Gerard Salton and Early Search Engine Algorithms

Jan 23rd

Tom Evslin posted about his experiences working with Gerard Salton in the early 1960's.

Everybody assumed that the best results would be obtained by algorithms which made an attempt at understanding English syntax. (which is very hard to do). WRONG! Turns out that syntax was a waste of time; all that matters is semantics – the actual words used in the query and the documents – not how they relate to each other in a sentence. Sometimes it was (and still is) useful to search for phrases as if they were words. But you get that just by observing word order or how close words are to each other – not trying to parse sentences.

Modern search engines may use quite a large amount of user tracking and heavily emphasize linkage data, but if you want to see the roots of search I highly recommend reading Salton's A Theory of Indexing.

Published: January 23, 2006

New to the site? Join for Free and get over $300 of free SEO software.

Once you set up your free account you can comment on our blog, and you are eligible to receive our search engine success SEO newsletter.

Already have an account? Login to share your opinions.

Comments

Randy
January 23, 2006 - 10:24pm

What crap... Why should we care about this? How about you do us a favor and post some SEO tips for once!

January 23, 2006 - 10:26pm

What CrapRandy,

How can you do SEO without understanding how search engines work?

New to the site? Join for Free and get over $300 of free SEO software.

Once you set up your free account you can comment on our blog, and you are eligible to receive our search engine success SEO newsletter.

Already have an account? Login to share your opinions.

  • Over 100 training modules, covering topics like: keyword research, link building, site architecture, website monetization, pay per click ads, tracking results, and more.
  • An exclusive interactive community forum
  • Members only videos and tools
  • Additional bonuses - like data spreadsheets, and money saving tips
We love our customers, but more importantly

Our customers love us!






    Email Address
    Pick a Username
    Yes, please send me "7 Days to SEO Success" mini-course (a $57 value) for free.

    Learn More

    We value your privacy. We will not rent or sell your email address.