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Inside Search (CPD introductory video - Oct 2012 - plus links to related classroom resources)

CPD use: Non-technical video explanation of search engine internals focussed on data scale issues. Supplemented with links to related classroom resources from multiple sources.

Peter Dickman

Created by Peter Dickman
last edited Jul 18 2016 by Michelle Williams

The video is possibly helpful background/CPD for teachers. Links to related classroom resources are included below.

40 minute video briefly explaining very superficially how & why search engines work. This was delivered (in English) to an audience of German politicians, data protection authorities, journalists and academics as part of a larger event about the growth in data volumes. Focus is on the challenges posed by the growth in data volumes, but also briefly illustrates how that same pool of data allows for improvements in the search engine. Part of the “Big Tent” event series, from the DatenDialog II event in Berlin, 2012.

Additional links to referenced material (all from Google):

Inside Search website:

Google’s “Inside Search” blog:

The Search Quality review meeting video:

Additional links to related educational material (various sources):

Video demonstration of PageRank at CAS Teacher Conference:
Doug Aberdeen’s CAS talk
…starting at about 19:50 in the video (but be aware that Doug’s talk is from July 2011 and all the numbers he mentions for search are now outdated and much too small)

Slides from Doug’s presentation, including the warewolf and vampire pages used for the demo.

Related CAS Online resources:
Modelling a search engine
…but see my comment on that resource, as it’s perhaps over-simplified

Related CS Inside workshops:
Finding a Needle in a Haystack
Getting onto the right page

Related cs4fn article:
Oh No! NOT Paris Hilton

The original Brin and Page (1998) paper, The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine

Matt Cutts video on how Google Safe Search works.

Level: CPD for non-expert teachers

Duration: 40 minutes

Teaches: What a search engine, including the crawler, does. How this is influenced by large-scale data.

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