DeepDyve Explores The Invisible Web

As web search engines have improved over the years, there's been less attention paid to an "inconvenient truth" about the indexes of our favorite information finding tools—namely, that search engines still miss the lion's share of information available on the web. This so-called "deep web" remains largely impenetrable to search engines for a variety of reasons, and for many types of queries that's just fine. But if you're a serious searcher, looking for the best information possible, you can't afford to overlook this vast "hidden" store of information. And that's a challenge, because sear [...]


7 Search Tools You May Not Know … But Should

Google UK recently shared a list of 52 Things to Do on a variety of Google properties (found via Phil Bradley). It's a collection of tools and tips about using Google products and services for some everyday functions. If you're a search power user, you probably know most of them already. But Google's message seems to be, "Did you know you could do all this stuff on Google?" It got us thinking about non-Google search tools that might have slipped notice altogether, or just fallen off your radar. With that in mind, here's a list of seven search tools you may not know about ... but should. [...]


Wikia Search Releases Third Party Search Enhancement Platform

Wikia Search, the "open source" search engine that launched to great fanfare earlier in the year, has introduced a new platform (Wikia Intelligent Search Extensions or "WISE") that allows third parties to provide an enhanced search result—known as a "WISEApp"—for specific keywords. WISEApps allow publishers or searchers to enhance search results, in a similar way to Yahoo's Search Monkey or Google's SiteLinks enhancements. For example, the Washington Post WISEApp provides people searching for specific information, such as "Barack Obama" or "John McCain", with relevant news stories fr [...]


Watching The Presidential Debate? Use New Twitter Election Site To Share What You Think

Twitter announced the launch of Election 2008 on Twitter. The mashup brings together all US political discussions around the 2008 elections from Twitter. For example, I twittered, "Will McCain do the debate? Honestly just testing election.twitter.com" and it showed up seconds later on election.twitter.com. Here is a screen capture of the Twitter Elections mashup: There are other Twitter mashups for the elections: Politweets CSpan's RNC CSpan's DNC Perspctv Current TV's plan to Hack The Debate [...]


Visual Search The Future? Spare Me The Eye Candy

About two years ago, I wrote an article called Why Search Sucks & You Won't Fix It The Way You Think. In it, I explained various ways people have tried to make search "visual" and why those have largely failed. That's mainly because "list view" or "10 blue links" still works for lots of search activities. But visual search has picked up some attention recently with new players coming in. Is visual search the future, where we'll be flying through our results Minority Report-style? Maybe in several years, but for now, I still see a lot of eye candy and no real b [...]


Looking For Stations With Cheap Gas Prices? Search Tools To The Rescue!

As the price of gasoline is speeds toward $5.00, it's no surprise that tools helping consumers find less expensive gas are gaining visibility and popularity. Search Engine Journal and Google Maps Mania both have had nice roundups recently. Below, a look at some of the tools from them plus some additional ones and whether the search engines are missing out by not doing more. Gas Price Resources GasBuddy is a long-standing resource for checking on gas prices. Coming to the home page, you can see which US state has the lowest prices (right now, Miss [...]


Twitter Beats (Wow, By 3 Minutes) The USGS With China Earthquake News

Hey, I like Twitter, but this entire thing Robert Scoble started about how Twitter had news of the Chinese earthquake before the US Geological Survey seemed absurd. Did it really? As it turns out, probably so -- by about three minutes. Reading some of the accounts, you'd get the impression Twitter seemed to alert the USGS to the news. Let's go to Robert's blog post about it: I reported the major quake to my followers on Twitter before the USGS Website had a report up and about an hour before CNN or major press started talking about it. Now there’s lots of info over on Google News. How di [...]


From My Inbox: Some Search Tools To Check Out

After Yahoo-Microsoft madness, there's been a bit of a lull so I'm cleaning out my inbox and wanted to mention a few items that might be of interest. Below, a way to quickly search blogs & social media sites all at once, a new video search tool, a study into automatic search queries, an awesome Twitter search tool, a way to track search rankings over time, and a compilation of Google help info for site owners, from Google, in PDF form. Plus, a way to see headlines from blogs and news sites in a variety of subjects, including search marketing. Addict-o-matic From Dave Pell of Rollyo, it l [...]


“Browser Search Engine” ChunkIt Launches

On Friday ChunkIt launched in a private beta. ChunkIt is a search download that sits on top of existing results and enables users to preview them before clicking. Relevant "chunks" of content are called out in a separate pane that splits the screen between the engine and the ChunkIt page. At this stage it sounds a lot like other search plug-ins, toolbars, or search "side bars" that have come before. However, CEO Carlton Baab objects to the concept that this is simply another plug-in or search toolbar. He characterizes it instead as a "search engine for the browser." In the past, there have [...]


Cuill Gets $25 Million In VC Funding

Cuill, the stealth search startup backed by former Google, AltaVista, and IBM search experts, has completed a second round of funding to the tune of $25 million. The round was led by Madrone Capital Partners and follows on a first round of $8 million from Tugboat Ventures and Greylock Partners. From the release: "We are pleased with the confidence of our investors," said Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Tom Costello. "Our team is using breakthroughs in search architecture and technological advances to create a new paradigm in search, and we now have the resources to reach the next lev [...]


Hakia Goes For “Quality” Over “Popularity”

If Hakia were using an automotive analogy, the site might be saying to Google, "We're BMW, you're Chevrolet." The Hakia blog explains how the engine is taking a "quality" approach, trying to assess the credibility of sites in ranking them, together with the help of professional librarians. Hakia specifically discusses this in the context of health-related search and contrasts its approach with that of "popularity," a general reference to Google's original PageRank algorithm. The company says that it will roll out "Quality Search" in a range of verticals -- "law, finance, science, and in many [...]


Speculating About The Visual Future Of Search Results

Danny has written extensively about the past and potential future of search. And this past year we saw the introduction of "blended" or "universal" search. Among other developments, search results became much more "multi-media" and visual. In particular, video became part of organic and, most recently, paid search results. Accordingly, I believe that the future of search will be considerably more visual than it is today. Mapping sites such as Microsoft Live Search Maps and Google Earth, with their layers of information, including images, text, community content, and video, offer much visuall [...]


IAC To Launch Startups, Take A Demographic Approach To Search

The Wall Street Journal reports that IAC, parent of Ask, is preparing to launch a number of startups after its spin off of some of its traditional media properties. Among the new sites is RushmoreDrive, a niche search engine targeting African Americans. What's interesting is its demographic approach to search. After the departure of Ask CEO Jim Lanzone, new CEO Jim Safka said that the engine would be explicitly targeting women, who were a disproportionately large part of its user base. Recently Yahoo also launched "Shine", a search and portal subdomain targeting women. So-called "vertical" [...]


Hackers Launch Goolag: A Google Vulnerability Scanner

Hackers turn Google into vulnerability scanner from Techworld reports a group of hackers named Cult of the Dead Cow (CDC) launched a search tool powered by Google to help see if your sites are vulnerable to a hacking attempt. The tool is named Goolag, and by typing in a domain name it may return site vulnerabilities. Techworld reports the tool makes "it easy for unskilled users to track down vulnerabilities and sensitive information on specific Web sites or broad Web domains." The tool uses the Google Custom Search engine and has a detailed specification on how it works. "It's no big sec [...]


The Google Challengers: 2008 Edition

Rich Skrenta -- who, aside from creating the first computer virus, is more notable to search as a cofounder of the Open Directory Project and the Topix news search engine -- has announced he's founded a search start-up. A stealth one, as TechCrunch puts it. Don't we already have several stealth search start-ups? Yep. Here's a guide to who's who. Blekko What we know so far about Blekko isn't much, and TechCrunch has the most details in its The Next Google Search Challenger: Blekko post from yesterday. Apparently Rich founded the company in September 2006, along with five othe [...]


Robots.txt Study Shows Webmasters Favor Google; BotSeer Robots.txt Search Engine Released

The Pennsylvania State University conducted a study that showed webmasters favored Google over other search engines in terms of allowing access to their web sites. An associated BotSeer search engine that allows searching across a collection of robots.txt files was also released. The study looked at which robots or crawlers were listed in a web site's robots.txt file, and Google was listed more often than any other search engine. The paper is named Determining Bias to Search Engines from Robots.txt (PDF) (it may be slow, so here is a local copy) and showed some interesting details. The mos [...]


Social Networking Through Search: Hakia Helps You Meet Others

Hakia, a natural language search engine, has just added a new spin to search: social networking. Their new Meet Others feature lets you connect with others who are searching for the same things you are. Since Hakia processes queries differently than old school search engines such as Google, you aren't just matched up with people who typed in the exact query you did -- you're matched with a larger set of searchers that Hakia thinks are looking for the same things you are based on natural language processing. For instance, if you're searching for "what drug treats a headache," Hakia processes t [...]


LookSmart CTO Resigns

A couple of months after LookSmart CEO David Hills resigned, the company's CTO, Michael Grubb, announced his resignation, effective September 7, 2007. Here's the statement from the SEC 8-K filing:On August 31, 2007, Michael Grubb, Senior Vice President, Technology and Chief Technology Officer of LookSmart, Ltd. (the "Company"), notified the Company of his decision to resign from his positions due to personal reasons effective September 7, 2007. Here is Mr. Grubb's bio from a the SEC filing: Michael Grubb has served as our Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer since April 2005 an [...]


Accoona’s IPO Backfires, Again

Web search IPO stalls on underwriter doubts from CNN Money reports that Accoona's expected $80.5 million IPO has failed due to their underwriter backing out. Maxim Group, their underwriter, backed out after completing an in-depth review of the company. The New York Times reported Edward L. Rose, the firm’s vice chairman and general counsel for Maxim, said: After completing our due diligence review, we have chosen to disassociate ourselves with the company. This is the second time this year Accoona showed interest in an IPO and had to pull back. The first was earlier this year, when att [...]


Fast Search To Fire 148 Employees

Fast Search & Transfer lets go of 148 employees from Pandia reports that Fast Search and Transfer will be letting 148 employees go this year. The employees who are being fired are reportedly being compensated for the downsizing. Fast Search & Transfer have reportedly hired 400 employees in 2006 and 2007. The company's CEO, John Markus Lervik, feels the downsizing will help the company improve their overall bottom-line. [...]


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