The Right Coast

April 01, 2005
The Right Kind of Search Engines
By Mike Rappaport

I sometimes wonder whether the French realize how ridiculous they often seem:

[Jacques Chirac] asked his culture minister, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, and Jean-Noël Jeanneney, head of France's Bibliothèque Nationale, to...create a home-grown search-engine to browse [French texts]. Why not let Google do the job? Its French version is used for 74% of internet searches in France. The answer is the vulgar criteria it uses to rank results. “I do not believe”, wrote Mr Donnedieu de Vabres in Le Monde, “that the only key to access our culture should be the automatic ranking by popularity, which has been behind Google's success.”
Quote courtesy of Marginal Revolution.