Handy Invisible Web Chart

David Whelan at Forbes has put together a handy chart that does a nice job expaining the Invisible Web. It’s based on the book that Chris and I wrote more three years ago.

After a presentation about shortly after the book was published, an audience member came up to me and said that we didn’t include a mention about a specific portion of the Invisible Web.

I thought to myself and wondered what we forgot to mention.

She explained that for many searchers EVEN IF the material has been found and crawled by a general web spider but it’s not found in the first few results, its invisible.

I think the comment was right on the money. Placing content in a database is one thing, the ability to FIND it is something else. The fact that:
+ the average query length is about 2.8,
+ most searchers don’t use any advanced syntax
+ search skills haven’t improved that much in the past few years
+ there is little to no use of controlled vocabulary (to help bring like things together)
+ many searchers only look at the first few results on a serp
and other issues further complicates the situation.

This is another reason why specialized/focused search tools (verticals) can be very useful.

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