Google's "Search Recipe" Contest

For those of you who are programmers, here's your chance to catch Google's attention with your skills. From the page announcing its new programming contest:

"Google is providing a selection of about 900,000 web pages in pre-parsed and raw format, together with a "ripper" program that provides a framework for processing the pre-parsed data. Your mission is to write a program (most likely by adding code to the ripper) that does something interesting with the data, in such a way that it would scale to a web-sized collection of documents. Part of your job is to convince us of why your program is interesting and why it will scale; other than that, you're free to implement whatever strikes your fancy."

The winner gets $10,000 in cash, a VIP visit to the Googleplex in Mountain View, California (undoubtedly featuring a gourmet lunch to die for), and the opportunity to potentially run your prize-winning code on Google's multi-billion document repository.

It's good to see Google doing this. In their initial paper explaining Google, founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin envisioned Google as a research laboratory for search technologists.

First Annual Google Programming Contest

Google Programming Contest Discussion Group
What kinds of things are people undertaking for this contest? Look over the shoulders of contestants as they discuss ideas and problems related to the programming contest with other participants in the Google Groups programming contest newsgroup.

The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine˜backrub/google.html
Page and Brin's initial paper describing not only how the search engine works but their ideas for using Google as a virtual research laboratory for search technologists.

Search Headlines

NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication's search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.

Online access news
Overture strikes search pact with MSN...
CNET Feb 12 2002 1:19PM GMT
Europe not sold on Internet at home...
The Register Feb 12 2002 9:13AM GMT
Online content news
New Service Can Track Any Online Media: LinkShare... Feb 12 2002 8:07AM GMT
Online search engines news
Which Search Engines and Directories should you Submit Your Site To?...
Rank Write Feb 12 2002 7:22AM GMT
Online content news
Founding Editor of Slate, Online Pioneer, Quits...
New York Times Feb 12 2002 6:24AM GMT
Online portals news
Microsoft offers fix for critical vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer browser... Feb 12 2002 5:53AM GMT
Online search engines news
Life After Free: Search Engines Seek Cold, Hard Cash...
Yahoo Feb 12 2002 4:32AM GMT
Online legal issues news
Ministers council approves internet law... Feb 12 2002 0:53AM GMT
Domain name news
Arpanet vet tapped for ICANN security...
Interactive Week Feb 12 2002 0:42AM GMT
Online search engines news
Ask Jeeves Behind Drug Companys Search Site... Feb 12 2002 0:35AM GMT
Online portals news
Yahoo ads going big and bold...
ZDNet Feb 11 2002 6:50PM GMT
Online marketing news
The next big thing: Something to make spam scram... Feb 11 2002 1:02PM GMT
Online search engines news
Google expands into corporate searches...
ZDNet Feb 11 2002 11:54AM GMT
powered by

About the author

Chris Sherman is a frequent contributor to several information industry journals. He's written several books, including The McGraw-Hill CD ROM Handbook and The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Sources Search Engines Can't See, co-authored with Gary Price. Chris has written about search and search engines since 1994, when he developed online searching tutorials for several clients. From 1998 to 2001, he was's Web Search Guide.