Magazine article Online

Internet SEARCH ENGINE Update

Magazine article Online

Internet SEARCH ENGINE Update

Article excerpt

Ask Jeeves added indexed PDF files to its results. These are tagged with a "PDF file" label in red after the title. These labels appear in regular search results, but neither the advanced search page nor a command line option is available to limit searches to include only PDF files. No other additional file types are available at this point. However, Ask has added more "SmartSearch" shortcuts including movies, wedding registry, Federal Express and UPS tracking, U.S. people search, definitions, navigation, sports teams, terror alerts, do not call registry, and current events. Most do not require special syntax, and, like the other SmartSearch shortcuts, the answers are presented above both the ads and regular search results. The help page [http://static.we.ask.com/docs/announcements/searchsmarter.html] has the full list.

For Internet Explorer users, Ask added a "binoculars preview." The small binoculars icon that shows up next to many search results lets a user mouse over the icon to see a small image of the Web page. Ask also announced that it will be doing away with its pay-for-inclusion program, although this option will be in effect until the end of September. It does not yet have any option for free submission of URLs; whether or not it will offer free submission remains to be seen.

Gigablast has been busy expanding its database size. It now claims over half a billion pages indexed. While that is still considerably smaller than other search engines, it is certainly gaming ground. In addition, many of its results appear to be indexed more frequently.

Google is now indexing the text content of Flash files. Removed from AlltheWeb, this option is now only available at Google. A limit is available by using file type:swf in combination with search terms. Google added a local search option (still in beta) for U.S. locations. Enter a U.S. city name or ZIP code with search terms and phone directory-style results appear at the top of the regular results. The local results include store name, distance from the center of town, address, and phone number. The direct version [http://local.google.com] gives more than three results and also tries to guess Web sites connected to the businesses. That part does not always work well.

Google Groups now has a Google Groups 2 Beta (available from Google Labs or directly at http://groups-beta.google.com). In addition to some differences in display, such as the annoying lack of the ability to sort by date, which is available in the regular Google Groups, the main difference is that Google Groups 2 offers the ability to create your own groups, rather like Yahoo! …

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