The Digital Signage Insider

Googling for Fun and Profit

Published on: 2004-02-20

[UPDATE]: This article is really old, and the data here isn't too relevant anymore.

It used to be that I loved Google. Back in 1998 or so, when it was just getting started, it was leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. Ask a question and you would get answers. Search for a term, and there was a good chance that you would find what you were looking for with the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button.

These days, a google for my name will return a reasonable number of results, but my own domain, which has been up for about 3 years now, doesn't come up anywhere. This new algorithm that Google is using definately leaves something to be desired.

What does this have to do with interactive kiosks and digital signage? Well, let's take a quick look at some of the results that appear on the first page when we do a google search for kiosk software:

1. http://www.kioskco.com/

This site doesn't have any content at all. It's actually another search engine (or link list, more accurately) for other kiosk pages. Completely useless.

5. http://hubblesource.stsci.edu/exhibits/kiosk/

Last I checked, Lockheed Martin made airplanes and rocket engines, not kiosk software. And while this page does contain the words "Kiosk Software," it still isn't very relevant.

9. http://weblogs.asp.net/mnolton/category/655.aspx

I'm sure Mathew Nolton is a nice guy, and yes, it even looks like he may have built some kiosk software at one point or another, but does he really need to be on the first page? There's hardly any content there, and it doesn't seem to compare with results that google places much further down the list.

Ok, now let's try the same thing for digital signage:

I have to admit that Google's results are generally better here (WireSpring's poor placement notwithstanding, of course). But still the first two results are horrible. They both go to Richardson Electronics, which, while it does have something to do with digital signage, is no where near as applicable as, say Scala, Inc., which basically created the industry about 10 years ago, let alone FireCast, arguably the best software for digital signage today.

Fortunately, all this may be about to change. Google claims that they will be re-tweaking their algorithm in the near future, and other options are becoming available. Yahoo, which used Google's search abilities for several years, recently announced that they've stopped using Google in favor of technology acquired from Inktomi. The initial results look promising, and here's to hoping they'll get even better!


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