Wednesday, December 16, 2015

229. Charles Ricketts and the Search Engines

The title of this week's blog sounds a bit like a children's book, and I have to admit that what could have become serious research was mostly play. I compared the results of a number of search engines using the same query: "charles ricketts".

The list of results for this search in Google starts with Wikipedia, followed by this blogspot, and then by links to the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Tate.

Google search for "Charles Ricketts" (December 2015)

In Bing the results are slightly different. First result is Wikipedia, followed by 'Top 25 Charles Ricketts profiles' on LinkedIn (none of them being our Ricketts of course), and third in place is this blogspot.

Bing search for "Charles Ricketts" (December 2015)
The results in Yahoo, again, were slightly different: first comes a link to Whitepages (addresses found), followed by Wikipedia, Top 25 LinkedIn profiles, and images. This blogspot follows after those.

Yahoo search for "Charles Ricketts" (December 2015)
The Chinese Baidu search machine gives a markedly different result. First comes Wikipedia, then some links to other search machines (of Baidu and Bing), then another Wikipedia page on Charles Holmes, followed by a page of Mostly links to links and links to advertisements. Could not read all the details in Chinese characters of course.

Baidu search for "Charles Ricketts" (December 2015)
Our blogspot can be found, but one has to search for my name in combination with Ricketts's in order to get the result. A search for "ricketts" [and] "shannon", does not give any relevant results. Google answers this new query with a list headed by a link to this blogspot; Yahoo and Bing show this blogspot in second place, while Facebook comes first.

A search that combines results from several search engines - using Dogpile - lists Wikipedia, followed by LinkedIn profiles, and immediately after that this blogspot. Another combined search, using IxQuick delivers us a listing of Wikipedia, LinkedIn, and this blogspot (interspersed with links to Wiki pages about Ricketts and Wilde). Dogpile and IxQuick change your query while you type it: they insist that you are not looking for "Charles Ricketts", but for "Charles tickets". Much more popular, apparently. 

Apart from the Chinese search engine, most sites have similar results.