Monday, July 21, 2008

Fun With Amazon Results

Searching within the Children’s Books Section of Amazon, I made a series of biographical queries that yielded the following number of “results.”

George Washington 4146
Martha Washington 366

Abraham Lincoln 3162
Abe Lincoln 545

Martin Luther King Jr 2064

Theodore Roosevelt 1204
Teddy Roosevelt 4870

James Madison 794
(Jim Madison actually returned one James Madison book!)
Dolley Madison 224

(My Dolley Madison Saves George Washington (Houghton Mifflin 2008) found a place within both the Washington and Dolley Madison queries.)

Robert E. Lee 796
U.S. Grant 818
The Union Wins again!

Wright Brothers 975
Neil Armstrong 871
Amelia Earhart 833
I’m sorry, but I just don’t get the Earhart obsession.

Muhammad Ali 486
Sitting Bull 624

Charles Darwin 923
Intelligent Design 70
Okay, ID isn't a biography, but I couldn't help myself.

Washington Roebling
(Brooklyn Bridge Builder) 25

Stephen Decatur
(Forgotten Vanquisher of the Barbary Pirates) 46

Muhammad 1145
(Many of the results referred to Muhammad Ali)
Buddha 1582
Jesus 11,488

Remember, the results aren't book titles, but books that in some fashion relates to the query.
The results were many times wildly off-subject. For example, the search for Jim Madison yielded a book about Jim Thorpe. Odd.

So, does it say more about Children's biography than it does about Amazon's search algorithms?
Beats me, but it was fun playing….

1 comment:

Mary Lee said...

Very fun! (Especially Darwin vs. intelligent design! tee hee!!)

This would be great to do with kids, comparing the results a search gets using different search engines. On any topic. Hmmm...