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The Confluence of Search Engines and “Human Search Engines”

While search engines ranking and categorization algorithmns continue to mimic human behavior and incorporate patterns of human usage, it will be some time before they are able to mirror human patterns of search.

True, they are able to provide a breadth of information that runs into the hundreds of millions of results. But at the same time, how many are truly relevant to the one result you’re looking for.

Sometimes due to reasons of ultra efficient search engine optimization, the most relevant result might be located on page 5 or 6 of the search engine result pages. Finding that metaphorical needles in the haystack tends to lead to frustration, and in the worst case scenario, not finding the information you’re looking for.

Enter the “Human Search Engines”.

While we might not contain the breadth of knowledge that might be contained in a search engine’s databases, we contain one critical factor: relatedness.

Looking up a new concept in the search engine might be analogous to looking up the spelling for an unfamiliar word in the dictionary.

If you don’t know how to spell it, how do you look it up?

When you’re talking to a fellow human, you can describe the concept in abstract terms and they might be able to synergize the bits of information you feed them and give you the answer you’re looking for.

Humans organized by concepts, somtimes involving negative concepts (what a thing is not), while search engines aggregate collections of related words – keywords and keyphrases.

When encountering something new to which you have no idea how the concept (for example social media optimization) is organized, perhaps the means when starting out might be to refer to high authority blogs and websites, to gain an abstract idea of the concept.

By reading news and pieceing together facts from anedotes stories like jigsaw pieces, our mind also functions as an organic conceptual engine, synergizing the isolated facts into a cohesive whole.

It will be sometime before the search engine’s fuzzy logic algorithmns can effectively mimic this ability.

From our hazy understanding of a new concept, we can then gather together a list of keywords and keyphrases, then go to the search engines to gather further information.

With search engines being more dynamic and real-time compared to encyclopedias, this would naturally lead to a more active learning model, especially for the young.

With the Internet and search engines playing an increasingly important role in educational institutions, will this model of education eventually come to be known as Learning 2.0?

Only time will tell.

1 comment on The Confluence of Search Engines and “Human Search Engines”

  1. jessie mcdonald
    May 16, 2014 at 4:10 am (3 years ago)

    I see articles online all the time and some are quite interesting. Since I’ve written quite a few articles myself, and even published a few books, it could be helpful for me to get my name out there by presenting my articles. How would I go about putting them online for everyone to access, and could I make money posting them? This may be a silly question but, do people generally seek copyright for their online articles? Thanks..

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