The knowledge worker and the trained search

2013-12-03

Today, one big asset of an experienced knowledge worker is their trained google search account.

They will find solutions a lot faster than a newbie, since they have trained google to give them appropriate results. For a web developer for instance, for "python" they won't get disturbing results about snakes. They won't get crappy forum posts about PHP, but the right Stack Overflow answers instead.

I don’t mean the way how google trains us to use the right terms. That’s a given, and we always have adjusted to the machines.

I mean getting different results for the exact same query depending your google account. We made these experiments about a year ago, where my fellow Ricardo and I input the same search terms for JavaScript problems. Within his search, the page with the right result ranked mostly on the first or second place. With my account, such a page would be in the top ten, but often enough not within top five.

Fact is, it's hard to get our day-to-day work done, if the trained search is not at hand. If the net is our extension of our brain nodes, the trained search is the extension of the highways between the nodes. It's not crucial what we know, but to get to this information. And a trained search will give us direct road to the information, instead of hundred of diversions.

On the other hand, our requests to reach out for information train google as a whole and train it to market us better.

Google search and the knowledge worker. A weird symbiosis?

(cc-by-sa) since 2005 by Konstantin Weiss.