Sunday, September 16, 2007

The search engine is dead, part II

I have attacked Charles Knight before on this blog, but I am about to do so again. His Read/Write Web affiliate blog called Alt Search Engines recently published three articles trying to define the market from which he evidently wants to suck blood like a remora. What is a Search Engine? was the first effort, What is Not a Search Engine? was the second and the third, What is an “Alternative” Search Engine?, was the only one written by Knight himself.

In short, the whole exercise is a joke. The first two articles provide a somewhat serious look at how to define a search engine, but Knight pretty much admits with a straight face that he thinks a search engine is whatever is going to make him money. The clincher is that even though Quintura is specifically mentioned in the second article as not being worthy of being called a search engine because it does no webcrawling of its own, Knight still claims it is, and recently named it Search Engine Of The Month... and who is that advertising on the right of the page? Why, that looks like a Quintura ad! How could that have gotten there? Fancy that.



(screenshot modified according to the uncov school of aggression.)

The fact that such a blatantly self-promoting, ignorant shill can even survive means that the search engine industry is dead. His obvious pandering to potential advertisers and consultancy targets might be okay if he had any idea what he was talking about, but Knight admits openly that he treats the industry like he's a movie critic with zero credentials. Knight's ethos of interface over backend, style over substance, is the sort of thing that is giving the concept of the search engine a bad name. If you can code up a PHP front-end to someone else's crawl with pastel colours, rounded corners and tag clouds, Knight will call you a search engine.

Charles Knight is the Grim Reaper of the search engine dinner party, standing in the middle of the table and pointing his bony finger at eaters of the salmon mousse. Richard McManus, this joker makes your operation look amateurish. He is only getting worse and worse.

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