Web Dragons,
Edition 1 Inside the Myths of Search Engine Technology
By Ian H. Witten, Marco Gori, Ph.D. and Teresa Numerico

Publication Date: 03 Nov 2006

Web Dragons offers a perspective on the world of Web search and the effects of search engines and information availability on the present and future world.

In the blink of an eye since the turn of the millennium, the lives of people who work with information have been utterly transformed. Everything we need to know is on the web. It's where we learn and play, shop and do business, keep up with old friends and meet new ones. Search engines make it possible for us to find the stuff we need to know. Search engines — web dragons — are the portals through which we access society's treasure trove of information. How do they stack up against librarians, the gatekeepers over centuries past? What role will libraries play in a world whose information is ruled by the web? How is the web organized? Who controls its contents, and how do they do it? How do search engines work? How can web visibility be exploited by those who want to sell us their wares? What's coming tomorrow, and can we influence it?

As we witness the dawn of a new era, this book shows readers what it will look like and how it will change their world. Whoever you are: if you care about information, this book will open your eyes and make you blink.

Key Features

  • Presents a critical view of the idea of funneling information access through a small handful of gateways and the notion of a centralized index--and the problems that may cause
  • Provides promising approaches for addressing the problems, such as the personalization of web services
  • Presented by authorities in the field of digital libraries, web history, machine learning, and web and data mining
  • Find more information at the author's site: webdragons.net
About the author
By Ian H. Witten, Professor, Computer Science Department, University of Waikato, New Zealand; Marco Gori, Ph.D., Department of Information Engineering and Mathematics, University of Siena, Italy and Teresa Numerico, University of Salerno, Italy
Table of Contents

1. Setting the Scene
According to the Philosophers
Enter the Technologists
The Information Revolution
The World-Wide Web
So What?
Notes and Sources

2. Literature and The Web
Changing Face of Libraries
So What?
Notes and Sources

3. Meet the Web
Basic Concepts
Web Pages: Documents and Beyond
Metrology and Scaling
Structure of the Web
So What?
Notes and Sources

4. How to Search
Searching Text
Searching in a Web
Developments in Web Search
So What?
Notes and Sources

5. The Web Wars
Preserving the Ecosystem
Increasing Visibility: Tricks of the Trade
Business, Ethics, and Spam
The Anti-Spam War
So What?
Notes and Sources

6. Who Controls Information?
The Violence of the Archive
Web Democracy
Privacy and Censorship
Copyright and the Public Domain
The Business of Search
So What?
Notes and Sources

7. The Dragons Evolve
Private Subnetworks
The User as Librarian
Your Computer and the Web
So What?
Notes and Sources


Book details
ISBN: 9780123706096
Page Count: 288
Illustrations : Illustrated
Retail Price : £29.99
Those interested in or who need information on today's fast-changing landscape of information access, who use search engines daily and may be affected by web spamming, selective access to information, or the problems of monopolistic control of information – just to name a few. Typical readers would be those in the software business, in particular in search engines, web content management, knowledge management, web advertising, and the law and ethics that surround this field; professionals in information science; librarians; and anyone that is interested in the ways in which the increasing amount of information will become accessible to us.