October 2000 Archive
Fast's multimedia databases, which have been available at Lycos, are now also available at All the Web at multimedia.alltheweb.com. This Fast Multimedia search include images, video, audio, and combined databases. Their press release claims that it is the largest multimedia database.
I have updated my Relative Size Showdown and the Total Size Estimate analyses with data from Oct. 9, 2000. Using 25 new search terms, and verifying the actual number of hits available for the five largest search engines as measured by the last Size Showdown, Fast's All the Web found the most with Google in a close second. Northern Light moved up to pass both iWon and AltaVista. See also, Fast's Press Release.
Today, Google has upped their claimed database size on their main Web page to 1,247,340,000 Web pages. Unfortunately, it does not state how many more fully indexed Web pages are in the index. It used to be 560 million. A quick comparison of Google results from today to how they performed on the Oct. 9 showdown does not show any significant change in results.
Go, the former Infoseek combined with Disney portal content, has relaunched its main page. While it has modified the surrounding portal content and search results for popular topics, especially for entertainment terms, the underlying search engine, database, and search features appear to have remained the same. See the Go press release.
AltaVista has added two new specialized search pages: Education Search and Government Search. These are linked under the "More Searches" heading in the left-hand margin of the page. All these search forms do is put an .edu or a .gov top level domain limit on a search. The pages also have links into appropriate sections of AltaVista's LookSmart-powered directory and top searches in the area.
These pages provide no new search features for the advanced searcher who already knows how to add a domain limit, but they may be useful for novice searchers. On the government page they could at least add the .mil sites, as does Google's Uncle Sam. The education page would benefit by adding non-U.S. higher education sites like the .ac.uk sites.
It looks like Google has finally introduced support for the Boolean OR operator. It must be entered in all upper case as in
x OR y. Google still does not support Nesting, AND, or NOT, so use of the OR operator involves some careful ordering of terms.
Google has made some other changes to its layout and color schemes on the results page. Most useful to searchers is that onthe cached page copies, each search term is now highlighted with a different color and is so identified at the top of the page. Google review, search engine chart, and search engines by feature pages updated.
OCLC has released its annual report on the number of Web sites from its Web Characterization Project. It found that in June 2000 there were 7.1 million publicly available Web sites. There is no estimate given this year for the number of Web pages.