Saturday, March 26, 2005

web: Searching for so long - why so hard

("Searching" by Change, Luther Vandross on vocals)

The nose pad fell off my Silhouette eyeglasses. So I want a local search for eyeglass repair or opticians that carry Silhouette. You would think with Google at $173 and dozens of companies and PhD's carving out this space it would be easy!

  • Google local search: useless
    Although the maps are DHTML excellence, it can't tell I want to search within for opticians, so it offers electrolysis centers and book stores in response to "optician repair silhouette"
  • Smart Yellow Pages: non-local
    That gave me nothing useful trying to specify a brand, so I gave up and just searched for "eyeglass repair". That reported several Lenscrafters, but all miles outside my area. There are three in my city!
  • Silhouette's web site: pathetic
    Silhouette has a worldwide retail shop locator. Choose USA, and the [Choose a Region] selector has only New York. ?!?
What's crazy is businesses should be able to tell search engines exactly what they do and offer, so I can just search for opticians that repair Silhouette. Some ads in the paper Yellow Pages have this exact info. But Google can't trust businesses because of all the lowlifes trying to game their search engine, so they have to infer what companies do.

Semantic Web, O where art thou?

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