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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Exalead has had a makeover. If you've been to any of my training sessions or listened to my talks, you'll know that I'm very much in favour of this search engine; it's far superior to Google in a lot of different ways (such as phonetic search and reordering results and proximity). Proximity still seems to be automatically limited to situations where the terms are within 16 words of each other, and you can't do anything about that.

On the home page there's room to add up to 18 short cuts to favourite sites (each with a nice little thumbnail), and this also has the advantage that it pushes the rather ugly 'About us' and 'News' (by which they mean Exalead news) down the screen and hopefully below the fold; it's the one part of the page that I really dislike, since it's very ugly. Having said that, the page is otherwise nice and neat and tidy, with lots of white space, which is much more friendly than the heavier, darker version they used to have. The advanced search page is also improved and you don't need to squint at it anymore!

Hidden down at the bottom is the legend that it's now searching 2,027,698,928 pages. Clearly they're still playing the size game that Google has given up on. This in itself isn't great - it's not actually a lot of pages in comparative terms, but it does indicate that they're still trying to keep up, which is a good positive sign.

Exalead is also trying to get into the Desktop search arena (who isn't?) with their One: desktop offering, and they also have a professional version as well (which means commercial).

Glad to see the update, and it's certainly an engine I'm continuing to use, and if you've not tried it yourself, give it a whirl. Gary has more on it over at SearchEngineWatch.

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