>> forwards (January-May 2002)
<< backwards (November 2001)
December 30 [update] Northern Light [news] AltaVista, Daypop, Excite
I have completed a new page, Northern Light. I think I've improved upon their design, and I have selection boxes for date limits so that you don't need to use dd/mm/yyyy. Northern Light is one of the better search engines, it's too bad that hardly anyone uses it.
AltaVista, which had not updated its database since August, has been crawling some, but not all websites. Fagan Finder is now included, but only the home page. Daypop, which has had a few problems this week, is back on its feet. Excite.ca was the only place left to search
on the old Excite database. It no longer exists. Goodbye, Excite.
December 26 [update] Kids, Speed Browse, Spelling, Search Tools, Link Popularity, more
I have finished a new section, Kids Search Tools. It includes eight guides and directories, and Google (filtered), and should be very useful for kids, especially for homework. As the list of search tool pages grows larger, I have made a new page which is just that,
and I will put a permanent link to that page when I have created a few more sections. I have started spell-checking Fagan Finder, and have made plenty of corrections so far. The whole site should be error-free a week from now. I have also made some improvements to the Speed Browse tool. Now you can add
pages while you are browsing, and the display of the URLs is a little simpler. I have removed Cozy Cabin from the search engines page and heySmarty from the Advanced Reference page, however I added The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy to the advanced reference page; at least
until I can find a more appropriate place for it. I have added some information and a link to the popularity ranking page, and I have re-written some of the Google description. Lastly, I added a link to searching links & resources.
December 26 [news] Webshots, Moreover
Webshots is still around, and is no longer owned by Excite (see details). It was probably bought by its three original founders. Moreover is now only showing five news results unless you register, which is free for now.
I have accordingly updated the Moreover page.
December 22 [update] Speed Browse, Images, Turbo10
I have created a new tool, called Speed Browse. You give it a list of websites that you read every day. Then you can browse these sites automatically with by clicking the 'next' button. Each page is loaded before you even look at, it loaded while you were reading
the last page. I personally use it all the time now. I have added two new links to the Image Search page. ResearchBuzz mentioned a meta search engine which I hadn't heard of,
Turbo10 it has both good qualities (fast browsing, topic clustering) and bad (shows domains only, no advanced search), but it is definitely good enough to include on Fagan Finder, so I linked to it (as I was unable to extract the search because it uses frames).
Unfortunately, there is little information about Turbo10, and they do not provide much. I added Turbo10 to the Topic Clustering page.
December 22 [news] Excite, Thunderstone, Blogdex
MSN Search will soon include paid results from Overture. You can see it now at the Beta site. Three paid listings will be shown, but only for queries which MSN thinks you
will find these results helpful. Most likely this means any shopping-related search. Excite UK is completely gone, going to it now redirects you to Lycos UK. Now Excite.ca is the only (as far as I know) place left to search the old Excite database.
Thunderstone has made a great improvement to its Texis product, which is a search engine used by About.com, HotJobs.com, and others. The improvement is that it ignores text
do the same; it's a great idea. Blogdex has created a new Fresh Index, which, like the usual index is a list of the current most popular websites, however this list is even more current.
December 22 [news] Google, Ask Jeeves
Google has a new page of news headlines. For people looking for an overview of the most popular topics, this can be really useful. There are eight headlines
for the general news, and five each for World, US, Business, Entertainment, Technology, and Sports. Each headline also has links to four related articles. Each one has the source name, and if it becomes popular Google may roll out a news search engine (my opinion). I added a link to Google's headline news on
the news page. I also have more information about Google's Catalog Search. Google has been working on this for about three months. Obviously Google intends to make money from this service, and they are looking at a number of options, including
having companies pay to have their catalogs included, and charging companies based on how many sales they have generated. They may also use their service to collect demographic marketing data. Also, while they currently include only offline catalogs, online ones will also be included. Both Google and Ask Jeeves
have published their most popular search terms for the year 2001. See Google's and Ask Jeeve's.
December 17 [update] News, Site Info, Help, How To & Review
I have added Metagrid to the News page, it searches for news and magazines. I have also added information about me and about my favourite sites to the about
page. I have also completely redone the How to Use Fagan Finder page and the Help page. I think I have explained it more clearly this time. Several days ago
I reported that the WiseNut search engine will power Lycos Japan. Then now do, and according to Search Engine Watch, WiseNut was closing because of its
topic clustering and its "sneak-a-peak" feature, which is quite simple (and also used by Vivisimo). Lastly, I was interviewed today, and Fagan Finder
is this on this week's Web Tips from the Pros at Poynter.org (for journalists). Also there was a good article in Traffic yesterday, Search Engines Are Still in the Model 'T' Era.
December 17 Correction of previous update, Excite search engine still available at Excite.ca and Excite.co.uk
December 16 [news] Excite
The Excite search engine is no more. InfoSpace recently purchased it, and today they officially (together with iWon) took over the portal. Now if you search on Excite, results will come from
Overture, which is a pay-per-click engine. There are several other search options available from the front page:
"directory," which searches for Open Directory categories, "meta-search," which is essentially Dogpile (owned by InfoSpace), "news," which is also powered by Dogpile, and
"images," which is again Dogpile but seems to search only Ditto. The same also goes for the WebCrawler site, which has absolutely no unique content. Read the
announcement here. I have removed both Excite and WebCrawler from the Search Engines page, and I updated
the Search Tool Graveyard. No changes yet to Webshots.
December 16 [update] Google, Ithaki, Search Online, Meta Search, Search Box, more [news] Google, Blogdex, Inktomi, more
Today is probably Fagan Finder's biggest update ever. I have completed two new meta search engine pages: Ithaki, and
Search Online. Both are very good meta search engines, and you should give them a try. I added Ithaki to the
images, audio, news, search engines, directories,
and interest groups pages. I also moved the meta search engine information to here, and added more information to it. I reviewed the entire meta
search engine page, and removed about five search tools which I decided were not very good. Today Google released a
beta version of Google Catalogs, and I have already created a brand-new informative page for it here, and added it to Shopping Searches.
searches RSS Headlines, and so I have already added it to the Daypop page. Blogdex is currently working on a
social network explorer, which you should give a look. I added SearchShots to the Directories page, it is
a search engine which shows an image of each website on the results pages. RealOne now includes the search from SingingFish, so I updated that page.
New, for webmasters, I have created a link to us page, which tells you how to link to Fagan Finder or even include
a Fagan Finder search box on your site. I also wrote FF a disclaimer. Inktomi, the company that powers searching for MSN,
HotBot, AOL, and others, has announced new improvements to regional searching. Lastly, WiseNut
will soon power Lycos Japan. Also the front page has been slightly redesigned to accommodate more.
December 11 [update] Google, Links [news] Google
Today Google has unveiled searching of "3 billion documents." Note that this is not three billion web pages. The three billion consists of 1.5 billion web pages, another .5 billion non-indexed web pages,
700 million usenet messages, and 330 million images. Less than three quarters of the web pages are in English, and millions of them are non-HTML file types. The most significant
new item is that Google Groups now has usenet messages since 1981, most likely the only source which completely covers the two decades. Also, three news results will now become standard above search results for
news-related queries. Google has been testing this for some time. They now crawl many news pages at least once a day, and want to become the freshest source, which puts them into even more direct competition with AllTheWeb.
See more details in this article in Pandia and on Google's website. I have accordingly updated the Google web search,
usenet search, and image search pages. I have also added a link on Searching Links & Resources to Search JUMPER.
December 10 [update] Topic Clustering, more [news] Quigo
I have done quite a lot of research over the last few days, and I have completed a new document: Topic Clustering, which is grouping of results into topics, now done by many popular search tools.
After several more documents, I will make the Searching section of Fagan Finder more prominent on the front page. I have also made changes to the Search Tool Graveyard,
Search Engines, and a number of other pages. From now on I will include a "this page was last updated on [date]" notation at the bottom of every page. Some pages have it already. Quigo informs me that
their "technology preview" is no longer located at deepweb.com, it can now be found here. They will re-launch their invisible web search engine after they have made some changes and increased
the size of their database, which will likely be next month. I have made some spelling and colour corrections to a number of pages, repaired searches on search engines and site specific,
and updated the site map. Lastly, Trillian has released their newest version, 7.0. Trillian is a great program which combines many instant messengers (like ICQ, MSN, AIM) into one.
December 5 [update] Colours, News, Popularity Ranking, Directories more
I have completed a new document in the searching information section, Popularity Ranking. It looks at the benefits of popularity ranking, different
methods of measuring popularity, what tools use it, and other popularity ranking related issues. If you have anything to add to that page, please pass it on to me. I also made some small changes
to the search tool graveyard page. I have made another new page, AltaVista's News Search. I also added a link on the news page
to the English version of Pravda, a Russian news website. Pravda's articles are international, and give another perspective on stories. On the Directories page, I added the Resource Discover Network,
which contains about 35,000 listings (and each description is a paragraph, not a sentence). There was a good article on Salon about The Strange Saga of Yahoo and Webring,
which goes into Webring's history and how Yahoo forgot about it after they bought it. Lastly, if you've been to Fagan Finder before, you'll notice that all the pages have a new colour scheme, which I hope will be more successful than the last.
December 3 [update] Ixquick, Search Graveyard, more
I have completed two new pages. One is Ixquick's Image Search, and the other is Search Tool Graveyard. The Graveyard page tells the story of popular
search tools which no longer exists, says what has happened to them, and shows their old logos. Fagan Finder was in the December issue of Internet Resources Newsletter and is this week's Pick of the Week on JournalismNet,
so I added both of those to the reviews of FF page. And lastly, Fagan Finder will soon be sporting new colours
because nobody seems to like these ones.
December 3 [news] InfoSpace/Excite, Google, AltaVista, Quigo
Google now will search for stop words (common words like
of) within phrases without using
+ operator, however
the will still not be searched. This means that
the can still be used within a phrase as a wildcard to represent any word. InfoSpace, the new owner of the Excite portal
will soon be replacing Excite's search engine with its Dogpile meta search engine. For now, however, result pages just have links to the same search on Dogpile or MetaCrawler. AltaVista, which has for months been working to combine
their global and regional databases, have finally finished. Apparently the UK version and the German one have the largest regional databases for those countries. Now if AltaVista would only update their database.
Quigo, which recently (see older news) released their Deep Web search engine, seems to have removed it again; who knows what they're thinking.
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