The Search Laboratories

Aug 7, 2006 • 7:59 pm | comments (0) by | Filed Under Search Engine Strategies 2006 San Jose

Detlev Johnson to mod up the sessions, he said we have some changes to the panel.

Peter Norvig from Google, research director, up first. Most things at Google are from bottom up, they dont have some 10 year plan, he said. Desktop search was one of those ideas. Gmail was an other one of those ideas. AdSense was an other. AdSense came out of the Gmail experiment, how do I monetize gmail? With AdSense. Personalization was an other bottom up. Google Video, image processing, key frames. Extraction of facts, Google OneBox results (i.e. population of Japan query). Future at Google. Face Localization, identifying faces in images - they cannot identify people yet, but they can know if this is a male or a female. More work in fact extraction, 1 million facts - they write patterns to figure out how to extract facts, they then tried to extract facts without writing pattern based algorithms. Statistical machine translation, they are trying to make it better - he shows the problems with it (Arabic and Chinese). So expect to see more of a "conversation" between you, your query and Google - i.e. alternatives, refinements, spelling correction and so on.

Bradley Horowitz from Yahoo! to talk about Yahoo! Research. They are not trying to be an expert in everything but they want to focus on a few things. Specifically, community, microeconomics, information navigation and search and finally the user experience. "Better Search Through People." His presentation wasn't working like it should, so he talked us through the animations... He said imagine a Flickr slideshow. Flickr from a social perspective understood pixels. Flickr capitalized on human knowledge by adding tagging. User generated content... People + Algorithms > Algorithms. Phase I - Human editorial. Phase II - mass automation. Phase III is topological analysis. Phase IV is social search. He then goes through each phase. Query composition; 25% informational, 40% navigational and 25% transactional. Subjective queries include; "Do you know a reputable plumber in XYZ?" Democratize process of voting, move out of the purview of webmasters... ZoneTag: Use context available from mobile devices to help create, find, discover and share media. Provide least effort and most benefits. Yahoo! Remixer; allows one to take content, dump it into the tool, and enable the community to remix the content (movies). He then brings up Yahoo! Answers. I spoke about Yahoo! Answers a few times today... People answering people.

Detlev explains's Smart Answers. Then introduces...

James Colborn from Microsoft adCenter. He will talk about adCenter Labs. He gives the adCenter marketing spiel... adLabs is a collaboration between adCenter and research center. Paid search, contextual ads, targeting, emerging markets. He shows some pre-done lab demos. He shows the search funnel that shows you the keyword phrase that is search prior and post the keyword phrase you entered in. Keyword Group Detection tool; it figures out what other keywords would search on based on keywords you enter in. Detecting Online Commercial Intention; looking at the probability of a commercial query based on the keyword phrase entered in. Now he does some live demos at He shows some of the other tools, like a keyword tool like abbreviates, SUV. What about ROI? ROI has multiple meaning, region of interest, return of investment, etc.

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