or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk

Past Search Terms, and the Universal Digital Library

   May 10th, 2007 Brian Herzog

Today I present two short, mostly unrelated topics that came up recently:

Topic One
I was just looking at the stats for visitors to my website this week. One statistic I find particularly interesting are the keywords people searched with that lead them to my website. I will often then perform those same searches, just to see where I rank, and what websites also rank for that keyword.

Usually, keyword searches are things like 30 search tips in 45 minutes, BPL eCards, or something else I've recently posted about. But one caught by eye - I'm happy to report that I currently make the second page of Google search matches for the phrase "library sex."

Topic Two
A post to the Maine Libraries listserv yesterday pointed to an article titled "Myth of the Universal Digital Library." It is a pretty quick read, and provides three reasons why projects like Google's book digitization will never be able to completely digitize the entirety of collected human knowledge. Not that we still couldn't benefit greatly from efforts in that direction, but the article does point out some significant roadblocks.
digitization, google, knowledge, rankings, search ranking, search terms, universal digital library

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Search Terms Study

   March 2nd, 2007 Brian Herzog

A post on Slashdot today talked about an interesting visualization of search terms used between 1997 and 2001.

Interesting because of the way the data is displayed (which took a little getting used to), but also interesting in how it shows the maturation of the web, and what people use it for. The data seem to show that in 1997, sex- and chat-related searches where the most popular, but by the end of the data set, people were searching the internet for information and shopping.

I wonder what the trends will be ten years from now, or if this model of searching will even still apply.

chris harrison, search, search clock, search terms, searchclock, searching, terms, visualization

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