January 2002 Archive
Lycos announces new search technology used on its Lycos News section. Only some stories are "Newsmine enabled," but for those that are, IE users will see certain words highlighted. Hover over those words and a whole menu of additional information options are displayed. These can include a picture, links to Lycos searches, travel information, and more. Newsmine can be turned off.
Scirus announces a redesigned site that is supposed to be easier to use. It also notes that the database has been refreshed and expanded to include sites like the arXiv physics preprints collection.
divine, inc. has acquired Northern Light. See the Northern Light press release or the divine press release. This explains why Northern Light dumped their public search engine, since divine "acquired certain assets." The public search engine was seen as a liability and thus divine did not want to burden itself with that aspect of the company.
The search forms at Northern Light now only offer access to their Special Collection documents. Searchable access to the general Web is gone, as announced on Jan. 8.
Lycos has made a major change to the layout of its advanced search page. Beyond the layout, the new design makes it easier to combine various field searches and to specify which database to search. These database include the Fast Search database under the label of Lycos, Direct Hit, the Open Directory, and Overture. Surprisingly, the old advanced search page is still available at lycospro.lycos.com.
As announced previously, today the Mind-it current awareness tool is no longer a free service.
Sometime since Excite closed down on Dec. 17, 2001, the results changed. Now all the results on Excite are just straight Overture paid-positioning results followed by hits from Inktomi after the end of the paid hits. This replaced the Dogpile results that Excite showed initially.
Ask Jeeves announces the acquisition of Octopus, an enterprise integration and information presentation software company. This will most likely be used for enterprise search technology, especially with applications linking to information in back-end databases.
Jan. 9, 2002: Ask Jeeves announces the completion of the integration of Teoma search results into Ask Jeeves. These results were added sometime in December. Today's press release claims a 25% increase in user satisfaction rate after the introduction. The Teoma results are listed under the heading "You may find my search results helpful." The press release also notes that the Teoma site will continue as well and is due out of beta in the second quarter of this year.
Jan. 8, 2002: Northern Light announces that as of Jan. 16, 2002 it will "will no longer be providing free Web search capabilities to the general public." However, their Special Collection, free News search, and their Special Editions will continue to be accessible to the general public. They will also continue to market their products to enterprises.
Espotting announced an agreement with Yahoo! UK and Ireland. Espotting is a paid placement search engine, and this new agreement means that Yahoo! UK and Ireland will display results from Espotting under the heading of Sponsored Matches.
Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Watch has a detailed analysis of the impact of Yahoo!'s new annual submission fee.
Sometime recently, AltaVista removed the ability to view the dates of Web pages. Awhile back it was removed as a default display option but was still available for those who chose to display it from the customization page. Now the ability to display the date is no longer an option there or anywhere at AltaVista.
My article "The Top-Level Domain Game" from the Jan. issue of ONLINE is now available online. Read about the new top level domains and how they can impact searchers.