Just wanted to make it clear that in my previous post I did not intend to accuse Quizlaw.com of not being a legitimate site – although I do certainly realize that my comments read that way.
The point I was trying to draw is that a flood of advertising on a page with minimal content for high value terms create an impression of value much like that of spam pages. The results of what I knew full well to be a search results page was an unwise choice of sample.
All apologies if anybody at Quizlaw took offense.
Having been in correspondence with the creator of Mojeek.com, it’s only natural that he’d get back to me with his responses to my article. In general, it seems he found my comments to be salient and useful. Always gratifying to be useful! At any rate, I’m including his comments with the relevant quotes from my own article, unedited:
However, it would be very valuable if Mojeek could add a Lushe-like bookmarklet to add sites to your site search.
Marc: I’ve not come across Lushe.net before but will check it out properly later. Having a bookmarklet like they do is a great idea and I will look into that definitely.
I’m also concerned by the fact that you can’t add unindexed sites to your list – as I commented in my previous article, the Mojeek index was far from being the most current available, and one site I tried to add (this one) was not yet indexed.
Marc: The ability to add unindexed sites will be available soon! Also, which will not be immediately noticeable, sites listed within personal search accounts will get crawled and refreshed more often, hopefully making the feature even more useful.
Finally, it would be very useful to be able to establish more than one personalized search. At the moment, it appears that one user is associated with one personalized search – but I would consider it quite reasonable that I would want more than one personalized group of sites.
Marc: You can have multiple accounts if you like but adding multiple groups to the same account is more complicated but I will take note and look into it as that’s a good idea.
Marc: The phrase "Edit Listed Sites" isn’t crystal clear to me, as it doesn’t specify the purpose for the listing – perhaps "Edit Personal Search" would be more clear. However, it’s far from being a major point of concern.
The one thing I would want to change about the interface is that you cannot access your personal search from the main Mojeek home page.
Marc: Both points taken and I’ll consider changing the phrases to something more obvious and adding a link to the home page, although the idea was that people would use their own personal search page rather than the main Mojeek page.
It’s also worth noting that one advantage of the Mojeek personal search is the ability to use it as a site search tool. If you selected only your own site as the selected site, it will act effectively to search your site. However, this tool will only becoming truly useful if the indexing rate speeds up sufficiently to keep a current index.
Marc: You can also do site searches by appending &r=site.com to the search url (or using the advanced search page), once searching a site the search boxes will have the option to search that site again..
Although the advantage of having it listed in a personal search is that the site will be refreshed more often.
At the end of February, I posted about a new search engine called Dumbfind. The engine is designed around tagging technology, and was offering a trial of a scheme for contextual advertising based on tags. Today, I’m going to combine my efforts by doing a follow-up on my own Dumbfind Adsonomy trial while talking about their user interface, my theme for the week.
My trial was very unsuccessful. I ran ads for two of my own websites, and received (according to my statistics) no referrals at all from Dumbfind.com. Zero. Zip. Nada. You get the point. I feel there are two major contributing factors to this.
The first has to do with Dumbfind’s traffic. An Alexa position of 44,315 (as of this writing) is respectable for a small business, but I also have to note that this is a recent increase of 95,000 positions. Maybe I’ll receive a few visits in the last two weeks of my trial, if this continues. But respectable positioning for a search engine is not the same as for a small service site. Dumbfind may be building their traffic, but it’s just not there yet.
The second flaw is from the design of their Adsonomy system. First, each ad only provides the attachment of 10 tags. Second, these tags must be selected from their tag database. This eliminated many potentially useful tags. If the tags being applied are maximally general, such as "search engine marketing", there is a greatly reduced chance they will bring up my ad – but Adsonomy didn’t permit terms which were regionally specific and associated with my keywords.
It is unclear how Adsonomy associates your selected tags with searches. One serious lack in the Adsonomy interface is any discussion of how it works! I was unable to define a search which caused my own ad to show up. Not a definitive test, by any means, but it does leave me wondering.
The Dumbfind search results are very awkwardly displayed. In my tests, I found it difficult to visually distinguish sponsored listings from actual search results. I also find it very difficult to understand the listings. An example listing:
The top line of these results tells you the url and title of the website. The font is small and not very obvious – for a while, I thought these were contextual advertising, partially because the name of the company doesn’t appear obviously in any of the following links. This is partially the fault of the site itself – they have optimized their titles for search terms but have not included their site name. However, the display of this information is entirely the responsibility of Dumbfind. I’m left confused due to three issues:
- The first element and only title level indicator of the site address in the results is smaller than most of the remaining text.
- The largest element is exclusively drawn from title tags. If this includes the site name, great – otherwise, it is confusing.
- All results are provided with supplementary pages.
The fundamental problem, to me, is that the search results are too complex – I’m barraged with information about this site in a manner that overwhelms and confuses me. I have no option to remove supplemental results and simplify my view, and the beginning of each result is unclear due to the scale of the other elements.
I like the way Dumbfind’s main page looks. I like their idea of tagged searching. However, I find their search results confusing and cluttered with advertising. It’s unlikely that they would win me over against any other service, unless they can provide more customization tools or simplify their default results.