Magazine article Information Today

Excite@Home and FAST's 'Alltheweb.com' Aim to Plug the Web Search Engine Gap

Magazine article Information Today

Excite@Home and FAST's 'Alltheweb.com' Aim to Plug the Web Search Engine Gap

Article excerpt

Barbara Quint, co-editor with Paula J. Hane for NewsBreaks, is editor in chief of Searcher: The Magazine for Database Professionals, a columnist for Information Today, and a longtime online searcher. Her e-mail address is bquint@netcom.com.

Recent studies have shown that today's popular Web search engines cover only a relatively small fraction of the Webs URLs. [See the NewsBreak story New Study of Web Search Engine Coverage Published" on page 29.] Now two Web search engine services have promised to rectify that problem with a massive expansion of coverage. East Search and Transfer (FAST), a Norwegian company. has unveiled 'The World's Biggest Search Engine? which, it claims, scans 200 million of the Webs estimated 800 million pages. Excite@Home claims its new beefed-up search engine operation has dozens of new spiders, each capable of handling the 50 million pages that it previously took all of Excite's efforts to index. With the Web expected to grow to 1 billion pages within a year or two, this effort marks a necessary move to keep pace with its growth.

From Oslo, Fast Search and Transfer ASA http://www.fast.no) has already reached 200 million pages with the August expansion of its "World's Biggest Search Engine" (http://www.alltheweb.com) and promises to keep expanding. It also promises to provide search results in 1 second and to update us database every 15 days, purging dead. out-of-date Web pages.

FAST uses a collection of Dell Computer Corporation PowerEdge servers and Dell PowerVault storage subsystems. They boast a parallel server architecture dissimilar to that used by most major search engines. The systems operate in parallel to distribute user queries, search the document catalog, and spider search the Web to scale linearly in both query volume (number of searches) and catalog size (number of documents). …

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