Tuesday, February 01, 2005

MSN Search

Today MSN Search debuted. It has been around for several months, in beta, and today it officially went live.


I thought I'd check MSN out again, by searching for me!

First, it suggested I might be looking for karl barrys... ummm no, not really. After that, for the next few pages, were indeed references to me. A interview puzzle and general brain teaser page. Race results. Comments I've made on other blogs. Posts I made in a cryptography interest group (back when I was a student and apparently had a lot of time). Overall, pretty good, and somewhere around page 3 or 4 the results tail off.

For the heck of it, I tried an image search at MSN on myself, but found nothing.


Next up, I tried good old Google.

First, Google didn't suggest I misspelled anything. So, extra points for them!

Google also nicely found my blogger profile as the first result. Why only the profile and not my blog, I'm not sure, since after all, Google owns Blogspot. More comments on blogs, old crypto stuff, a reference to volunteer editing at VIE (inside a PDF - good search results!), my antenna applet... the results are consistently me until around page 7 or 8. Pretty good!

I also tried an image search. I do have several pictures on various websites, but as far as I know, I haven't done anything in particular to make them extra visible to search engines (as in stuff my name into the picture metadata, etc.)

To my surprise, an image search actually finds one image of me, and my friend Akila, from a visit to the Bay Area I made last year. Akila and I were grad students buddies, and have kept in touch over the years.


I also tried Yahoo! Search.

This one gets lots of extra points for actually finding my home page as the first result. Granted, there isn't a much there, as I've found maintaining a blog to be more fun. :) Also, my domain is registered through Yahoo! so that might help somehow. More crypto, puzzles, race results, VIE stuff, results inside a PDF. This search finds more blog entries I've made. Yahoo! Search also finds references to me on dotnode.com - dotnode.com is another social networking site, which has a few nice features over Orkut. For example, you automatically get a homepage on dotnode, and Yahoo! Search found references to me in other people friend's lists.

Nothing turned up on the Image Search for me.

Overall, I was quite surprised by the relevancy and quality of the Yahoo! Search results, as far as searching for me. Google and Yahoo! search inside PDF's, while it does not appear that MSN does. I'll keep trying out all these search engines, but right now I think Google and Yahoo have an edge over MSN, in my hugely unscientific analysis of search results for me.

No comments: