Digg Search Changes
April 10, 2009
I don’t pay much attention to Digg.com. I checked the site last week, found an annoying toolbar, and exited the site. The Digg.com Web log here reported that Digg.com has a new search system. I can’t determine whether this is a home grown system, a home grown system plus Microsoft, or a Microsoft based system. If you know the ingredients, let me know. The new system, according the the Digg.com Web log, “99.987% Less Suck“. Among the enhancements is support for bound phrases, facets, Boolean NOT, and better performance. I ran a couple of queries and observed:
- For my query “Google patents”, the results relevance ranking was odd. My Google patent index was listed fourth. What troubled me was that the top ranked results dated from 2006. I could not see a one click method to sort by date. Google Products offers this feature as does my Exalead index of Google Web logs.
- I ran a query for the blog tool du jour, Squarespace. There were results, but the top ranked result dated from 2005. Inspection revealed that there were meatier and potentially more relevant results deep in the results list.
- I ran a query for a story from 48 hours ago–Eric Schmidt and the speech before the newspaper association. I ran this as a free text query: eric schmidt newspaper association. Bingo. Happiness.
My conclusions are that this search implementation is okay. I will probably stick with free text queries and skip the Boolean. With tweaking, Digg.com’s “less suck” search solution strikes me as pretty good. I will check it out in four or five months. Now about that toolbar?
Stephen Arnold, April 10, 2009