Thursday, February 17, 2005

Idea for Google/Yahoo news

Heres and idea, when doing news searches on google or yahoo news (or any other news site for that matter) how about having the option to give weight to different terms? Something like this:

You want to find articles about how aquaculture has affected the coastline on Indonesia so to *try* and cover all your bases you use a string like this:

aquaculture (coastal OR mangroves OR environment OR coast) (damage OR destruction OR catastrophe OR contamination OR deterioration OR devastation OR marring OR pollution OR ravage OR ruin OR ruining OR wrecking) Indonesia

Its long clunky and still hardly gives me what I am looking for. Now there are probably boolean/database geeks out there that could find this no problem, but I am not one of those geeks and at the moment don't have access to the greatest databases right now. With the above
string I get mostly general stuff that refers mostly to the Tsunami disaster and only mentions Indonesia in passing. What if i could tell the search engine to give more weight to aquaculture and Indonesia? I guess I already have saying the returned article must have Indonesia and aquaculture in it but perhaps the search engine could go a bit further and say measure the number of times the words i wanted weighted are mentioned or if those words are in the titles etc; I kinda thought it already does this but in looking at the results i get back I am kinda doubting that is the case. Google/Yahoo guys, if you are listening know that there is at least one person out there who would like this area improved!