New Things Algorithmic – Episode 2 and Epilogue

Next in our series, “What’s New with
Exalead’s Ranking System,” the second major improvement in the GREMLINS

Number 2: Ahhh…You Understand Me.

GREMLINS seeks to better understand who you
are and what you’re looking for, even if you’re a bit challenged in the
research skills department. Say for example you live in San Francisco

and launch a search for “dog
therapy.” You may actually be looking for:

1) Therapeutic options for
treating your Dalmation’s separation anxiety problem,

2) Information about
animal-assisted therapy for the aged or infirm,

3) A California manufacturer of skateboards and
skateboard accessories, named “Dog Therapy,” or

4) Recordings by a Berlin garage band named “Dog Therapy” you came across during your trip to Germany last year.

There was never a problem for a search like
1. Sites about therapeutic treatments and treatment providers for troubled
canines will top your results. Exalead has always privileged an exact match of
keywords in the order they are entered, even if they weren’t enclosed in
quotation marks.

If 2 was really what you were after,
GREMLINS has been refined to better understand that “therapy dogs” may be
closer to your intentions that “dog therapy” per se, and it will offer up links
like “Therapy dogs,” “Animal assisted therapy,” and “Therapy Dog Training”
under “Related Terms” in the “Narrow Your Search” panel.

For quests 3 and 4, the skateboard
manufacturer will be privileged in your search results over the Berlin garage
band as GREMLINS factors your location and language into its calculation of the
relevancy of results. This will save you a lot of time in 9 out of 10 of your
web queries.

But, if you really wanted to find that
garage band and didn’t think to add “Germany”
or Berlin” or “Band” to your request, all is still not lost. Check the “Languages” filter
under the Narrow Your Search panel. If there’s an option for German, it might
just be your band lurking there in the shadows.


Let’s try another search. Say you launch a
request on “Martin Luther King” because you:

1) Want to listen to one of his
famous speeches,

2) Are working on a report on
kingfishers for school,

3) Want to browse forums and blogs
dedicated to Martin Luther King, or

4) Need to find photos of Martin
Luther King with a landscape-orientation.

Curious as to what GREMLINS makes of these?
Have more questions about how search requests are analyzed? Grab a cup of
coffee and stay tuned for further details here on Exalead’s approach to content

Sebastien, Head Chef, Web Team