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IL Con-Grunting: Rich Wiggins on “Why Google Won”

The sad news was Gary Price couldn’t make it to IL 2003, due to a hospitalization (he won’t miss his gall bladder, and he’s feeling much better).

The good news was his replacement, Rich Wiggins, gave a boffo talk. I can’t replicate the whole talk, of course–Wiggins is his own dynamic universe–but here are some gems; not all revelations, but all worth repeating.

In 2002, Google overtook Yahoo in referrals to Web sites

How did google establish dominance? Link analysis was a wise emphasis

Versus Yahoo, a limited directory

(Aside: there’s a librarian named Needles at the Haystack Observatory)

People don’t repeat searches

People don’t climb through hit lists Just let them type the words in and find what they’re looking for at thetop of the list.

Read “The Google Effect” by Dan Gilmore

Every search engine performs special pre-search algorithms; some are more visible than others.

Google’s home page is spare, minimalist, unclutttered

References Krug, “Don’t Make Me Think” (one of my favorite usability guides)

Google has had this unwavering belief in search; is fully robotic

Google “resisted the temptation to belong to other nations” (To quote Gilbert and Sullivan)

Google put in reverse phone book

effective scaling

google rebuilds the index from scratch every 30 days

Google has nimbleness

They are running linux on commodity servers

Could a contender overtake google? Microsoft vs Google: kill or buy

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