Not quite Haiku - maybe more like Dr. Seuss - but not bad for an engineer!
Last week, I got an email from our marketing department, proclaiming the latest enhancement to our college website - a Google search box. Yes, search of the site was a big issue with users, but I was still confounded as to why this was such a big deal and why it took so long. Having built a number of webpages myself, I knew how easy it was to set up a Google search box and embed it in your webpage. Click here to create your own custom Google search engine. In fact, I've embedded a search box below that you can use to search the college website:
For comparison - here is a screenshot of the search box on the college webpage - sorry couldn't embed this one.big deal, so it took them a little longer to get the code into the page; they've got it there now, so end of story.
Well, not quite. This is where it gets interesting and a little silly. If you type in a query in the college search bar - I typed our new course management system "angel," you get something like this:
For comparison, let's look at my search engine - about 60 hits; with 42 results shown
The results aren't exactly the same, but similar enoguh that we can call it a draw. Now to compare these approaches, we need some sort of metric - I'll define one here I call the Q-Factor - we take the quality of the results (about equal here) and divide by the cost.
Free is infinitely better!