November 2001 Archive
Google now automatically searches for stop words when they are in phrases, without requiring the + sign in front of the stop words. Google has added and will be adding more stop words in non-English languages (Chinese now and German next week). This bears watching as articles in one language may have a different meaning in another, such as the German 'die.' This automatic stop word searching means that only the unsearchable stop word 'the' can be used for the full word wild card within phrases. Google also now has a "help us improve" link at the bottom of the results page where searchers can tell Google why they didn't like the results. Google Review updated.
A new beta of the Google Toolbar lets users vote on whether or not they like specific Google search results. The beta toolbar is available from Google.
Excite has killed off its NewsTracker current awareness tool, one of the first Web news alert services. Its search voyeur is also gone, shut down sometime last month. Its News Search is still available.
Yahoo! has joined the other portals in putting Overture (formerly GoTo) paid positioning results in its searches. These can appear at the top and bottom of the search results page under the 'Sponsor Matches' heading. Read the Overture press release.
Today, AllTheWeb unveiled several changes from Fast Search. They added a news database to their Web, image, multimedia, and FTP databases. The searchable news database covers more than 3,000 Web news sources. Up to two headlines will be displayed with a typical AllTheWeb search, and the results will note that day and time the news page was last crawled. Pages will only remain in the index for five days, but the news crawl is continuous and fully updates all pages every two hours. AllTheWeb has also added dynamic clustering known as Fast Topics. These appear at the top of the results and divide the top 200 hits into folders using the Open Directory vocabulary or automatically generated terms if no Open Directory term seems to match. On the simple search, AllTheWeb now has dynamic query modification that will automatically detect phrases and use antiphrasing to remove phrases like where can i find information on. All of these new features along with many others can be turned on or off using the newly improved customization capabilities. One additional and unique new feature on the advanced search page is the ability to limit by page size.
Excite@Home announces its intent to sell Excite's domain names, trademarks, and user traffic to InfoSpace. If the bankruptcy court approves and this sale goes through, traffic to the Excite.com site will go to InfoSpace's meta search engines. Excite@Home retains the old Excite search engine technology, but where and when it will be used remains to be seen.
Google now has an advanced image search page. It gives options to limit searches by file type (gif or jpeg), color (black and white, grayscale or full color), or to a specific domain. In its Web database, Google has added more file types beyond PDFs. It now indexes the following file types and searches can be limited by using
filetype: followed by a file type extension as in
- PostScript (ps)
- Lotus 1-2-3 (wk1, wk2, wk3, wk4, wk5, wki, wks, wku)
- Lotus WordPro (lwp)
- MacWrite (mw)
- Microsoft Excel (xls)
- Microsoft PowerPoint (ppt)
- Microsoft Word (doc)
- Microsoft Works (wks, wps, wdb)
- Microsoft Write (wri)
- Rich Text Format (rtf)
- Text (ans, txt)
Several site updates today. On the Inktomi review, I added a list of former Inktomi clients that no longer use Inktomi which now includes Anzwers which has switched to Yahoo Australia/New Zealand. References to GoTo have been changed to its new name of Overture. I added new information about advanced proximity operators to the AltaVista Review and clarified placement of Overture listings. On the HotBot Review, I updated information about truncation. The Google Review was updated with its new file types and an updated description of its databases. The Reviews page was updated to note that NBCi Live Directory is defunct