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Sunday, January 4, 2004

cracking the paris hilton problem

i picked this up from the ap wire, but it’s something i’ve been flirting with for a while… i just didn’t have a good hook until i read this:

Let’s say, for example, you’re curious about accommodations in France and enter a search for “Paris Hilton.”

Google recognizes this as a search in the category of “Regional-Europe-Travel and Tourism-Lodging-Hotels” but still produces page after page with links about celebrity socialite Paris Hilton and her exploits. That’s because Google’s engine ranks pages largely based on how many other sites link to them, sending the most popular pages to the top.

(i’m just going to give them the benefit of the doubt that someone looking for paris hilton on google has any interest at all in france).

i’ve been watching categorization/searching/organizing applications for a few years now, and one of the more interesting ones a few years ago was from a local company (wisdombuilder). i don’t know if they’ve kept up or done anything really new and exciting, but it was neat to play with for a while, particularly since i had a particular application. that gig didn’t work out. but, i digress. you people come here to get interesting perspectives, so here’s the line you want: the paris hilton problem is the killer app in this category.

in a few years, when google is all grown up, we’ll be talking about the day that google passed the “hilton test.”

that, of course, will be a few weeks before google passes the “turing test.”

update: kevin pointed me to this at ieee spectrum. now that i’ve defined the hilton test (i shoulda used my own name), the race is on…

update (2004.01.05): slashdot picked it up.

posted by roj at 4:35 am