoo! and M$ to analyze, store and query data in multiple dimensions. \n
  • The internet as it stands today is a chaotic universe of scattered documents and links. The most useful resources are locked away somewhere out there, buried behind heaps of unwanted junk. There is no discernible organization of the data and no signs of the situation improving in the future.\n
  • Partly to blame is the non-standard and non-descriptive mark up system we have embraced called the HTML. The inability of HTML to describe what its contents are about has led to long tails in search results pages - since crawlers have no means to understand what web pages are about, they could only resort to analyze them syntactically or structurally. As web usage continue to surge, the tails would only get longer.\n
  • The importance of the tail could not have been emphasized more. Although Chris Anderson has made the concept universally known, people have mostly reacted by mining tails instead of preventing them to materialize in the first place, which in fact is quite puzzling.\n
  • Even the most powerful search engines today don’t let users explore beyond 100 pages. Imagine how much valuable information is being lost for each search! \n
  • The “tail” visualization is like giving users a shovel to dig through a pile of scrap to find the information they really want - but limiting them to dig only three inches deep!\n
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  • Real breakthrough could only be made when search engines take the challenge to the next level by organizing the web as data cubes with multiple dimensions. In this sense, there is no single “tail”. Rather there are limitless dimensions through which users can explore the data from.\n
  • The idea is basically building of a Web OLAP database. OLAP has been a very old concept and used widely in organizations where relational databases were sufficient for analysts to understand the data at hand.\n\nPutting web documents into Web OLAP cubes empower users to perform searches that are much more powerful than what is presently possible.\n
  • To put it in perspective, today’s web searches are like offering a tiny window into the internet to their users. \n
  • But with the tools and multiple dimensions of having web as data cubes, users are given much wider views and essentially the freedom to roam around the web.\n
  • Most people don’t enjoy to be “empowered” by tools like this and don’t appreciate the complexity. Here’re examples of some explicit product ideas that could be derived if web data are organized into cubes.\n
  • First dimension we could explore is “sentiments”.\n
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  • Sentiments-aware search engines have emerged lately, and have offered new perspectives into popular topics that people have not imagined before.\n
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  • Sentiments filtering could easily be deployed explicitly to enhance the search experience. For example, if the query is about something that is sentimentally relevant (a movie, a celebrity, a product, an event...), options can be offered to users to view documents that are only positive/negative and so on.\n
  • An example of a search results page showing only sentimentally Positive Results related to a movie.\n
  • Another product feature idea makes more explicit use of sentiments...\n
  • ...by replacing “Related Searches” with “Related Opinions” showing positive or negative opinions about the query. Notice how the suggestions don’t even have to contain the original query strings.\n
  • Of course, the power of cube is that they are multi-dimensional. And users could apply several filters at once to create even more search innovations.\n
  • Take the two simple dimensions “Sentiments” and “Time”, \n
  • With multiple dimensions, data could be effectively visualized and made more intuitive to users.\n
  • The road to an organized web where everything is well understood and sorted into data cubes is still a long way off, so we’ll have to put up with the current state of the Internet for a longer while.\n
  • Visualizing the Search Tail

    1. 1. visualizing the tail
    2. 2. the internet
    3. 3. data: imprisoned
    4. 4. importance of the search tailchris anderson’s Pareto distribution group of non-hit items are they meaningless? need reorganizing?
    5. 5. limitations
    6. 6. untangling the sea of docs
    7. 7. happy positive thrilled Sentiments hatred negative indifferenceRegion
    8. 8. happy positive thrilled Sentiments hatred negative indifferenceRegioninto data cubes with n dimensions
    9. 9. web olap beyond n-gramsTools - min, max, sum, unique, group, having...Perspectives - time, genres, titles, sentiments
    10. 10. a tiny hole
    11. 11. walk inside the web a rich graph with tools and different perspectives
    12. 12. happy positive thrilled Sentiments hatred negative indifferenceRegionhow two dimensions add to Search Experience
    13. 13. Sentiments
    14. 14. happy positive thrilled Sentiments hatred negative indifferenceRegion multi-dimensions
    15. 15. Sentiments + Time
    16. 16. obama’s national popularity index
    17. 17. the truth is still out there

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