Advances in Search Engine Technology and the Impact on BHL Inc’s. Business Plan











IS535 Final Project
Authors: Michelle Brousseau and Rory Lentz
Due: Tuesday October 6, 2009




Table of Contents


1. Section 1-Abstract………………………………………………..…………………………………...Page 3
2. Section 2-Purpose of Report………………………………………………………………….…...Page 4
3. Section 3-Backgrond and a Brief History of Search Engines…………………..….Page 6
4. Section 4-Current SE Technology………………………………………………………..…....Page 10
5. Section 5-Future Direction of SE Technology and Recommendations……..Page 14
6. Works Cited…………………………………………………………………………………………….Page 18

Abstract
This report was written to give a review of search engine technology, both present and future, as well as a brief history of how the search engines of today were developed. We have done a thorough review of available resources to determine the current status of search engine technology and, based on our research, will speculate where we believe the technology is heading. This knowledge will enable us to give informed suggestions on how to proceed with our company’s future online marketing campaigns and search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing strategies.

Purpose of Report
In this report we will present our research which is focused on determining the present state of search engine technology and the direction it is theorized to move in the foreseeable future. This will allow us to predict the importance and direction of our future Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies in BHL’s marketing and business plans.

With the rapid growth of the Internet, the amount of information available on the Worl Wide Web (WWW) has grown exponentially. The problem of finding information on a specific topic is one that has had computer science researchers working hard to find the optimal search engine technology to easily find “almost anything on the web (once all the data is entered.)” (Brin and Page, 2) The Internet has revolutionized the way companies approach sales and marketing and can be the key factor in any company’s success. Thus, a company’s marketing strategy needs to take into account how search engines rank pages based on their relevancy to the user’s search terms, this is also known as SEO. SEO has become a critical element to Internet marketing. Companies desiring to actively compete on the Internet need to include SEO in their marketing and business plans.

Background and a Brief History of Search Engines

OOH Goody, I'll be back in a bit...

I need to edit, or as I call "chop and hack" but I am first getting it down...
The world wide web is the most popular internet service. It is comprised of universally accepted standards for storing, retrieving, formatting, and displaying information using a client/server structure. Web pages are formatted using hypertext with embedded links that link documents to each other including sounds, video, and animation files.
Web servers are software designed for locating and managing web pages.
A web site is a collection of web pages that are linked to a homepage.
It is unknown how many web pages exist. There are over 800 billion topical and proprietary pages.
Because of the enormity of this number, accessing the desired information could prove to be untimely without the existence of filtering systems. Search engines were developed in the early 1990s to address this challenge. Originally, search engines were simple software programs that roamed the internet to gathered information regarding the general content of web pages. In 1995, AltaVista released an engine, sometime called “crawlers.” These programs were word indexes that counted the number of times a word appeared in the content of a web page. These programs were not optimal in that, simply because a word was repeated, users did not necessarily find the content they were looking for.
In 1994, Yahoo (“Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle) was created by two Stanford University computer science students, David Filo and Jerry Yang. These students designed Yahoo, not as a new search engine, as an edited selection of web sites, sorted into categories, that they found relevant.
In 1998, Larry Page and Sergy Brin, also Stanford computer science students, developed Google. This new search engine was unique in that it ranked search results based on the relevance of each page. Larry Page patented the this new process and coined it the “PageRank System.” Basically, the system “measures the popularity of a web page by calculating what other sites link to it.” Brin contributed to the process by including the capability to index word combinations.
Competition between search engine leaders including Yahoo, Google, and MSN has propelled the development and refinement of search engines.
This technology was further transformed by the addition of advertisements (search engine marketing) which created revenue for search engine providers. The inclusion on advertisements can be view as “sponsored links” that, typically, at the top of search engine lists. These advertisement opportunities have bolstered, via investments to refine search engine capabilities, the accuracy and intuitiveness of these systems.


More to come

Current State of SE Technology



Future Direction of SE Technology and Recommendations

When we first began this project, I thought to use a close friend from college as a resource. Scott Gaffney is a PhD. graduate in computer science from UCI in CA, and worked closely with JPL in developing image recognition algorithms for imaging satellites using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms. Scott presently works as a lead analyst at Yahoo in their Department. In an e-mail dated September 9, 2009 Scott made these comments on the relevance of the PageRank algorithm in today’s search engines;
“In relation to search algorithms, actually page rank in itself is not necessarily critical anymore. Search is highly optimized using Machine Learning over thousands of features of queries and pages. In this sense, page rank is just one of the thousands of features that are used to predict the relevant top pages for any given query. There are many features which are much more important than page rank to predict relevance.

However, features that predict quality/popularity are useful to predict overall relevance between a query and a page. Page rank is one such feature. Essentially, pages which are higher quality and more popular tend to be linked to more than other pages. As such, ranking pages by the number and strength of the links between pages is a useful thing to do when predicting page relevance. But, there are many ways to do this.”

I used Scott’s comments as a framework to further examine the future of search engine research and Internet Marketing’s expected direction of over the next five years. What I found was very informative



Works Cited
Brin S. , Page L., The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine, Stanford, CA, 1997 Found on 9/28/2009 at this URL: http://infolab.stanford.edu/pub/papers/google.pdf
Laudon & Laudon. Managing the Digital Firm, 10th ed., New York, Pearson Custom Publishing, 2009
McCormack, Alan, Forbath, T., Brooks, P., Kalaner, P, Innovation through Global Collaboration: A New Source of Competitive Advantage, Harvard Business School, Boston, MA 2007 White paper found on Sunday September 27 at 4pm at: http://www.hbs.edu/research/pdf/07-079.pdf
(1)Mickler, Russell. KGSM 09-08-09 IS535 Lecture 2. Keller Graduate School of Management. September 08, 2009.
(2)Mickler, Russell. KGSM 09-22-09 IS535 Lecture 4. Keller Graduate School of Management. September 22, 2009.