LookSmart Category Archive
LookSmart announces a redesign of its FindArticles site. With over 5 million articles from over 1,000 publications, FindArticles now has links to FURL for saving articles and also has the ability to limit a search to just the free articles available. For those with no access to a larger article database, FindArticles can be useful. But it includes fewer free articles than it used to, and many of the publications are for limited date spans. Others are not very current (with Omni for example only going up to 1995). Check for access from a local library to the larger InfoTrac, EbscoHost, ProQuest, and other databases that have much more up-to-date full text article access.
As announced last year, MSN Search no longer uses results from LookSmart as the first results for most queries on its simple search. Instead, the search results are primarily from Inktomi, which used to follow the LookSmart results. Some internal MSN content (and ads) may show up before the Inktomi results.
FindArticles.com has relaunched and expanded to covering 700 publications with full text articles from Gale, up several hundred periodicals from its previous version. Along with LookSmart's announcement, the FindArticles database is now accessible as a tab directly from the LookSmart site, which should raise its prominence.
The new LookSmart and FindArticles interfaces have three tabs for searching -- the LookSmart Directory, the Web (Wisenut), and Articles. They have changed the default operation to AND and continue to support phrase searching and the - as a NOT operator.
FindArticles is still a small database compared to the large aggregator databases offered by InfoTrac, EbscoHost, Wilson, and ProQuest, among others, not to mention the full text electronic journal databases from many publishers. But for users without ready access to such databases or to a library with such access, FindArticles certainly adds some great quality content to the free Web.
Yesterday, LookSmart announced that their results will no longer show up on MSN Search after Jan. 15, 2004. According to a SearchDay report, MSN will move up Inktomi results (which already display when no matches in LookSmart are found or when you use the advanced search) when LookSmart results are gone. Eventually, Microsoft plans to also replace Inktomi with its own custom-built search product, but that product is not ready yet.
So will LookSmart survive? Today, LookSmart announced that it is getting into the ad bidding engine business with what they call a "bid for placement" program. This will compete with pay-per-click ad bidding programs at Google and Overture. LookSmart continues to have several partners including CNET, Road Runner, InfoSpace, LookSmart.com, Cox Internet, and others, but MSN delivered over half its income from such sources. They also still have the WiseNut search engine, but there has not been much publicly-visible development of WiseNut and it tends to have quite old data.
According to today's press release, LookSmart results will begin appearing on Lycos sometime later this summer. It sounds like Lycos will give ads from Overture, LookSmart ads, and then other results from the FAST database.
LookSmart announces its intent to buy the new search engine WiseNut. The press release notes that they will be integrating the WiseNut technology over the next few quarters, but what that means for LookSmart and WiseNut remains to be seen.