December 2001 Archive
Yahoo! has been charging a express submission fee for some time. Today they are changing to an annual payment.
Netmind announces that the formerly free Mind-it current awareness service for Web pages would only be available as a commercial product effective Jan. 15, 2002.
Google previously had one unsearchable stop word --'the.' It is now searchable within phrases, like other stop words, and well as with the + symbol. Also, Google now supports using the asterisk * within a phrase to represent any full word, something AltaVista has long supported. However, the asterisk does not work for truncation anywhere else at Google.
Google is busy once again. This time, they have introduced Google News Headlines, a page which has summaries top news stories. It is a rather lengthy page and lacks the easy to view organization of many other news sites and portals, but it provides several viewpoints on each news story from different publications. Unfortunately, the do not provide any archival access to the stories. In addition, it looks like Google is no longer using Moreover for the news headlines on a regular search page. Instead, it appears they are using their own crawled headlines.
The old Excite is gone. The site remains, and its personalization capabilities remain, but their original search engine is gone, replaced by InfoSpaces Dogpile, a meta search engine which starts out with Overture results. The Excite review remains to document how the search engine used to work.
Google releases a new database in beta: Google Catalog Search. There is a link to the new database at the bottom of the advanced search screen, and it is directly accessible at catalogs.google.com. This database consists of scanned pages from print mail-order catalogs. The database is text searchable, and it displays the full page images from the catalogs.
WiseNut announces that it will power Lycos Japan. The WiseNut database being used includes 78 million Japanese pages. Lycos Japan will include WiseNuts WiseGuide folders as well as their "Sneak-a-Peek" feature which allows Internet Explorer users to see a portion of the results page within the regular search results list.
Inktomi announces new regional identification and blending technologies as well as enhanced language analysis for its Web search engine. This will have different results at each partner search engine, but it provides the ability for the partners to provide more geographic context for international search results. This could mean that country-specific Inktomi partners will be able to more accurately identify Web sites related to the region, even when they have a different top level domain or are not in the native language.
- Google Groups is out of beta
- Google Groups now goes back 20 years
- 700 million Usenet posts in Groups
- Image database is now 330+
- Web database has 1.5 billion fully indexed documents
- That includes 35 million non-HTML docs like PDF, PS, DOC
- The total count includes 1/2 billion unindexed URLs
- Selected news crawling replaces Moreover
An alert reader has noticed a change in the way the Google handles diacritics. In the past, words with no diacritics would match those with and vice versa, so either
éléphant would find both elephant and éléphant. Now,
elephant only matches the word without diacritics. To find the French version,
éléphant must be used. Note that this differs from AltaVista where the plain
elephant matches both but the diacritics version,
éléphant, only matches éléphant. The lesson for the multilingual searcher is that in Google, use all diacritic variants if you want more than an exact match.
xrefer, the free reference search engine, has announced the launch of xreferplus, a larger collection available for a fee. It includes more than 100 reference books from 21 publishers.