In this issue of SearchDay, guest writer Avi Rappoport provides an update on developments in the world of search products. Avi is a respected expert on this subject and operates an outstanding site on the subject, SearchTools.com. You can visit it via the URL below:
And now, on to news about search tools and products
SearchTools Survey Results
New survey analysis up through the end of October 2000. We wanted to learn more about the relationship of search engines and web sites, and how web site managers view search engines.
We now have 1075 survey results, as of July 12, 2001, covering the topics of why site managers have or have not installed search engines, correlations of the sizes of sites and the installation of search engines, frequency of updates, file formats served, languages, and number of languages used on sites.
For web administrator ratings of the search tools they've used, see the Survey Ratings page. This includes evaluations of the most popular search engines (with seven or more responses), other products, and custom development.
If you have a search engine, please go to the Survey and share your opinion.
Intranet and Enterprise Information Portal Searching Report
As internal corporate networks get larger and more information is available in digital format, enterprises are installing search engines on their intranets. This allows them to find valuable documents quickly, avoid duplication of effort, take advantage of research and analysis already performed and make better use of resources. Many companies are also using this network to allow employee self-service for human resources and supply ordering, activities which are also appropriate for searching.
Enterprise Information Portals provide a starting point for people to access information and applications on the entire Intranet. They generally include a search engine for locating internal and external information; security features, so a person only has to use a single password; personalization so they get appropriate information; access to databases and enterprise applications; and so on.
EIPs are starting to create categories and directories of information, and using them with full-text searching to make the most effective presentation of relevant results, and provide alerting services using information filtering to watch for news and other incoming information of interest.
Multimedia Search Engines Report
As more digital multimedia archives are developed, they require specialized search engines can index and search these formats. Video and audio are hard to browse, so search engines can save significant time and effort in locating useful content.
Indexing multimedia is much more complex than indexing text. In some cases the media can be converted to text: broadcast television often includes digital text as closed-captions for the hearing impaired, and scene titles and captions within a video can be converted to text using OCR. Speech-recognition technology can digitize words spoken on audio tracks. Continuous media, such as video, also can be broken up into chunks by transitional effects, for better precision in results. Some groups are also working on form and shape recognition, which could allow searchers to draw a shape, such as a bridge or a tumor; or select an example picture and find others like it.
Microsoft Index Server Vulnerable to CodeRed Worm
The CodeRed work can exploit a flaw in the Microsoft Index Server search engine to install itself and attack other machines. All administrators should install the patches and reboot to remove this security risk.
Atomica: MetaSearch Engine
Metasearch engine queries multiple locations and unifies content in the results.
SearchExpress: Search Engine
Operates locally or as a remote search service, indexes many file formats and can scan and OCR paper documents, scales to millions of pages, ActiveX code library available.
Visual Net: Search and Visualization Engine
Provides visual mapping of data to group related topics in enterprises.
Northern Light Enterprise
Search service of the Northern Light search engine incorporates many Enterprise Information Portal (EIP) features, including security and personalization. Now integrated with Corporate Yahoo PortalBuilder service.
Beta version of a new high-performance search engine with efficient indexing and searching.
Free open-source search engine from Russia, based on the PostgreSQL database, optimized for fast index updating.
SearchEngine Site Search Service Update
This remote search service, will now index up to 30,000 pages for free, although search results pages will show their advertising. Paid versions are available to remove advertising and company logos at a very reasonable price. Based in the UK, this ASP search service is particularly useful to sites in Europe, as indexing and search results don't have to travel to the US and take chances with network quality and latency.
MondoSearch Product/Service Update
MondoSoft, which has acquired the Searchbutton remote search ASP, has a new version with synonym lists and additional vocabulary help, phrase searching, recommended page categories, highlighting terms in results pages and many other useful features.
AOL PLWeb Search Engine Support
AOL affirms continued support for the PLS search products, including PLWeb and CPL, in a response to questions on their mailing list. PLS is the search engine used for all AOL Time Warner sites including AOL, Netscape and ICQ. It continues to be available free of charge but with only partial source code.
QueryServer: Updated MetaSearch Engine
Dataware Knowledge Seeker metasearch server is now available from Open Text.
NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication's search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.
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