When dealing with billions of records, and millions of like items, search providers today are flawed from the start. Since the dawn of the Internet, we have used keywords when searching because it is the simplest technique and it is all we are given. After evolving for years, one thing remains constant. Searches that only take seconds remain unreliable and incomplete.
UpgradeMyDream will end many of these failings. We provide customized fields, designed for specific tasks, and capable of being filtered and manipulated with SQL queries, database objects, entities, and a host of other techniques. Fields are much more efficient than keywords and the reasons fields should be embraced, and keywords all but abandoned, are explained below in great detail.
Our database models the advanced search capabilities my brother Barry and I perfected decades ago at Eaton's Competition Cars. To this day, the likes of our system has been seen nowhere else. Why? It took a lot of hard work, but more importantly it demanded user participation. This website overcomes a lot of these difficulties.
The Google Solution: A few search boxes for keywords is as advanced as it gets.
Today's standards when searching the Internet is to use keywords. Keywords hold no mystery, and anyone who types into a Google search box knows how to use them. Simply put, keywords are no more than words used for searching a web page, website, or the Internet. Their many uses are possible because they are generic, and this is the reason they fail us so often.
Popular ways to search using keywords
The three most popular ways to search using keywords is by themselves, in groups, or in an exact phrase. There are more difficult methods available, but most people are content with the popular ones because they are so easy.
Contentment does not come because keywords are effective. They are predominant because they are so elementary. With the public unaware of their limitations, and their being constantly relied on and talked about, it is easy to recognize how pervasive they have become.
Keywords are easy to use, easy to implement, and easy to guess or remember. They can be used in most search boxes and in most situations. They take no special programming and are understood by everyone.
Keywords lead to inaccurate results in multiple ways. When searching large databases, inaccuracies are multiplied. Case in point: Typing a search in Google easily results in millions of records.
Since keywords are no more than generic terms, when used by themselves they overwhelm Internet searches. The best we can hope for is to use them in a group, but even then the results are far from satisfying. All things considered, being overwhelmed and unsatisfied does not increase productivity, it hinders it.
Keywords Result in Duplicate Records.
When browsing a list, two identical records are a minor inconvenience. Fifty or a hundred duplicates are a major annoyance.
Keywords Cannot Do Anything.
Keywords are used to search for matching words - that's it! When building an effective database, we need to query and filter results, add and delete records on the fly, manipulate records in ways that improve functionality, and employ a host of other techniques keywords can never provide.
When searching for protests in Syria, if one Goggles the words "Syrian protests" they miss stories on Syrian protesters, Syria's protests, Syria's protesters, Syria's revolution, Syrian riots, etc. When it comes to spelling Muammar Qaddafi - there are over one-hundred different ways to do it.
Keywords fail miserably when searching for merchandise. It is literally impossible to get only results that are welcome. Obviously word order is crucial, but when dealing with merchandise there are no standards to follow, and this makes it impossible to know what the order should be. The examples below illustrate this point using four phrases to describe the same Porsche automobile.
Note: These phrases result in a hodgepodge if run through Google. I have also not added miles, price, condition, accident history, and a host of other vital criteria. These examples prove even if you use the correct keywords, there is no search engine on earth set up to make use of them.
- 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera2 cabriolet red black leather
- Porsche 1990 911 Carrera2 convertible red black leather
- Porsche 911 Carrera2 1990 cab red black leather
- Porsche 1990 911 Carrera2 convertible red black leather
Be aware: There are many examples we could use to describe the same vehicle. Furthermore, in most scenarios, we want a list of sellers, not buyers. We also want current listings, NOT cars already sold or not on the market.
Case 1: When searching for the phrase, "1990 Porsche 911 Carrera2 cabriolet red black leather", only #1 in the list above will show up because it is the only phrase that matches exactly.
Case 2: If convertible is added, i.e. "1990 Porsche 911 Carrera2 convertible red black leather", #1 does NOT show up because the computer has no way of knowing that convertible is the same as cabriolet. In this case, no cars in the above list will appear because there are no matches at all.
Case 3: On a different note - consider the phrase, "1990 Porsche 911 Carrera2 convertible blue". You are probably correct in assuming this describes a blue convertible; however, the results when adding "blue" will be different from what is expected.
In Case 3, the list could include cars with blue interiors and not blue exteriors. The list would also not include cars using the factory name for blue, (e.g., Prussian, Minerva, Midnight, and Iris are just a few of the many shades of blue offered by Porsche). Buyers who are unaware of these details, (i.e., almost all of them), will miss many blue cars meeting their specifications; if all they are looking for is the word "blue".
In the end, even after months of searching, one often concludes there is no need to search further. This false belief leads to false conclusions from incomplete information. Worse, it causes people to give up on their dream and accept something less.
Keywords Have No Standards.
Keywords have no standards and are therefore inconsistent. Add human failure to the mix, and searches begin with guesses, misspellings, or keywords in the wrong order. This quandary is further exacerbated by illiterates running websites. All this combined leads to one final conclusion. Even if we solve the problems with keywords, it will take a lot longer to solve problems caused by human failure.
Keywords Are Used By Unethical Websites.
Unethical websites bombard our searches, stuffing their web pages with keywords we search for. Providing easy ways to filter false records, along with dangerous web sites, are seen as a bad investment by major search engines. Instead we are offered secret filters and complex algorithms, along with false hopes things will get better. In the end, you can go far on hope - even when hopes are constantly unanswered.
Long ago HTML pages used a metatag called "keywords". Abuse was so rampant this metatag is now ignored by search engines - or is it? To this day search providers can be very cryptic when asked point blank about this question. They are even more cryptic when asked about the filters and algorithms they employ.
Despite obvious drawbacks keywords will always have uses.
The UpgradeMyDream Solution -
Our forms are simple when called for
or more advanced when needed.
Fields are similar to keywords as they both contain words and they both produce record sets.
Large record sets, that cannot be manipulated, are boring, intimidating, ugly, and frustrating. On the other hand, customized record sets can be a thing of beauty.
Fields do much more than customize record sets. More accurate than keywords, they create their own standards. Fields eliminate misspellings, guessing, duplicate meanings, duplicate records, records that do not apply, and a host of other problems related to keywords. More importantly, fields can be filtered and sorted, they are much more specific in detail, they give different outcomes for different reasons, and they are uncannily accurate in their results.
For those still sold on keywords, I am just getting started:
- Fields can contain a group of keywords. If a user is aware of just one of them, all of them are applied.
- Fields can be changed on the fly.
- Fields can be imported into any database in any number of ways.
- Fields can perform simple and advanced calculations.
- Fields can..., the list just goes on.
While fields are gaining favor, their effectiveness is limited because there are not enough of them and only a few options are offered. Additionally, fields are rarely customized so they are not being used to their fullest potential. Ironically, we have always used fields. Each time we type a keyword we type it into the "keywords" field. Unfortunately, all these years later and nothing has changed.
Fields are very specific. They take time and thought to setup. In some cases learning which field to use, when to use them, and the standards they follow, takes time as well.
Data entry into fields must be accurate. Each entry can be critical to the overall operation, and care must be taken as mistakes can be unforgiving. This takes time in development, but it is time well worth it. The unforgiving nature of fields leads to their greatest strengths.
While the drawbacks to fields are real, they are easily solved by specialists familiar with what needs to be done. This leads to little or no thought from the average user. Once the basics are complete, the possibilities of things to come can be mind blowing.
In the final analysis, fields have been ignored way too long. Their accuracy, when searching and filtering are just a few reasons to use them. On the other hand, keywords lead to a jumbled mess of dead ends, inaccurate results, and an overwhelming sense - there has to be something better.
Why Custom Searches Are Important.
It might be hard to believe, but the beauty of finding hard to find items, services, people, and opportunities, is only appreciated AFTER being experienced. With that said, once it is experienced anything less is a huge disappointment.
For the uninitiated: When you perform a search you produce a record set. A filter limits this record set by weeding out records that do not apply. Millions of records can be weeded down to a few thousand. Further manipulations are then carried out. One such manipulation is to sort record sets, or fields, in ways that make sense. There is a lot more potential, but suffice to say, results can be as simple as you want them, or as advanced as required.
For most small databases, custom searches are of little use. If a record set is less than 10-20 records, taking time for more than the basics is probably not worth it. On the other hand, when hundreds of records appear in a record set, taking the time to sort records is not only worth it, it is demanded.
Many websites are starting to use a few fields that allow a minimal amount of filtering and sorting. Buyers searching for the lowest price, or highest ratings, have a relatively easy task before them. Unfortunately, although filters are becoming popular, their full implementation is far from complete. While the limited choice between price and ratings is certainly welcome, the grade for this effort is mediocre at best. While there are many ways to do things, the world is on notice - UpgradeMyDream does not strive for mediocrity.
I am fed up and through waiting.
I have waited over a decade for everyone else to catch up. Today's search engines don't even sort articles and dates correctly. They refuse to provide easy ways to weed out unwanted websites, because if this were a priority we would have this power already. The philosophy that all websites should be available is naive and dangerous. Because of these dangers we will no longer suck it up, remain quiet, and rely on ancient technology.
You can bet Google and other search engines have dozens of fields. They just don't want us to have access to some them. Will they ever give us fields, and single click options, allowing us to weed out disgusting websites, authors, topics, tags, or stories we never want to see again? Considering the information at our fingertips is growing exponentially, is there any chance things will actually get better? If the future mirrors the past, anything over a few thousand results will still be ridiculous, anything over a million... Welcome to the internet's contribution to madness and futility.
UpgradeMyDream will give members the ability to filter out websites, authors, dates, subjects, keywords, and more. Members may also add and customize fields, save work for later, create templates and databases, import and export data, all at once, piecemeal, or record by record. All this, hundreds of techniques, and all we can dream of will be standard procedure on this website.