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Latest developments in European search engines
Mid Sweden University.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8125-7443
2007 (English)In: Online Information 2007: Conference proceedings, London: Imark Communications , 2007, 17-19 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The most popular and widely used search engines are from the United States where search engine technology originated. However, a lot of European search engines have emerged during the last ten years, the most important of these being EuroSeek and AlltheWeb. European search engines are often developed with a more limited user group in mind, such as the speakers of a certain language or a particular country. They can be a better choice if your interests have a local European focus. A good place to start is for instance combined news and blog search engines.

There are also at least two sizable web search engines in Europe with their own unique web indexes. One of these, Exalead, in fact offers more advanced search functions than any other web search engine today. In this context it is important to remember that the overlap between results from different search engines are generally overstated. The difference between relevance ranking algorithms employed by different search engines also means that the first few screens with results will vary considerably between search engines. Therefore using only one search engine is never recommendable.

Particularly interesting experiments have been made by search engine developers in France. Examples are the visual interactive maps used by the meta search engine Kartoo and the graphically innovative user interface of Ujiko. The earlier mentioned Exalead offers many ways to refine search queries and also browse results using previews of web pages with keywords marked out. Wikio is the name of a news and blog search engine with Web2.0 aspirations in which you can contribute with articles of your own, vote on articles and create personalised news pages. In Sweden there have been developments in image search technology including content-based search, facial recognition and more secure family filters. Of particular interest among other European search engine advances is the interface of Quintura from Russia. With Quinturas interactive word clouds it is easy to preview how adding new search terms would change query results, before actually applying these terms.

The European Union has contributed funding to European search engines project during the last few years. The most ambitious, the joint French-German Quaero project, unfortunately failed but two different branches have continued separately as Quaero and THESEUS. Another project is PHAROS and like Quaero it is focused on multimedia search whereas THESEUS is text-oriented and concerned with the semantic web. In 2007 The Article 29 Working Party of the European Union has been pushing the issue of protecting the search engine users privacy. They have corresponded with Google and as an outcome there have indeed been changes to the privacy policies of the four dominant US search engines.

In Europe there have also been concerns about the use of copyrighted texts in news search engines. In fact there have been several legal disputes and in some cases Google has lost like in Belgium and Norway. Additionally some prominent Europeans have feared that the popular Google Book Search would be entirely dominated by English-language literature. It is therefore satisfying to see that during the last two years some major European libraries with big collections of French, German and Spanish literature have joined the Google Book Search.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Imark Communications , 2007. 17-19 p.
Keyword [en]
search engines
Keyword [sv]
sökmotorer
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-437ISBN: 1-900239-83-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-437DiVA: diva2:2095
Available from: 2008-09-18 Created: 2008-09-18 Last updated: 2013-08-23Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

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Våge, Lars
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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