LOGOS vs. Google

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This post has 23 Replies | 4 Followers

Posts 139
Rich | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Oct 30 2016 1:49 PM

Why is it I can use plain language when doing a Google search yet LOGOS does not offer the same ability? Just asking.

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DominicM | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 30 2016 2:09 PM

give us some examples - but likely how indexing is done

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 30 2016 2:23 PM

Rich:
Why is it I can use plain language when doing a Google search yet LOGOS does not offer the same ability?

The basic answer is because Google has spent millions upon millions in R&D. Google (and other search engines) continue to dump boatloads of money into developing and tweaking their algorithms to stay in front of the competition. 

It should also be noted: The searches occur on THIER servers, not your computer.

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PL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 30 2016 3:34 PM

That's been my question all these years...

I don't know how much FL has spent on R&D over the years, but probably also at least in the millions? What we're getting from FL is something that's getting more and more complex, bewildering, and cumbersome with each new release (both the search syntax and the user interface, see other recent related threads). But what we're getting from Google is becoming simpler, clearer, and more useful every year.

So perhaps FL's fundamental direction in their R&D investment is maybe... wrong-headed? That might be too strong of a word, but they're certainly gearing more and more toward the Bible super-experts and farther and farther away from the lay users.

How do we convince our friends and brothers and sisters to spend thousands of dollars on FL when they can do Bible searches much more simply, effectively, easily, and accurately with free Google?

Yes, Google probably is spending more than FL and have more massive servers than FL. But with all due respect, Google's corpus is billions of web pages, whereas FL's corpus is perhaps less than 30,000 books, and its core corpus is... 66 books.

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Rod | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 30 2016 4:23 PM
PL:
How do we convince our friends and brothers and sisters to spend thousands of dollars on FL when they can do Bible searches much more simply, effectively, easily, and accurately with free Google?
I would much prefer a good Boolean logic search engine than one that tried to guess what I was trying to search for. I appreciate that understanding search parameters does take an investment of a small amount of time but it allows my searches to be a lot more effective than a standard Google search.
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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 30 2016 4:29 PM

I suspect the answer is royalties. There's englishy query engines galore, some being more intuitive than others. Putting them on a server to thousands of users costs a pretty penny. But not that difficult, ignoring the headaches of 3rd party software.  Of course, then you have german, french, etc.

And rolling your own is a fools errand. Absent spelling error correction, and synonyms (both low-hanging friut), imprecise results is the problem, that even Google doesn't attempt. When you use a Google query, you expect 'maybe'. In Logos, you want 'exactly'. I have yet to meet the Logosian that accepts 'maybe'.  The current fuzzy thing is a maybe ... you're not sure what you're looking for until you see it.

I'd suspect the middle-ground (Logos current development) of fill-in choices will do well.  Especially if they include hints, similar to Apple and MS (which Logos almost never does, oddly enough).


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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 30 2016 10:47 PM

alabama24:

The basic answer is because Google has spent millions upon millions in R&D. Google (and other search engines) continue to dump boatloads of money into developing and tweaking their algorithms to stay in front of the competition. 

It should also be noted: The searches occur on THIER servers, not your computer.

And in Google you are limited to plain text searches - no morphology, no grammar, no semantic role, no syntax, no assignment of antecedent to pronouns ... IIRC you can't even specify within a range of words or characters.

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Sascha John | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 31 2016 4:32 AM

Dit I miss something? I don't buy Logos cause I wanna search the Internet...Wink

Posts 118
Ted Harms | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 31 2016 7:31 AM

I must say searching in Logos can be extremely challenging. I really don't understand it much although I have been a Logos user for many years. With all the <> and() and WITHIN..,." "..... I get very confused.

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Dave Moser | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 31 2016 8:08 AM

MJ. Smith:

And in Google you are limited to plain text searches - no morphology, no grammar, no semantic role, no syntax, no assignment of antecedent to pronouns ... IIRC you can't even specify within a range of words or characters.

Agreed. For technical searches Logos is vastly superior.

But if I'm trying to find a verse that I only vaguely remember, a Google search (with the words I remember or think I remember) will almost always get me the reference I need when I will often get zero results from a Logos search.

Logos needs fuzzy search back. "Match all word forms" is insufficient: I've had cases with zero results return because I entered the search term "God" when the verse said "Lord" instead.

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 31 2016 8:40 AM

Dave Moser:
Logos needs fuzzy search back. "Match all word forms" is insufficient: I've had cases with zero results return because I entered the search term "God" when the verse said "Lord" instead.

A form of fuzzy search is currently being beta tested

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 31 2016 8:48 AM

Ted Harms:

I must say searching in Logos can be extremely challenging. I really don't understand it much although I have been a Logos user for many years. With all the <> and() and WITHIN..,." "..... I get very confused.

You might find the Advanced Search training videos helpful. They are currently in pre-pub at 50% off.

Posts 118
Ted Harms | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 31 2016 10:35 AM

Don't get me wrong, but I am kind of put out that I have to pay  $50.00 in order to learn how to use their software. For such a central part of the Logos software, searching should not be that complicated that I have to get advanced training. Thanks for your reply.

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Sean Boisen | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 2 2016 11:55 AM

alabama24:

Rich:
Why is it I can use plain language when doing a Google search yet LOGOS does not offer the same ability?

The basic answer is because Google has spent millions upon millions in R&D. Google (and other search engines) continue to dump boatloads of money into developing and tweaking their algorithms to stay in front of the competition. 

It should also be noted: The searches occur on THIER servers, not your computer.

It's a fair question, but Google's revenue for the second quarter of 2016 was $25B (with a B). That's well over 1000x Logos' annual revenue: we simply don't have the enormous resources they have. Likewise a great deal of Google's search power comes from very large data:

  • They process 40k search queries per second, which gives them enormous data about what people are looking for
  • More than a billion people use Google (in 2012: certainly more now)
  • They search 30 trillion web pages, giving them enormous access to content (and information about which pages users view)

(Yes, i used Google to gather these statistics Smile)

That being said, we certainly recognize that search is fundamental for most users, and that we need to do more to make it simpler, more effective, and more powerful (all at the same time!). Bringing back Fuzzy Search (coming in the next release for Logos Now members) is an important step in that direction for one important use case: finding verses whose words you don't quite remember or that you learning with different wording. We've got more under consideration or development.

I see Google (along with the other big search companies) as our most important business competitor (along with Kindle and ignorance). We look closely at their technology and sometimes emulate it (for example, our Atlas product was a deliberate step past traditional views of static Bible maps, toward more dynamic, zoomable interfaces). And, to be fair, Google has opened up access to many technologies that companies our size could never afford to develop, which is great: so our technological reach is increasing all the time.

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mab | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 2 2016 12:35 PM

I frequently use a browser to find verses I remember but can't recall their specific location or precise wording.

It would be nice to do that within Logos, but it's not essential. Having a few engines accessible would be the way to go. 

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Posts 139
Rich | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 2 2016 5:21 PM

Thanks to everyone who responded to my post. I certainly gleaned much from what all the respondents had to say. I am enjoying my LOGOS experience, but know I am only using a little of what LOGOS offers. As time marches on I can only hope my skill set improves. I might note, my Bible study is for personal growth as I am not in the pulpit nor do I formally teach. Blessings to all.

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Josh | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Nov 3 2016 9:39 AM

Rod:
I would much prefer a good Boolean logic search engine than one that tried to guess what I was trying to search for. I appreciate that understanding search parameters does take an investment of a small amount of time but it allows my searches to be a lot more effective than a standard Google search.

Yes

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Brother Mark | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Nov 3 2016 11:51 AM

Sean,  I appreciate your informative response, and respect the hard work FL is investing into Logos.  It seems counter intuitive on some level that development would work so hard to parallel existing/competing technologies when it would be relatively easy to interface the Logos database WITH google results.  For example, If I searched for "For God so loved", results could be displayed from both my Logos library AND Google on the same page and differentiated (and/or weighed) by a big "L" for Logos or "G" for Google result.  Then again, its been years since I lead a software development team, and I tend to think in terms of fast-to-market, and value-to-user.

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Sean Boisen | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Nov 3 2016 3:58 PM

Brother Mark:

Sean,  I appreciate your informative response, and respect the hard work FL is investing into Logos.  It seems counter intuitive on some level that development would work so hard to parallel existing/competing technologies when it would be relatively easy to interface the Logos database WITH google results.  For example, If I searched for "For God so loved", results could be displayed from both my Logos library AND Google on the same page and differentiated (and/or weighed) by a big "L" for Logos or "G" for Google result.  Then again, its been years since I lead a software development team, and I tend to think in terms of fast-to-market, and value-to-user.

Google wouldn't be willing for us to just incorporate their search results without showing their ads. Many people value the fact that Logos doesn't search the entire web, but only selected resources that have some measure of curation (and in the few instances where we do take you out to the web, we try to be careful to label that fact so you're not surprised).

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GaoLu | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Nov 3 2016 4:40 PM

Maybe there is a middle ground.  We can use Google if we want Google, from a browser.  

On the other hand, a database with common misspellings or alternate spellings and a search algorithm that can quickly process common variations might be very helpful a way to find phrases even if they typed are out of order.  The ability to correct or include variants of phrases and terms common to Logos searches might add much value to Logos instead of having to dig through Google. We probably don't need to process 40K searches/second or to scan 30,000,000,000 web pages.  Maybe as a start, 1 millionth of that would cover the 10 most common Bibles and could be done at a lower cost and still be extremely helpful.  

This doesn't have to be all or nothing--Google or zip.  Just some improvements along the way.  Something more hope-giving than the sense of "Logos isn't Google, so not much will change."  

Fuzzy search may be a big help in homing in on topics or other search criteria, but might not actually do what I think people are asking for here: A way to increase the likelihood of hits in common searches when our syntax isn't perfect.

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