Google Blogoscoped

Monday, June 30, 2003

Jakob Nielsen and Why Google Makes People Leave Your Site Faster

If you’d like to know why Informavores use information scent, why websites — as opposed to rabbits — want to be caught, how Google pushed information nugget snacking, and why users are “selfish, lazy, and ruthless”, read accessibility-guru Jakob Nielsen’s latest Alertbox:

“The easier it is to find places with good information, the less time users will spend visiting any individual website. (...)

Information foraging’s most famous concept is information scent: users estimate a given hunt’s likely success from the spoor: assessing whether their path exhibits cues related to the desired outcome. Informavores will keep clicking as long as they sense (to mix metaphors) that they’re “getting warmer” – the scent must keep getting stronger and stronger, or people give up. Progress must seem rapid enough to be worth the predicted effort required to reach the destination.”

– Jakob Nielsen, Information Foraging: Why Google Makes People Leave Your Site Faster (Alertbox), June 30, 2003

GGSearch - Google Search Windows Program

Pieter Kraaima informs me about his GGSearch tool (the 679K freeware formerly known as the Google™ SearchTool):

“This software application is a handy tool for people who are spending lots of time searching the various newsgroups posts, images, links, Uncle sam, linux, news, Bsd, microsoft, answers, stocks, viewer, web quotes, froogle, directory’s and many more options in google™.

Search in all or in 27 different languages and see the result in one of the 66 available languages. Use one of the 20 search criteria to search in. Customize it to your need.

Use it to translate a webpage or to try out many other Google goodies like: “are you lucky”. It uses your windows default browser for showing search results. But it is also easy to customize the SearchTool to work with your favorite browser.”
– P. J. Kraaima, GGSearch - The Search tool for searching with Google™ power


GGSearch has a nice look and feel to it. It always stays on top of other windows. Results are displayed in a new browser window to not interfere with current sessions. The options are slightly hidden and can be accessed by left-clicking the lower-left side of the program window. To make the program completely un-obtrusive, you can set it to “Skinny mode” and turn on transparency.

If you are often using advanced options to Google, you should give this tool a try! Especially the easy-to-use time search options might come in handy — e.g. “Return webpages updated in the last 3 months” (it would be nice if this could be set to one day, one week and so on, but 3 months seems to be the lower limit).

Java Showcase

Ken Perlin, author of the Google Easter Bunny game, has a nice Java showcase with different, interactive 3D demos.

SERPS for best and worst engines

People lamented the fact that recently, Google itself doesn’t top the ranking for searching “search engine” on Google (instead, AltaVista is number one). However, it does appear first when you enter best search engine. The keywords worst search engine on the other hand puts in the number two spot.

Searching for best results search engine or good search engine puts meat-search engine DogPile on top. (Oh yeah, DogPile has a “Joke of the Day” feature taken from a jokes collection.)
DogPile collects results of engines ranging from Fast (AllTheWeb), over Google, to Inktomi and Teoma. The results are ordered by search engine. More is more?

Google Answers SEO

There are now 136 answers in the Google Answers “Internet” category on Search Engine Optimization.


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