Google Search Reveals Algorithms?

[Google seems to be featuring a lot on my blog recently, so I've created a new "Google" category, and added the previous posts to it.]

Google launched a Desktop Search product today, which indexes your hard drive and gives you a unified search interface for local and web content. People have already commented on how cunningly well-integrated it is (it sets up a webserver on your local machine so it can give you the familiar Google interface but with an extra tab for your stuff).

One interesting thing about this which hasn’t been mentioned is that, for the first time, Google’s secret indexing and search algorithms aren’t stored away on some remote servers, or inside some expensive appliance bought by corporations, but are in software on your desktop. Of course the EULA forbids reverse engineering, but that prohibition isn’t valid in all jurisdictions.

It’ll be interesting to see what gets discovered over the next few months…

12 thoughts on “Google Search Reveals Algorithms?

  1. I really doubt the search algorithm used to search your files is the same used to search the web. Page rank which is in the heart of http://www.google.com is rather meaningless withing the context of Word , Excel and IM chats …
    Still you never know …

  2. I have a feeling the desktop client is grossly simplified.

    Remember: it’s looking for text within documents. It’s definately not using pagerank. There’s no linking taking place.

  3. You may be right – perhaps there’s nothing in there that Knuth didn’t discover. But I would have thought they’d have used their expertise to do something nifty.

    I’m actually curious about hoe the “desktop” link gets inserted into google.com when you are running the google desktop search.

    As I understand it, they set up a mini-webserver on your local machine. When you view its home page, you get the standard Google interface plus the extra tab, all served up locally. Presumably there’s an auto-update mechanism for when they change their interface.

  4. I think it is someform of a helper. When I installed it, SpyBot’s TeaTimer came up and told me it had added a registry entry for a browser helper.

  5. What exactly does “Hacking for Christ” mean? Is this browser going to start singing Hymns?