Smarter search results

Written by Adrian Holovaty on August 13, 2002

No site review tonight, because I've been busy with a few new Holovaty.com features.

Both features have to do with helping people find what they want. I've programmed my search engine so that result pages highlight your search terms -- each word in a different color, just like Google. For example, try a search for auto refresh home page and check out the highlighted terms.

Of course, sometimes you just plain don't need text highlighting. That's what the aptly named "Remove highlighting" link is for.

If that isn't exciting enough, here's the coolest part: Following webmasterworld's lead, I've added a Google-specific highlighting feature. If somebody lands deep within Holovaty.com via a Google search, that person's Google search terms will automatically be highlighted on my site. (And, again, there's the option to turn them off.) Plus, there'll be a link to search only Holovaty.com for the search terms -- an improvement on webmasterworld's system.

Eventually I'll add support for Inktomi, AlltheWeb, Altavista and maybe a few other search engines, but Google is the most important, in my opinion.

If news sites did something like this, people would consider them a heckuva lot more useful. I recall hearing an absurdly large percentage of hits to news sites come via search engines. Why not lend a helping hand to potential readers?

Comments

Posted by anonymous on December 1, 2002, at 1:03 a.m.:

Wow. Having pages that react to the query used to find them could really change the dynamics of the web. Sure, right now we're just highlighting, but taking this same idea further, some interesting and odd possibilities pop up.

Posted by Pétur Rúnar on February 11, 2003, at 10:53 a.m.:

Why not explain something about how this is done...!?

Posted by Claudio Barbosa on October 23, 2003, at 10:45 a.m.:

I would be happy, if someone of you could really explain how this is done, via PHP, ASP, or anything, just how to catch the referrer querystring, and highlight the word in a new page ...

Thanks in a advance

Claudio

Posted by Josh on October 23, 2003, at 9:27 p.m.:

Explanation of how this is done would be amazing

Posted by yaaqui.com on October 28, 2005, at 6:47 p.m.:

I'm looking for this solution for my serach engine.

Here is one of the solution I'm looking for

http://iamcal.com/publish/articles/hacks/google_highlighter/

and

http://www.kryogenix.org/code/browser/searchhi/

No tested yet, any ideas

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