SEARCH ENGINES WEEK 9:

Are We Ready to RRRRRUUUMBLLLE?

and

No Hits Below the Belt


Hosted By:
Reynilda Cortez
Lori Morita


Welcome, welcome, welcome, to another episode of Search Engines. This week, we are comparing how engines rank in the only contest that matters in life, love, and politics:
How good is it at giving me what I want when I need it?
We a re getting ready to pit two new search engines against each other and judge them according to how they produced hits on their very nature.



On a tip from another search engine, we used

This engine searches magazines from Trailblazer to PC Direct UK to Inter@ctiveWeek, and all have boxes you can select to specifically search a magazine. (note: there's also an all-encompassing selection, for those of you who like to take the short cut) Also available is a search engine dedicated to words/topics of your interest. Very user-friendly, this program talks to you as though you could talk back. We typed in "Search Engines" to search all magazines and the hits came a flyin'. They're ranked by dots: most relevant to least relevant. Very nice, ZD. The magazine hits go from most recent to oldest, but the oldest article is still published in 1995. 60 returns, and all very relevant, according to the JamesBond-ian color dots.

Nice layout, very clean and smooth. Went down this team's throat like proverbial butter. Not only are the hits completely clickable, but they (most often) are not dead-end documents, which is great in magazine articles.

Harvey claims this once again proves that on-line everything is more interactive than snail-mail or faxing your heart out.

This is more than a footnote, audience; it is direct connection to a source you can contact NOW NOW NOW (we like that little phrase around here; we're MTV generationers). This not only gives you a chance to get to what you're interested in, but allows you to check up on the article's accuracy. And if you're of that retentive type, there's always e-mail to gripe to the authors. A lot of the articles were dated justthe day before, more proof for Net Addiction. Warning: the PC World articles are informative, granted, but mostly dead-end. Yucko.


We engaged quite a few magazine links, and the most recent ones provided some great new resources. One we liked was

,

an "Independent Research and Development firm...providing ongoing state-of-the-art solutions to intelligent information retrieval and management problems for over 15 years." According to the creators, they provide litigation support, competitive intelligence, help desk, document management, internet web servers and real-time message handling. We like it for the obvious: SEARCH ENGINE! With all those years behind it, it's got a wealth of information within its own data base, and the search engine it utilizes offers a search specifically within that data base or over the world, your option. We were able to fine-tune our query, but not by as much as some other search engines. The great part is its specifity.


Lo and behold, we engaged and engaged (we never really committed) and we found a newcomer (okay, at least to us) called


apparently a San Jose newspaper on-line with one itsy-bitsy difference... It's not only searchable, it's searchable in every single category. It has the "nation's largest classified section", in which you can specify whatever you're searching for, and have it delivered/info/whateveryourlittleNetheart desires. It's accessible to the WWW customer, and not provincial in its scope or use. We found a great offer on some rare Japanese prints in the antiques search. You can order tickets if traveling, place classified ads if you're looking to sell but the market is small in your real-space. (And we're based in Hawaii. You guys, this is a window BIG time.) Category, browse, it's all available. Drawback: phone numbers are set up, but often not accompanied by e-mail. Overall, it's a pretty good deal: where else can you get a national classifed section, done daily?


It's not Archie's little brother, but maybe Veronica will change her affections. It's into media-navigation searching, and the engine has...(what a concept!...hush, Harvey) a concept search rather than a keyword search. So what does that mean? NO, you can't just think about it and ask it to get the concept. But you can enter a query dealing with a subject and retrieve hits on the subject even if the hits didn't contain any of the original query words. Wow. And if you've been following, you know the search engine that Architext uses: that's right.

If you recall, it first came from our illustrious live cam during our last episode. The whole shpiel has great structure, and a nice layout. (Get the pun? ArchiText? Uh, okay.)

More links than we can count (read: more than 20), and most provide excellent results. But hey, you can check ZD Net out for y'selves. Enjoy.





And now the competitor, weighing in at 29,000 documents...



Wandex Searches the WWW as a "wanderer". It has indexed over 29,000 web documents from over 12,000 sites, and has over 6,000 homepages. Are you in the autonomous data base? This thing wanders the Web, its own governor.

Hal, are you there? Hal?

Hits are listed as "Best matches", and "Good matches". You can do a full web search, or an int.Genesis search. The difference? We got many, many more hits from the full Web Search (natch, eh?), and we aren't sure if one should even go to the int.Genesis search. But hey, let us know if we're missing something vital.


How did Wandex do on fessing up names of its own kind? It gave a less impressive-looking hits list, but the names looked promising. One we immediately tried (okay, so it was the first on the list. Sue us.) was the Computational Intelligence Research Laboratory, (CIRL), based at the Univesity of Oregon. We thought this would be a fast-moving, innovative piece of NetInfo. Okay. Uh, it provided information on the structure of search engines as the graduate students at Oregon U. see it. Informative, but not what Team Search Engine waters for. We're just application fools.


Moving in an orderly fashion, (read: next one down on the list), we found Internet Search Engines, which we thought was, uh, a creative name. The page was well laid-out, in clear linear form, although providing engines known and used well.


A new face shined out at us, and even Harvey stopped in mid-sip: check out Goldsite Europe. In the words of its modest backers,

"probably Europe's busiest and largest commercial Web Server, with over 2.4 million accesses per month and over 50,000 files! GoldSite Europe already contains information on 12510 Internet connected companies and organisations worldwide, and offers a range of services, from HTML design, advertising and server rental. Your one-stop Internet Information Site."
Gee.

(Hey, did you guys notice the spelling? Somebody give them Yuropeens a spell-chekker! Hush, Harvey. What, the "organisations"? Security? Please remove this man.)


Graphics, graphics, graphics and a search engine listing easy on the eyes as well as useful came from

.

A nice lineup of the favourites (does everyone on the planet know about Yahoo yet?), plus a few new faces.


We liked Joel's Hierarchical Subject Index, even though it's not going to blind you with its beauty. Interesting layout for the subjects; each folds into the other, but you'd never know the complexity just by looking at it. If you're going to play here, prepare to engage links you don't really like at first. Gotta hand it over; the creator is organized. Waaaay cerebral, dude.


Planet Earth HP showed a search engine and some, but we think the great truth in this Home Page lies in its easy-to-read-even-after-20-hours-on-the-Net font. It's not easy to get a font big enough to be read by the bleary-eyed but reasonable enough to keep the freshly Visine-d. And something else that might catch those looking for everything at once, NOW!, there's the HTML counters. It's more than a link to a counter program, it's a big ol' Dead-Sea length scroll of clickable subjects. You could spend some time here. (wink wink)


We found a great system over at . We loved their Featured Employers, up-to-the-minute and full of companies young bucks fight for.

CareerSite's Job Search is where you may specify your occupation, industry, location, benefits, full-time or not, travel/not, and believe it or not, your expected yearly salary. If you wanna be tough, you can up the ante. All these choices are clickable. If you're serious about this, you can register with Career Site, and have your own profile (yeah, you too can be a regular). There's also terms, and job listings to scroll if you're not feeling particularly chatty. Really, really well-done line-up. The colors are inviting, but not too overpowering, and everything is spaced so you don't feel claustrophobic hunting for a job in the great clutter of Cyberspace. We may look here after we're done with this gig. Everything is clean, neat, and self-explanatory. (Hey, even Harvey could do this...if he weren't passed out right now.)


In the final evaluation...we'd run with ZD Net over Wandex, simply because we liked the aesthetics and the kind of hits we got in return. We're shallow that way. In Wandex's corner, it's got some great links, but it took a lot of surfin' to find those search engines to make the NetSeat a-quiver. If you're willing to check out various links, some great search engines are to be had in Wandex.

And we know, we know: this is only for the query "search engine". We're looking for comprehensiveness, quality of hits, and how long we can stay on the page without wandering eyes. Both have advantages, and we're still looking for the Grail of Engines. Both are worth checking out, and have resources every NetHead should know about.

Remember: you need to decompress after 10 hours or more in Cyberspace. Uh, maybe that's just us. Sorry.

Next week: Web Wanderers--Bane to Your Privacy or Boon for Your Reputation? Team Search Engine defines and interviews the latest, and wonders if these Wanderers know Kung Fu.

You can be an idiot; just try not to be stupid.