Magazine article Online

Internet Search Engine Update

Magazine article Online

Internet Search Engine Update

Article excerpt

Once again, it has been another few months full of search engine changes, announcements, and new launches.

AltaVista had a major relaunch, redesign, and changed content. On October 25, 1999, they unveiled a new logo, a new slogan, and a new overall design. They dropped their own Usenet database and replaced it with one from RemarQ and added a news database of searchable newswire stories. They adjusted their relevance algorithm boosting the importance of links and began clustering results by site, although results can be unclustered using the advanced search. Company fact sheets show up for many results, drawn from Hoovers and a domain registry database.

With the relaunch, AltaVista began a major advertising campaign featuring their new "Smart is Beautiful" slogan. Part of the advertising copy included claims of a new larger index with 250 million individual pages. While there was certainly a size increase, AltaVista also managed to lose many of the sites it had formerly indexed. These have mostly been added back to the database, but there could still be some missing. LookSmart categories are certainly gone, replaced by the Open Directory. Otherwise, all the search features such as field searching, +, Boolean, NEAR, and limits all work as they did before the relaunch.

Britannica relaunched its britannica.com site. It now includes the full text of the Encyclopedia Britannica. The site's former subject directory of Web sites is still there under the name of "the Web's Best Sites." Britannica.com also includes full-text articles from more than 70 periodicals and links to books available for purchase from Barnes and Noble.

Excite announced (on October 25, the same day AltaVista relaunched) an agreement to acquire Blue Mountain Arts, the online greeting card company. Excite also has dropped Zip2 and now uses AnyWho for its white pages phone number database and WorldPages for its yellow page database.

Infoseek and the Go Web sites had to stop using the Go logo due to a preliminary injunction resulting from GoTo objecting that the Go logo was too similar to the GoTo logo.

iWon.com is yet another site that uses the Inktomi search engine, directory engine, and shopping engine. Registered users of iWon.com can have their names entered in a daily $10,000 cash sweepstakes if they use iWon.com.

InvisibleWeb.com, a directory of more than 10,000 Webaccessible searchable databases was launched by IntelliSeek. The company plans to expand InvisibleWeb.com to include over 100,000 databases.

LookSmart and Inktomi announced an agreement to "develop customized search directories for vertical Web portals and destination sites. …

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