Monday, January 15, 2007

Quantity vs. Quality: Keywords

The ancient battle raging since the beginning of time shows to sign of letting up. Furthermore, some people still confuse quality with quantity. For example, if I am designing a webpage and I put 1,349 keywords in the header does that improve the ability of web-searchers to find my page? Does the quantity of keywords matter or does the quality of keywords matter?

The reason why this is on my brain this morning is because I discovered a new Google gizmo: Google Image Labeler. It’s a game-based application that pairs to random users together, gives them 90 seconds, shows them a random image on the net and asks them to give keywords that represent it. It claims that it will use these responses “to help improve the quality of Google's image search results.” Hmmm. I’m not convinced that adding keywords to images necessarily will improve Google’s image search results. I’ll tell you why. When I play this game, obviously I have an incentive to get as many matches with my partner as I can. So when I see a certain image, I always try to default to the simplest terms in order to maximize my chances of making a match with my partner. For example, if I see a group of people posing for a conference group picture. I try generic keywords like: “people”, “picture”, “group”. How does the addition of generic keywords like this improve the Google image search results? I’m not convinced that adding more keywords to an image… especially very generic ones… will improve the search results. However, maybe Google knows something I don’t. They obviously do because there a multi-million dollar company… and I am not (*grin*). What do you think about this game and whether or not it can be a useful way to improve Google image search results? One thing that I am convinced of, it’s a pretty entertaining game (*smile*)


Anonymous said...

Hi Erik

I have seen this game before, it is called peek-boo I think, however, why did googla adopt this game idea? did they have permission?


Eric said...

A quick Google search (*grin*) shows this "Stephen Rondeau pointed out that Google Image Labeler appears to be based on the ESP Game developed by Professor Luis von Ahn of CMU. An anonymous commenter pointed to the video of Luis von Ahn's tech talk at Google on July 26, 2006." So there you go... it appears to be licensed.
Check these links: here
and here.

Take care Iris.

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