User Rank
dumbing down search
naperlou   10/22/2012 10:40:53 AM
Gregory, you have run into a real problem with search engines on the Internet.  This is a problem of favoring speed over accuracy.  I guess that for free search that is what you get.  Oh, wait a minute, it's not free.  Search is paid for by advertising. 

The problem you point out is an important issue in using search results.  I wonder if most people will remember a time, not long ago, when someone would mention the number of results of a search as a serious quantity.  Then, perhaps, they noticed that almost any simple query returned hundreds of thousands of results.  If one looked at it, one would find that the results after the first couple of pages were not relevant. 

Another point in your article is very important.  You need to make sure that the vendor is legitimate.  You really need to go at least one step further.  You need to test the items.  I have seen situations where manufacturers got items from their normal reseller, but from a different supplier, and the items turned out to have problems.  They ended up either loosing the manufacturer lots of money, or putting them out of business.  A reputable manufacturer is really a must.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Re: dumbing down search
Ann R. Thryft   10/23/2012 12:31:17 PM
"Free" (to the user) directories like Global Spec are notorious for including all kinds of products one is not looking for, even when an "advanced" search engine is provided. I've encountered this there and elsewhere, including trade show directories, when looking for companies I write about, or might write about. Sometimes the problem is in the design of the category choices vendors must select, sometimes it's because the vendors check off too many boxes in those categories. Overall, I think it's because the directory is not paying people to QC the data.

User Rank
Re: dumbing down search
GregLyon   10/26/2012 11:09:29 AM
Naperlou, thank you for your comments. The issue of screening new suppliers has certainly become more complex and risky than ever before, with new manufacturers from around the world claiming quality products are reduced costs. As you say, no one wants to, or has the time to wade through hundreds of thousands of (maybe) qualified suppliers.  In our work, we came across many from China with incredibly low prices, but no US sales representation, no ISO, and no warrantee. Certainly not of interest for a serious user. Once you have this list of potential suppliers, as you said, they need to be tested, as catalog specs can be marketing/copied and/or theoretical numbers.   The testing then needs to weed out the non-performers, but can be time and cost intensive, and sometimes awfully hard to justify.  A conundrum!


There is a new company, Industrial Product Reports, which provides a Consumer Reports type service for industrial products (www.industrialproductreports.com). Thoughts?

Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Most of the new 3D printers and 3D printing technologies in this crop are breaking some boundaries, whether it's build volume-per-dollar ratios, multimaterials printing techniques, or new materials types.
Check out these gifts that will make you the hero of your Secret Santa party.
Voting has closed on our 2015 Gadget Freak of the Year contest, but it is not game over yet for two competing projects.
Independent science safety company Underwriters Laboratories is providing new guidance for manufacturers about how to follow the latest IEC standards for implementing safety features in programmable logic controllers.
Automakers are adding greater digital capabilities to their design and engineering activities to promote collaboration among staff and suppliers, input consumer feedback, shorten product development cycles, and meet evolving end-use needs.
Design News Webinar Series
11/10/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
10/29/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
10/20/2015 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
12/2/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Jul 6 - 10, Building Raspberry Pi Controllers with Python
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6 |  7

Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2015 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service