The search engine that lets you remove the most popular web sites

This is a nifty thing: Million Short is a search engine that will let you remove links to the million most popular web sites from its search results.

Sometimes good (and more importantly, relevant) sites get crowded out by popular sites in the results of search engines like Google. This is a natural result of how Google works — it prefers to present the websites that everybody links to; it sees the linking as a stamp that denotes quality.

Sites that are already popular get a head start as a result. They get shown more in the results, so they get visited more often, so they get linked to more often, so Google likes them better.

And sometimes industries get good at gaming the search engines. For example, that one time I wanted to figure out the architectural style of the American Hotel in Amsterdam*, I got flooded with search results linking to booking aggregators. Now generally I can see how two or three of those would be the most useful results for a simple search like “American Hotel Amsterdam”. And typically you would just refine your search by adding words like “architecture”.

So it is going to be interesting to see how this develops.

*) It probably wasn’t the American Hotel in Amsterdam, but this was some time ago and I can only remember the shock at seeing so many booking sites in the search results. In fact, when I google “American Hotel Amsterdam” now, the second result is a link to the Wikipedia article, which at the time of writing this blog post claims that the hotel was built in the Berlage style.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.