HotBot Category Archive
Just noticed that HotBot now only offers two databases: Google and Ask Jeeves. It no longer has the database it used for so long under the label of HotBot (and before that listed as Inktomi). The Yahoo!-supplied database is now gone. See screenshots showing the change (in French but the screen shots are not).
Gary Price noticed that HotBot has dropped one of its databases. Originally labeled FAST and then changed to Lycos, the underlying database was basically the same as the one at AlltheWeb. It is interesting that HotBot, which is owned by Lycos, dropped the database that still powers Lycos. This is likely connected with Yahoo! talking about abandoning the AlltheWeb database, which is a real shame.
HotBot has changed three of the four names for the search engines it searches on its site.
Inktomi is now just "HotBot"
FAST is now called "Lycos"
Teoma now shows as "Ask Jeeves"
Each of the four now offers spelling suggestions as well. And related searches can be displayed at the top if you turn them in the preferences section under "Results Prefs."
HotBot also launched a new toolbar, although they call it a desk bar. It differs from the Dogpile and Google toolbars in that it does not get installed within the browser, but rather it runs from the Windows Explorer Taskbar. While it only works in Windows and says that it requires Internet Explorer 5.5 or newer, it will actually work with any default browser.
I finally got several pages updated on the site, including a revised HotBot Review reflecting the current version, in particular how it handles Inktomi. I also updated the search engine chart and the search engines by features pages, removing Openfind and NLResearch and updating the HotBot and MSN lines.
In addition to the other changes at AlltheWeb, the directory depth limit and the home page limit are now gone. It seemed that they originally added those limits to help get the HotBot account. Now that search feature is also gone at HotBot for their FAST database and their Inktomi database.
HotBot's version of Teoma has finally added some of the advanced search features that have been available on Teoma's site for the past few months. It does not include all of the advanced search features but does offer language, date, and region limits along with the offensive content filter that had been there before. In addition, Teoma's 'metasites' or 'resources' now also show up at HotBot right under the Teoma logo. Only one metasite is listed after 'Try Resources' but a link to 'More' will display up to ten. Also, if you set HotBot's results preferences to display related searches, they will now show up for Teoma as well.
I am starting to see PDFs, Microsoft Word documents, and Excel spreadsheets indexed at some Inktomi partner sites. HotBot now has PDF, doc, and xls files. These records also show up at About, Overture, and Overture-powered sites like Go.com. None of the partners have a specific limit for the new file types, except for the Position Tech form. But THE major Inktomi partner, MSN Search, does not seem to have any of the extra file formats at this point.
HotBot has relaunched and now can search Inktomi, Google, FAST, and Teoma. Terra-Lycos, the owner of HotBot, says that with the new HotBot, they want to give the users control. It certainly makes it easy to check four of the major Web search engines from one interface. The front page no longer has ads and flashing banners and pop-ups should be gone from other pages. And the advanced features are readily available and properly translated for each of the four search engines, if they are supported. If they are not supported, HotBot will say that "These filters are not yet supported."
However, several advanced features are gone from the previous version of HotBot:
- Boolean option for Inktomi searches
- Name search (listed as "the person" previously)
- Truncation and word stemming
- The ability to choose more than 10 results on the advanced search page is gone (and with the Preferences, it will now only give up to 50 hits but Google and Teoma will not even give that many)
- And the "More results from this site" link does not always show up, meaning that when it does not the searcher can only find one page per site
I've made minor updates to several reviews including HotBot, Lycos, MSN, Fast Search, and Inktomi. Changes include updates on which Inktomi features work at HotBot and MSN, and a note on how to get the MSN advanced search to work without a search term. (Thanks, Gary, for that tip.) I've also added the Postion Tech Inktomi search to the Inktomi review.
People posting in the WebMaster World forums report that both HotBot UK and HotBot Germany have abandoned Inktomi and moved to Fast. Considering Lycos' stake in FAST it is surprising this did not happen sooner, but it has not yet changed at the U.S. HotBot.com. Unfortunately, the new underlying data at these HotBots has not changed some problems such as putting a 'see results from this site only' link even when there is only one hit from that site.