[Commons-research] Table comparing Yahoo and Google's commons-based advanced search options

Ben Bildstein ben.bildstein at student.unsw.edu.au
Tue Apr 8 00:15:28 EDT 2008

Hi commons researchers,

I just did this analysis of Google's and Yahoo's capacities for search for
commons (mostly Creative Commons because that's in their advanced search
interfaces), and thought I'd share. Basically it's an update of my research
from *Finding and Quantifying Australia's Online
I hope it's all pretty self-explanatory. Please ask questions. And of course
point out flaws in my methods or examples.

Also, I just have to emphasise the "No" in Yahoo's column in row 1: yes, I
am in fact saying that the only jurisdiction of licences that Yahoo
recognises is the US/unported licences, and that they are in fact ignoring
the vast majority of Creative Commons licences. (That leads on to a whole
other conversation about quantification, but I'll leave that for now.)

(I've formatted this table in Courier New so it should come out
well-aligned, but who knows).

Feature                       | Google | Yahoo |
1. Multiple CC jurisdictions  | Yes    | No    | (e.g.
2. 'link:' query element      | No     | Yes   | (e.g. search for 'Wikipedia
3. RDF-based CC search        | Yes    | No    | (e.g.
4. meta name="dc:rights" *    | Yes    | ? **  | (e.g.
5. link-based CC search       | No     | Yes   | (e.g.
6. Media-specific search      | No     | No    | (
7. Shows licence elements     | No     | No    | (i.e. doesn't show which
result uses which licence)
8. CC public domain stamp *** | Yes    | Yes   | (e.g.
9. CC-(L)GPL stamp            | No     | No    | (e.g.

* I can't rule out Google's result here actually being from <a
rel="license"> in the links to the license (as described here:
** I don't know of any pages that have <meta name="dc:rights"> metadata (or
<a rel="licence"> metadata?) but don't have links to licences.
*** Insofar as the appropriate metadata is present.

Notes about example pages (from rows 1, 3-5, 8-9):

   - To determine whether a search engine can find a given page, first
   look at the page and find enough snippets of content that you can create a
   query that definitely returns that page, and test that query to make sure
   the search engine can find it (e.g. '"clinton lies again" digg' for row 8).
   Then do the same search as an advanced search with Creative Commons search
   turned on and see if the result is still found.
   - The example pages should all be specific with respect to the feature
   they exemplify. E.g. the Phylocom example from row 9 has all the right
   links, logos and metadata for the CC-GPL, and particularly does not have any
   other Creative Commons licence present, and does not show up in search
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/commons-research/attachments/20080408/af01cb41/attachment.html 

More information about the Commons-research mailing list