Date:         Wed, 21 Jun 2000 05:08:28 +0000
Sender:       The Internet TourBus - A virtual tour of cyberspace
From:         Bob Rankin 
Subject:      TOURBUS - 20 Jun 00 - Feel The Rage
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               TOURBUS Volume 5, Number 98 -- 20 Jun 2000
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       \___/  \___/  T h e   I n t e r n e t   T o u r B u s    \___/
       FIVE YEARS of Searchable Archives at !!
                   TODAY'S TOURBUS TOPIC:
Yippee, another search engine!  Sort of.  If you yearn for the early
days of search engines, when the site loaded fast and the results
popped up on your screen in the blink of an eye, then read on!  I'll
be reviewing a new search site that's fast AND accurate.
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 match you to those who can get it - across town or across the
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 In the next few seconds you could become $100,000 richer!
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The new kid on the search engine block is - a service
created by the folks at AltaVista. I spoke with Rajiv Parikh, Director
of Product Marketing for AltaVista, for some inside info on, and I think you'll find it interesting.  If you've been
reading Tourbus for a while, you already know that AV is my favorite
search engine.  Back in January 1996, I wrote this in Tourbus:
  > Alta Vista is a tres cool Internet search tool developed
  > by Digital. Just feed it a search word or two and it hits
  > you with the results before you can lift your finger from
  > the mouse button.
But in the march of progress, the AV site has gotten bogged down with
loads of features.  Useful stuff, no doubt, but sometimes it's
frustrating to wait for all those "portal" features to load onto your
screen before you can run that quickie web search.  The folks at AV
sensed our collective angst and created - a search site
that focuses on speed and simplicity.
   Raging -  
If what you want is a fast loading "pure search" site with no banner
ads, and without all the bells and whistles of today's portals, then
you will like Raging. The people behind Raging claim that it's 20-40%
faster than any other search site and point to a ZD Labs study that
puts Raging on top when it comes to relevancy.  I was told that the
relevancy algorithm takes 50 factors into consideration, but the most
important are how many other quality sites link to a page, and the
text of the anchor and meta tags.
   ZD Labs Report -  
I asked Parikh if Raging and AV used the same relevancy algorithm, and
his answer was "sometimes".  Let me explain...  Since relevancy is so
important to good search results, the AV engineers are always tweaking
their algorithm to make it more accurate. is the place
where they test these new ideas, and when they find something that
works well, they integrate it into the main AV search engine.
 Fast, But is it Big?
The database shared by both Raging and AltaVista is the world's
largest, containing every word found on more than 350 million unique
Web pages, and they are constantly removing dead links and adding new
pages. I asked Rajiv Parikh how they arrived at this index, and he
explained that they used the results of the recent IBM/Compaq "Bow
Tie" study
  Bow Tie Study -

... to select 1.2 billion URLs as a starting point for their automated
web crawlers.  They believed that this starter set of web addresses
effectively encompassed the entire known Web.  After deleting
duplicates and pages they considered spam, they were left with 350
million unique pages.
Rajiv seemed to anticipate my next question when he stated that other
search engines who boast a significantly larger index are playing
games -- either including dupes or other "fluff" to pump up the
numbers.  He was confident that the 350 million unique Web pages in
the Raging/AV database is a very comprehensive index of ALL the text
on the known Web.
 Other Raging Features
Run a search for "boston red sox" on and you'll see that
the first page of results are all right on target.  If you click on
the first "More like this" link, Raging will show you sites that it
thinks are similar.  In this case, it brings up official sites for
other Major League Baseball teams.  The Customize link (right next to
the Search button) offers some other useful features:
 * Complete Page Information
   You choose either a compact result, or a more detailed result
   which includes the Last Modified date, file size (in Kilobytes),
   and language for each page in the results.
 * Results per Page
   Tired of getting only 10 search results on a page?  Raging lets
   you select 10, 20, 30, 40 or 50 results per page.  This is great
   feature, and I don't think you'll find it anywhere else.
 * Search by Language
   Allows you to select up to 25 different languages, and Raging
   will only return Web page results written in those languages.
 Which Is Right For You?
AltaVista and Raging use the same huge web page database, so which
search tool should you use?  Here's how I boil it down:  If you know
you're after a result that's textual, use Raging.  If you want search
results that may include multimedia resources, use AltaVista.
I find refreshing, because it does one thing and does it
well.  It definitely loads a whole lot faster than the Altavista
portal, with the banner ads graphics, news headlines, shopping links,
etc.  It's fast, and you can customize the results in some unique
ways.  Give it a try and see what you think.
That's all for now, see you next time!  --Bob Rankin
The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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