I have been thinking about the impact of del.icio.us http://del.icio.us/ on Search. Having people organize and rank content has huge potential in efforts to determine relevancy. Google has been using its tool bar to collect information about “who bookmarks what” for some time now. Del.icio.us a living breathing manifestion of this and I had thought that Google might be interested in buying del.icio.us because of their data – or at least figuring out how to crawl it. I thought of some issues with using this data in a an algorithm factor (i.e. only geeks are using delicious….not a very wide ranging sample group), so I figured it could not achieve too much relevance in the algorithms.
Labels let you describe what something is about. Want to list an actual web page in Google? No problem! You can enter a URL, assign it some words, and away you go. How heavily labels will be used as part of the ranking process remains to be seen. But I already have seen enough to find the entire thing a big giant step backwards.What’s a page about? Isn’t analyzing every word on the page better than depending on hand categorization? How about using some of the copious amounts of technology that exist to break down a document to main keywords or themes? Going to labels isn’t Search 2.0 or Search 3.0, it’s flipping backwards to Search 1.0.