Friday, October 14, 2005

The Searchengine Taste Test

You ever see those commercials where two drinks are compared by a consumer? I'm thinking of those Folgers coffee commercials when the narrator says, "These people don't know it yet but we replaced the gourmet coffee normally served here with Folgers brand coffee. Will they notice a difference? Let's take a look."

You know what happens next? Of course you do, the customers can't tell the difference. (Some even comment on how great the taste is.) Once it is revealed the true identity of the branded coffee, some say (more or less) I am going to drink Folgers from now on.

This got me to thinking, "What if we could do this with search engines?"

Most folks know about MSN, Google and Yahoo for searching the internet. However, how many know about the hundreds (maybe even thousands) of other search engines out there all vying for a shot at the title #1 Searchengine? (Or at least those aspiring to get in the searchengine ballpark?)

From time to time I will conduct my own taste tests on lesser-known search engines. My analysis will be from a recruiter's perspective and focus on the amount and quality of resumes and leads found. It will also include a coolness factor that says, even if I don't like the results I gotta give props to a feature or function it offers. Such was the case with an interesting product (referenced on Researchbuzz) called "DUMBFIND."

What I like about Dumbfind is the way they set up their searches for relevance. How? There are 2 parameters for searching, the ever-popular keyword search and also topic search. Check out these examples:

The following 3 searches help illustrate the difference between Dumbfind and other search engines:

'opera' on Google

'opera' and 'music' on Google

keyword 'opera' with topic 'music' on Dumbfind

Dumbfind is in Beta, so its unfair to expect perfection. Be that as it may, I experimented with many variations for diverse requirements and had better results when I ignored the Topic function entirely and performed searches along these lines.

java C++ unix resume.html

engineer semiconductor resume.html

hospitality resume.html

What I found consistently was that the better results came when I used one or two keywords with the term "resume.html." Also of interest, at this writing there were no special syntax commands I could cite. The "and" command is automatic and quotes (for example, "keyword phrase") are allowed as well.

As far as using Dumbfind for resume sourcing, it could be a lot better. Yet, it did produce a few results that I did not see in the big three. (Yahoo, MSN, Google)

Suggestions:

  • Dumbfind, add a list of Topics (like "music") on your website that I can search against.
  • Add Resumes, Career or HR Topics to your listing

Digability rating: Honorable Mention

[If you like what I give away, you will love what I charge for. Check out Digability: The Recruiter's Guide To The Internet.]

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