We Are The Search Engine

23 April, 2013 06:44PM · 2 minute read

Continuing to discuss Link Blogs (here and here) we need to consider their evolution. More specifically why they evolved at all.

Newspapers and magazines have an editor (or several) that decides what the audience would like to read. They publish articles intended to suit their target audience. Advertisers pay to reach that target audience. Simple enough; well covered territory.

The web was different. On the web, anyone could publish anything but there was no way to find it; at least not initially. Search engines languished for a while with manually compiled lists (Yahoo) and crude keyword crawlers (Excite). Then two bright young kids came up with the idea that “a link from page A to page B (is) a vote, by page A, for page B” and what has now become Google PageRank came to rule search. Google takes it further by upvoting links from more important pages as heavier in voting weight than those from less important pages. It seemed difficult to crack this at the time, but it’s been done and is common knowledge now.

The one problem with search is that you have to know what you want to search for before you begin. There’s no “Browse” feature unlike a magazine or newspaper stand. How do I know what I want to read on the web before I want to read it?

Enter the Link Blog. People of different tastes around the world are now acting as their own editors; curating the web for content they find interesting. By following these Link Blogs of like-minded people we have a way to browse the internet without having to search. By checking multiple TwinkBlogs we can echo those articles others have found interesting and seeing the same article reblogged by multiple TwinkBloggers entices us to read that article more so.

This process fundamentally matches Googles PageRank system with a twist; we can tweak the algorithm by following whomever we choose. Without realising it we have now become the search engine ourselves: only you can browse this one, and read what you please too.