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Adnan Siddiqi

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Blind faith on Blind Search? Never!!

As I shared here that I really liked the concept of Blind Search tool as it's quite helpful to compare three well-known and big search engines; Google,Bing and Yahoo. This tool could be quite helpful to find out hidden features of other search engines which usually I don't pay attention because of Google.

I really liked the concept of showing comparison of different data sets(Search Engine results here) and let the user pick which 1 is good. It's quite a Web 2.0/3.0 idea to find the better results based on user choices.Since I myself is a developer so I wanted to know how does it work. So I loaded up the site in firefox and started inspecting it via Firebug. I inspected button element and this is what I found. Click the image for clear vision.

 

 

 

Yes! I found a hidden div with an image element which was telling me before hitting VOTE button that the middle column contains the search results from Google Search Engine(Image name Goo.png is visible in pic). For a moment it does not matter at all but if the developer of the system is recording users' feedback some where then the questions could arise about the authenticity of search results because if i am a google fan and I already know that middle column  is showing results from Google then I will click it anyway. Hence I cheated here and selected Google regardless of the quality of result. In this way many like me could rate up their favorite search engine. But..should I take results seriously because the creator of the tool says himself:

 This site is built as a fun experiment by Michael Kordahi,

 

When I found out about the site and the association of the developer with Microsoft, I thought that some day the developer would show up the user stats and I did not get surprise when I found a blog post on Michael's blog in which he has shared the stats.

Therefore I won't consider it a serious tool anymore. The idea is simply great but I don't understand why did Michael implemented it like that someone else could "manipulate" ratings easily. I believe there are better ways to accomplish same task without giving any hint to the users(specially those who are in same field) because i did try to implement the same concept for a task  which will not let developers to figure out the main source unless they submit their vote and it's pretty simple to do in PHP(if I am not wrong Blind Search was also developed in PHP :-) )

 

Posted: Sunday, August 09, 2009 4:27 PM by kadnan
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