Alternative Search: Clustering Engines is the Digital Future - latest tech tips

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Alternative Search: Clustering Engines is the Digital Future

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Search engines are less like simple software systems designed to search for information and more like thinking, organic artificial intelligence, capable of not only finding things, but sorting them and presenting them in order of relevance. Some are getting quite proficient at knowing what you're after even when it's not what you typed into the search bar.

Clustering engines like Kartoo and Quintura are a major step forward for Internet searching. Here's what you need to know about this new approach to delivering search results:

What is a Clustering Engine?

A look at Google and Bing at reveals that both search engines really follow a pretty simple, straightforward approach to getting you the results that you need. This simplicity is great when all you want is information, but Google and Bing don't always know when 90 percent of the links they're giving you are irrelevant. Clustering combines the results into a number of categories, so it knows if you're looking for the movie called “Mud,” or if you want to know the science behind mud.

The Human Element

Clustering engines like Kartoo manage to improve the relevancy of your results with actual human editors who sift through the resources registered with the engine in order to weed out the bad ones and correct “misclassifications.” Add this to the complex algorithms already put in place by the engines to help you find results based on demographic data, and you have a search engine that turns up more relevant than irrelevant results for most users.

Personalized Search Engine

We're moving closer all the time to an era where no two people are really visiting the same Internet. Rather, we're all looking at our own versions of every single search engine, every single page, we're watching different versions of every video and even hearing our own versions of songs.

In the meantime, we're seeing clustering engines like Quintura for Kids, a search tool that understands this sort of content that children search for differs from what adults search for, so you have categories like the solar system, animals and science and nature, all designed around the sort of information that younger people tend to seek out. Likely we're going to see a lot of these popping up.

Clustering engines for horror fans, clustering engines for wine lovers, clustering engines for bodybuilders, they're likely just around the corner if they haven't already been unveiled by the time you read this.

The Internet is growing into a more organic, more personalized search. The content was often personal it was often funny, warm, inviting and interesting, but the interface itself, the way we searched for things (with AltaVista, not Google, if you remember), well, put it this way: we knew the Internet, but the Internet didn't know us.

What we're moving towards is an interface that understands you, gets you, knows what you want before you do. For some, this is exciting, for others, it's a fine excuse to become a Luddite. However you feel about it the fact is clustering engines represent a glimpse into the future of the digital era.

Image by librarianishish pursuant to the terms of Creative Commons license.

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