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December 14, 2003

Google Slowly Catching Up with SWISH-E

Breathlessly reported on library blogs is a change to Google that SWISH-powered LII has used for years:


"Google now uses stemming technology. Thus, when appropriate, it will search not only for your search terms, but also for words that are similar to some or all of those terms. If you search for 'pet lemur dietary needs', Google will also search for "pet lemur diet needs", and other related variations of your terms. Any variants of your terms that were searched for will be highlighted in the snippet of text accompanying each result."

Good for them to do this; it's worth noting that stemming technology is pretty common, though since most library databases don't support it, I guess it would seem like a rara avis to most of us. (LII also has a spell-checker, and try to find that in most integrated library systems.)

I am curious why Google hadn't implemented stemming earlier (and no, I don't think it's because they were too busy installing their new toilets) -- or why they are implementing it now.

Posted by kgs at December 14, 2003 11:59 PM

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Google has a BIG database. Really BIG. So big that they run up against ordinary architecture limits most databases never see (such as problems with more than *2 billion* items). I think they didn't want to add in the complexity and costs until recently.

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at December 17, 2003 09:39 PM

Get out! Google has a really big database? Cool!

Posted by: K. G. Schneider at December 17, 2003 09:53 PM

This sort of ReallyBig

To quote the late Douglas Adams' HitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy:

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly big it is. I mean you may think it's a long way
down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space."

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at December 17, 2003 10:07 PM

That is something else, Seth! Imagine that! Note to self: "Google--big." Thanks again!

Posted by: K. G. Schneider at December 18, 2003 09:00 AM

Thanks for hopeful info

Posted by: Phentermine at April 29, 2004 02:00 AM

Thanks for hopeful info

Posted by: Online Shopping at May 7, 2004 05:36 AM