iLOR Dumps Google for Ask/Teoma

Just as the "I love Google" movement has seemingly reached its zenith, search engine iLOR has made a contrarian move away from being powered by Google to using the Ask Jeeves/Teoma web index.

"The changeover is due to a variety of reasons, including the power of the new Teoma technology," according to Steve Mansfield, Chief Executive Officer of iLOR.

While the switch isn't likely to affect Google, it does offer an endorsement of the changes being put in place by Ask Jeeves since its acquisition of Teoma last year. Though still somewhat obscure, iLOR has garnered both favorable press attention and a significant increase in users, from zero last April to over 2.4 million page views and over 600,000 unique visitors per month today with only word-of-mouth exposure, according to Mansfield.

"In order for iLOR tools to be best utilized, iLOR Search has to provide users with the best results possible, and we feel this move will put us with technology that is positioned best for the future," said Mansfield.

Though iLOR is a search engine in its own right, it's more useful to think of it as a "results processor." Essentially, iLOR offers a set of tools to help you navigate the results presented by Ask/Teoma in interesting ways, rather than simply scrolling through a set of links that, in theory, decrease in relevance as you work through the list.

Run a search on iLOR and you see the same set of results you'd get from searching Ask's Direct Hit database (though iLOR plans to switch to the Teoma database as soon as Ask allows it). These results are ranked by popularity, as measured both by how many people visited a page and how much time was spent viewing it.

Mouse over any result link, though, and the LORlinks menu pops up, offering you four different options for working with the underlying page, in addition to simply clicking through to view the page.

These options include:

- "Put in my list." Clicking this link opens a small pop-up window and adds the link to your "list" of sites that you want to come back to for further review. This is a great feature if you're researching a particular topic and want to quickly gather a list of promising links without necessarily going back and forth to view them from the search result page.

- "Go now, anchor here." Think of this as an expanded "back" button. Clicking this link opens the underlying result page, but also creates small window containing a link back to your search result page. In your main browser window you can then follow links from page to page, but can always return to your iLOR result page simply by clicking the link in the "return to anchor page" popup box.

- "Open in background." This opens a new, though much smaller browser window displaying the underlying result page. You can open several pages in the background, then visit each in turn by clicking the "maximize" icon to make them readable.

- "Open in new window." Like open in background, this simply opens the page in a new browser window, leaving the result page unaffected.

If you'd like to have these functions available for any web page, not just search results, check out iLOR's downloadable product called HydraLinks. It incorporates all of the LORlinks functions and offers several others -- including the ability to continue using LORlinks with Google -- or any other search engine, for that matter.

iLOR is continuing to develop its technology. Planned enhancements include extending HydraLinks by allowing users to create groups of links, share them, and do other useful things to assist searchers.

"Helping users get the information they need in the shortest amount of time, with the least frustration, and providing them with a structure to collaborate with others in the research process is going to be a large factor in the evolution of Internet Search," said iLOR's Mansfield.


HydraLinks Download
More information about iLOR's stand alone product, with a 30 day trial, $29.95 to register.

iLOR Makes Google Even Better, April 19, 2001
Danny Sullivan takes an in-depth look at iLOR, describing some of its user-friendly features.

Ask Jeeves Assimilates Teoma
SearchDay, January 10, 2001
Ask Jeeves now offers search results powered by Teoma, the search engine that acquired in September 2001.

Teoma Tackles the Web
SearchDay, June 11 , 2001
Teoma is a new search engine born in the computer labs at Rutgers University that looks like a serious contender for joining the major leagues.

Ask Jeeves Rolls Out Paid Inclusion Program

Ask Jeeves has opened a paid inclusion program for Teoma, in conjunction with submission company ineedhits. The program is currently in beta, allowing webmasters to sign up for the program, even though paid inclusion links won't be incorporated into Teoma results until the beta test is complete.

"We do not want to adversely affect the relevancy of Teoma results by having an unbalanced dataset of submitted URLs vs. organic URLs," said Ask Jeeves spokesperson Alexa McCann. "Relevancy is a huge priority for as and we don't want to erode the integrity of Teoma's search results in any way"

Search Engine Report editor Danny Sullivan will be taking a closer look at this new addition, recapping how it stands among the paid inclusion programs currently available at the major search engines. Watch for it in the upcoming issue of the Search Engine Report.

Ask Jeeves Site Submit
Details of Ask Jeeves new paid inclusion program.

The Search Engine Report
Contents of the current issue and recent back issues, as well as a sign-up form for the free newsletter.

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About the author

Chris Sherman is a frequent contributor to several information industry journals. He's written several books, including The McGraw-Hill CD ROM Handbook and The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Sources Search Engines Can't See, co-authored with Gary Price. Chris has written about search and search engines since 1994, when he developed online searching tutorials for several clients. From 1998 to 2001, he was's Web Search Guide.