Thursday, September 14, 2006

Search of the Week

As our regular readers are no doubt aware, each week we highlight one lucky VLKF visitor who found our site through a search engine. This week's search came from MSN Search, where we came up second from the top out of 2,385 results for the following query:

steve the austrian alligator expert

I hope we were able to inform and elucidate on famous Austrian alligator wrangler Steve Irwin, RIP.

Congratulations to you, lucky visitor, and come back soon!


Jason Hartley said...

That's really great. There's only one thing, though: How exactly does a search engine work? I've always wondered abou that, and I just can't find that information anywhere.

Jon Black and Britt Bergman said...

Dear Jason,

Thanks for your comment, which is also an excellent question.

Search engines employ thousands of computer programmers. These programmers work night and day to anticipate the searches most often used by casual internet browsers; when you type in a popular search, the results appear almost instantaneously.

Of course, no amount of programmers could possibly foresee EVERY possible query. To handle the odd, unforeseen search, operators can enter these searches manually and return the results to your computer. Although this process may still seem fast, this is because search engine operators are located throughout the world in different time zones. Therefore, your search results may have come from India--which is six hours ahead of the United States!

Thanks again for your comment.

A said...

came across your Steve Irwin post. He isnt Austrian but Australian.

Jon Black and Britt Bergman said...

Dear a,

Thanks for your comment! Many people confuse Austria and Australia with Australasia, which--as everyone knows--is the only continent completely surrounded by water. Although Australian by nationality, I think you'll find that "Irwin" is an Austrian surname, since it is Dutch for "irritation." Also, there are not alligators "down under," so he could hardly have earned his moniker in the Land of the Noonday Sun! Thanks again for your comment!