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New Go Site Goes Up

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New Go Site Goes Up

By Danny Sullivan
From The Search Engine Report
Nov. 3, 2000

A longer, more detailed version of this article is available to
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Having given up its goal of being a portal to please all people, the new Go site was formally unveiled last month. While you may have heard talk about the site being transformed into a starting point for those seeking "freetime" information such as entertainment, leisure and lifestyle content, so far it instead retains features that may appeal to general searchers.

Specialized freetime information may come in the future, but for now, even Go admits that the big push is to emphasize search. "This is a navigation site," said Rajiv Samant, executive vice president and general manager of Go. "We've really tried to make the search site dominant."

If you haven't been to the Go since its relaunch, the big change is that Go's human-compiled directory information is now being given top billing over its crawler-based results. That makes sense, given that the Go crawler has not remained competitive with other major crawlers in terms of size and freshness.

Go says it plans to refresh and expand its crawler results soon, but even with an increase from the current 50 million pages to 100 million, you won't be turning to Go for comprehensive web coverage. Nevertheless, Go's directory picks might point you in the right direction for general queries. A team of about 43,000 volunteer "Go Guides" compiles the listings, which are now said to number over 430,000.

When you perform a search, you'll see any matching categories from this directory appearing at the top of the results page, under the heading of "Go Directory." Category links are not always present, but when they are, you can select one and go right into an area where sites on the category topic are listed in order of star quality, with three star sites coming first, two star sites next, then one star sites.

Go will also extract the top sites from the directory that it thinks match your query and present these right on the search results page. These appear in the "Proven Picks" area, just below the category links "module." Or, if there are no category links, then Proven Picks will top the page. After the Proven Picks come "Web Search Results," which are any matches that the Go crawler has found from across the web.

Finally, another new feature you may come across is a "Focus Your Search" page that may show up if you do an ambiguous search. For example, look for "tiger," and Focus Your Search will ask if you mean topics such as:

+ Music artists & bands
+ Detroit Tigers
+ Woods, Tiger
+ Tigers Computer

When you choose a topic, Go reruns your search to bring back results relevant to that area. It will go beyond the actual search words that are displayed, also. For example, select the Tiger Woods topic, and it will bring up directory picks and web pages relevant to Tiger Woods, even though the search query will remain "tiger." Behind the scenes, Go will look at the directory listings relevant to Tiger Woods and use these, as well as some editor adjustments, to bring back relevant results.


A longer, more detailed version of this article is available to
Search Engine Watch "site subscribers."
Click here to learn more about becoming a site subscriber.

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