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Friday, February 28, 2003

I've been busy updating my own articles - the following have all been updated in the last couple of days:
A comparison of major search engines
A comparison of UK search engines
A comparison of multi/meta search engines
Google acts to protect its name:

Thursday, February 27, 2003

A really nice article, and yet another I've got to find time to read, this one is on writing for search engines.
I'm not quite sure what I make of this site: It describes itself as "Smoogle - The Smart Googler's News, Views and Tools about online search" and it looks as though its got lots of interesting stuff on it. I'll put it on my list to go back and look at sometime.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

An interesting insight into one of the ways that Google ranks, with an emphasis on how it works out 'authority' sites at
Very interesting article on how children use the web - it's a BBC report:
There's a really nice article on image search engines produced by TASI at

Daypop at is a current events/news/weblog search engine. I've not tried it yet, but it's on the list!
Overture seems to be going on a spending spree at the moment, since they've now bought FAST as well. Details can be found on the FAST website with their press release - Having now bought FAST and AltaVista it's going to be interesting to see what happens to them in the future! Meanwhile, I wonder if Overture would like to buy a site put together by a librarian for librarians? I'll not ask too much - certainly it'll only be single figure millions.

A nice short clear article explaining the terminology used with web logging.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Gigabytes? Terabytes? How about a petabyte? When you've got more storage space than you need, or will ever need - what does that actually mean? No point in deleting anything, just keep storing it. But.... how do you find it all again? Perhaps we're now approaching a situation where information is worthless/free, but the retrieval of it is what's important.

A few interesting things that you shouldn't do when trying to get a good ranking with Google - nothing particularly new, but it does provide a good reason to download and use the Google toolbar:

How to write for the Googlebot:

Monday, February 24, 2003

Yet more on Google. This time we're talking about 'Google searchies' at

No idea what to do with your old books? If you're like me, the idea of throwing them away isn't really an option. The bookcrossing website at does however provide a different and interesting idea.

Saturday, February 22, 2003

The Google march into our internet lives continues, with their purchase earlier in the week of the Blogger service. Although this came as something of a surprise for a lot of people, it seems a fairly logical move on their part. If they're indexing what people say in their blogs, they can see where trends are going - if a lot of people start talking about the same thing, you'll get 'bursts' of the same words or phrases popping up everywhere. More information at,1282,57754,00.html

Very interesting article on finding out about (American) people.

We're starting to see the backlash against Google taking place.. there's a VERY long thread of articles at WebMaster World about how it's not doing its job very well - the poor little darlings have only just realised this, and they're taking it kinda badly. Take a look for yourself, if you can bear to wade through it all:

And another anti-Google article, this time from the Beeb:

And more.. this time regarding the Google Answers service:

Friday, February 21, 2003

Ask Jeeves is now offering paid inclusion.

Very good article on search engine robots - explains what they are, how they do their jobs and so on.

The once great AltaVista has been bought by Overture for almost pennies. OK, several million dollars, but at a knock down price of what it would have cost years ago. There's an interesting article on its decline at

Monday, February 17, 2003

Slightly different slant on the congestion charging in London... apparently the website sucks. I've not looked at it yet myself, but you can read about it via the BBC website at
Right, back from the wedding I was at, which went very well - thanks for asking! Rather too many photographs were taken of me wearing a monkey suit for my liking, but don't worry, I won't be putting any of them up on my site! Anyway, on with the news.

Nice looking article on the use of weblogs in the library world at:

Thursday, February 13, 2003

No update to the log yesterday I'm afraid - I was up in Birmingham talking to an ASLIB group about Advanced Searching. All in all it was a very enjoyable couple of hours, but the journey up wasn't impressive without any heat on the train, and the journey back took over 4 hours, which wasn't overly brilliant. I got home in time to watch the highlights of the England-Australia game. I shouldn't have bothered; the only highlight was Wayne Rooney coming on and creating a new record. But then he plays for Everton, and it's really good to see one of our players in the England team. Anyway, onto useful stuff...

I don't like flash sites, either as a user or as a web designer. There's a nice article that explains why they're a bad idea when it comes to getting a good ranking with search engines here:

Altavista continues to try and revamp itself by creating the largest multimedia database:

No update tomorrow or over the weekend, because I'm off to a wedding! See you next week.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

I've just started to use the Google Alert function. Google has now set up a system where you can run 1,000 queries per day and get the results emailed back to you. It also strips out results that you've already seen. You can find out more at Be aware however that before you can use it you do need to register, but this only takes about 10 minutes and isn't a big deal
Is Google's continued dominance going to continue indefinately? The search engine that has been top dog for the last three years has done so because of clever brand marketing, as much as anything else. However, is there is replacement waiting in the wings? Some people think that there is...,1413,82%7E10834%7E1170210,00.html
Teoma has now added extra functionality to bring it a little closer to Google and Alltheweb.

... and AltaVista now go another stage and increase the facilities available with truncation, according to Greg Notess. If this keeps up search engines might actually start producing decent interfaces!
Ever wondered exactly how Google gets its results? This highly informative page spills the beans.

Monday, February 10, 2003

You might have heard about 'the semantic web'. If not, you soon will be. There's a good article at which explains it in a little more detail. I've read it, and personally I think the whole thing is a total nightmare. I really don't see how it can work properly, and there are more holes in the theory than a sieve.
A new version of Ad-Aware has just been released. This is a free program that checks to see if you've got any spy-ware on your system. Trust me - you have. If you don't have any software currently on your system to check for this sort of stuff, I strongly recommend that you download it. Spy-ware is software that checks to see where you're going while you're on the web, and passes the information onto a third party, which uses it for marketing information. The most annoying aspect of this stuff is that it can slow down your internet browsing.

A classic example of how to annoy people who are trying to help you, from of all people the ALA. This is an example I'll be using myself in the future, and should be a lesson to us all!

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Yahoo! is apparently changing its layout in an attempt to get more advertising on the page. The idea is to put more adverts down the side of the screen ala Google. Of course, this isn't going to help the actual searcher, but hey - they want to make money! Full details at,,t269-s2129882,00.html?rtag=zdnetukhompage

Using meta tags is a great idea, but what isn't so great is when you start to use the names of your competitors in an attempt to draw their business to your site. And what's really stupid is if you do this with a American lawyer. Can anyone say 'Sue'? Read the story at

Just starting out with website design? Here's a nice short article that helps put the concept of folders and directories into perspective. Not much use for those of us who have already done it, but it's a delightful way of illustrating the situation.

RIP Northern Light.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Interesting website addressing the question of how much should web site developers be paid for their skills:

I just loved this story - apparently a student has got into serious trouble for swearing at Ask Jeeves. I know we sometimes get annoyed at what search engines do or don't do, but I think both sides have gone a little overboard on this one!

This is a cool idea - you can use this site to check to see where your page ranks in Google, with regards to certain keywords that you add. It's worth trying out, just to see if it's of any use to you.

Some new additional terms that can be used with the AltaVista news feature -

Interested in evaluating websites? There's a nice short guide here which gives lots of good ideas.

A fun article on blogging, which I guess I should read at some point!

Do clients *really* give you a job because you charge more? They seem to think so at this website - Somehow though, I don't think I'll be quoting for jobs costing $17,000 but you never know!

Alltheweb has now added full Boolean:

I'll try and post to it reasonably often, so feel free to bookmark it and come back!
Welcome to my blog. Since everyone else appears to have one, I thought it was about time that I did as well.

You'll find a bunch of different stuff here - some of it will be personal information (but not *that* personal), some of it will be useful information that I've found but not yet incorporated into an article, and some of it will just be my musings (aka rants) about various things. I hope you find it to be of interest!