April 2002 Archive
Amazon-owned Alexa now offers Alexa Web Search, a strange amalgam of Alexa's information about Web pages combined with Google's Web search engine database. Gary Price offers a detailed analysis of the new tool.
My column for the May issue of ONLINE is now online: "Dead Search Engines." Online 26(3): 62-64, May-June 2002.
CNET reports that the Yahoo! Experts site is switching from its home-grown solution to being powered by LiveAdvice and it remains a fee service. Yahoo! also continues to have the free Ask Yahoo! service which only answers selected questions.
I have finally posted results from my comparisons of the freshness of the search engines. These analyses look at the age of the Web pages indexed by the search engines using pages that are changed every day. The most recent freshness showdown uses data from April 4, but I also posted older comparisons from March 7, 2002 and Aug. 13, 2001. Statistics page updated with link. See also my article "Freshness Issue and Complexities with Web Search Engines." ONLINE 25(6): 66-68, Nov.-Dec. 2001. The Teoma Review was also updated.
Two fascinating uses of the free Google API programming could certainly be of use to advanced searchers. The Google API Proximity Search and the Fagan Finder Google Advanced Search with the ability to choose specific dates.
Fast Search & Transfer announces an agreement with meta search engine provider InfoSpace that means FAST results will begin appearing on InfoSpace meta search engines including Dogpile, MetaCrawler, and Excite. See also the InfoSpace press release.
Google has introduced a pay-for-research service in beta format called Google Answers. Take a look at the Answers FAQ and the Help & Tips section for details, but basically users pay $0.50 to post a question and agree to pay from $4-$50 dollars for the answer. Check out the site to gauge the quality of the answers.
If a search term gets zero hits on Google, it will not automatically try to guess the correct spelling and search that. Try a search on brjother and Google says "Your original search: brjother was misspelled" and then automatically searches for what it thinks you meant.
Google is providing access to its APIs for developers and programmers. There are limits on its use, capping the number of queries per day at 1,000 and requiring an account for use, but it is free. This may eventually offer more sophisticated uses of the Google database, especially if Google adopts the best of what outside developers can create. In the meantime, read Google's API FAQ and its Terms of Service.
The Direct Hit Review and the Dead Search Engines section of the reviews page updated to reflect the death of Direct Hit. My May Internet Search Engine Update for ONLINE is now available on their Web site.
With the Ask Jeeves' big launch of Teoma on Monday, what has happened to Ask Jeeves' other search engine, Direct Hit? It is no longer available at directhit.com. Instead, the old Direct Hit URL redirects to Teoma.
AllTheWeb has quietly introduced an IP range limit on its Advanced Search Page. See their help file for the details of the syntax, and let me know what interesting uses you can find for it. It could be useful in trying to identify other Web sites operated by the same company or hosted on the same shared host.
Ask Jeeves' has launched Teoma out of beta today with a redesigned site. The folders are now called "Refine." The metasites formerly called Expert's Links are now called Resources. And at the very top are some paid links from Overture. See their press release for more details.