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Search in vain, challenges for Internet search

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1 Author(s)
Tirri, H. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Helsinki Univ., Finland

Search - originally a simple keyword-lookup functionality for files - has become a fundamental Internet service. Yet its failings are well known. Easy Web access to billions of pages of information has a downside. The pages are titled mostly according to their authors' whims and use subtly different terminology that can fool a simple keyword search - sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. In addition, even the best general purpose search engines do not reach the "invisible Web" of back-end databases. Subject-specific search sites can help this situation but take time to maintain, rarely include a sophisticated interface, and seldom provide good coverage even in their topic area. Citeseer (, a reference source for computer science research papers, is one successful exception. It is argued that the next generation of Internet search facilities must support more complex vehicles for interaction than keywords.

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:36 ,  Issue: 1 )

Date of Publication:

Jan 2003

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