Directories Category Archive
Yahoo! has made a fairly major change to its Directory. The Yahoo! Directory was the original Yahoo! product, but it has been greatly de-emphasized in recent years. Now, the front page has further reduced the category listings to the left margin and has put featured sites front and center. In addition, as Danny notes, the entries within categories are ranked in some sort of "popularity" order. Fortunately, an alphabetical listing is still available as an option.
About.com has been sold again. The New York Times Company has announced its intent to buy About for about $410 million -- a few hundred million dollars below what Primedia paid for it in 2000.
After experimenting for several months, Google has launched its new look today. While the appearance is not too different, one significant change is the removal of the Directory tab and the addition of the Froogle shopping tab. Google's directory is still available, but it is much more difficult to get to. Froogle is still in beta, but now it is being emphasized much more. Other changes include the removal of the "tab" look (which makes the links to other Google databases a bit less obvious), the removal of the color background on the side ads, making less of the ads clickable, and putting the search query, definition, and count on the right of the header bar. Google News now includes some thumbshot images in the search results (something AltaVista had done a few years ago).
Two other new Google Labs initiatives are the Google Personalized Web Search and Google Web Alerts. The Personalized Web Search lets users choose certain preference and then use a slider to re-rank their results based on those preferences (but not one at a time). The Web Alerts offer email alerts about new search results. These are run either once per day or once per week.
I just noticed that Intelliseek's InvisibleWeb.com directory of hidden or invisible Web databases and resources now just redirects to Intelliseek's ProFusion meta search engine. It looks like they may have made the change on Aug. 13 or earlier. While the directory had not been updated in awhile, it was a useful as place to look for some hidden Web resources, especially databases. Some of those databases are still searchable within ProFusion's search groups, but it was the directory function that was most valuable. For a replacement, try Invisible-Web.net from the book by Gary Price and Chris Sherman or CompletePlanet instead.