New Go Site Goes Up

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.

As I mentioned, the crawler results are about to be refreshed. "We are in the final preparation of releasing the new web index," said Andy Bensky, Go's chief scientist. "We haven't released a new one since mid-summer. We're now respidering all the pages and going deeper into some sites."

One of the key factors of whether a site will be deeply spidered will continue to be whether it is listed within the Go Guides directory. "As always, getting your pages listed in Go Guides is the best way to get enhanced coverage and placement in our various indexes and results," Bensky said.

Getting listed is easy to do, plus you'll then have a chance to appear in the main results that Go presents on its search results page, as well as perhaps getting greater representation in the crawler results and a ranking boost there, as well. The article below covers more about submitting to Go Guides.

Of course, there's also the Go Add URL system. Bensky says that URLs are still being accepted by this, but that pages are added only as resources allow. If accepted, they should appear within six weeks. You can submit multiple URLs from the same site, and there's no set daily limit. However, Bensky warned to be sensible with your submissions.

"If they start going overboard, there's more chance they may show up on our radar screen," Bensky said. "Fifty pages a day is a reasonable range, but if they do 50 pages a day every day for a month to submit thousands of pages, that's something we might notice and cause us to look at the differentiation of the pages."

On the horizon is a paid inclusion system that Go expects to release by December. For a fee, still to be determined, a URL would be guaranteed to be added within 2 days and then revisited every 2 days after that. Go is also considering adding an option so that this also submits a site to Go Guides. Instead of having to join Go Guides and submit your site personally, you could use the system to place your site before the volunteer editors, as well as getting it included in the crawler results. These ideas are all tentative, so expect that there may be changes from when the final system is released. I'll keep you updated on developments.

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.


Go Guides

Sign-up to be a guide here.

Go Beta Tests User-Assisted Directory

Older article that still covers the basics of submitting to Go Guides.

Go Add URL page