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Alternative Search Engines Forum

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SearchMe is pretty cool
searchme.com
webastronaut




msg:3751339
 4:51 pm on Sep 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

I don't know where I've been but just discovered searchme.com in my stats and thought it was pretty cool when I visited. I used some major keywords for a couple of my sites and I'm showing up right by the top. I haven't explored much more than that but will.

How long have they been around and where was the press?

 

Robert Charlton




msg:3753861
 6:53 pm on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

If someone wants to actually read your site, they have to visit it. No hit on your AdSense ads, affiliate links, etc.

That searchme allows people to share the stacks with friends is a bonus for webmasters because friend referrals are a great validation for a site.

I agree with both of the above points. My suggestion for adding titles to Stacks, in fact, was motivated by my not being able to read the snapshots of many text-based pages (on my 19" monitor) well enough to know whether I should visit them.

I did find myself visiting more pages while browsing through a stack than I often do in browsing through serps on Google... but I was in "testing" mode here, so I don't know this would carry forward on public stacks. It certainly would on stacks I shared with friends or collaborators. So, they well could increase site traffic.

With regard to my suggestion about comments on stacks, my personal inclination would be to implement comments only on private or personally-shared stacks. I can see public comments being too open to mischief. There's much competitive sabotage done on rating sites, and, without some form of reputation management in such a setup, I'd think comments on public stacks could be greatly misused.

I also agree with above comments that there should be a noarchive provision... and I see also the problems that pages which use large fonts might have if all of their content or images were easily readable. For the latter reason, though, webmaster motivation for implementing noarchive for SearchMe might be different than implementing it for Google... which suggests that it would make sense to use a different syntax (not something I generally encourage, but it could well be appropriate here).

PS - Overlap in posting. Yes, text snippets need to be kept down to something like 150 characters.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 7:01 pm (utc) on Sep. 28, 2008]

Tastatura




msg:3753876
 7:09 pm on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Our index bot identifies itself as "Charlotte" but our imaging bot (yes, we have 2 bots - bad I know - we have a project underway to integrate them) is built on Mozilla so it will appear as a hit from Mozilla running on Linux.

With regards to imaging bot - I strongly suggest that you identify yourself as a robot (ua string) and obey robots.txt file. First because it's right and polite thing to do, and secondly you run a risk of triggering bot trap(s) many webmasters run, and might be identified as a scraper - this will at least get you banned from the site (or you might get served content meant fro scrapers, etc.)
I looked around searchme site and can't find decent bot info (it might be there I just wasn't able to find it)

Leosghost




msg:3753886
 7:17 pm on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yes, text snippets need to be kept down to something like 150 characters

If this was the case then ( should have been since the outset ) the I could just about live with it maybe ..but I still dont like the attitude to copyright ..

But for now it's just showing my pages in near browsable ( flick through ) miniature ( and as it's flash ..it launches a new window instead of a new tab if one clicks on the links at the base to go to the real site ) ..it's way too sticky ..sites with little text and large images are screwed under the current model ..I have two sites in dev here that will definately have it's crawlers banned ..unless it respects robots and reduces snippet to 150 chars ..and 100 would be even better as thats bigger than most single image titles when there is only one image per page ..

incrediBILL




msg:3753889
 7:28 pm on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

SearchMe doesn't need NOARCHIVE, it needs NOSHARP, leave it fuzzy.

As a matter of fact, if the scrolling pages part of the window couldn't expand beyond 50% it would probably satisfy most cranky webmasters and allow SearchMe to save a ton on bandwidth by sending smaller screen shots.

However, I must say I love the fact that they figured out how to highlight the search keywords on the screen shot as that is about as cool as it gets.

I'm torn as I love the technology but hate the future implications to sites with revenues based on advertisements.

What's worse is SearchMe needs to monetize their traffic and trying to monetize my screen shots where you can plainly see but not use MY ads, that's where it'll hit the fan because I think that's way beyond fair use and even G/Y/L don't monetize the cache pages.

It will be interesting to see what happens.

maximillianos




msg:3753917
 8:20 pm on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

I agree that they need to blur the screen shots more. I can see a lot of problems from big time publishers like NY Times, etc not to mention us little birds.

We all work hard to have good content for folks. There are laws that protect our work, and you are simply scraping our sites at the moment.

fischermx




msg:3753918
 8:25 pm on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hey, here is a simple solution: if a visitors stay staring the window more than, say 5-10 seconds (which means he is reading directly from the shot), redirect it to the website!
Every body will be happy with it! :)

jimorandy




msg:3753919
 8:31 pm on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

to incrediBILL,
Don't know about you, but I can't read it... 19" monitor at 1024x768, even after it "sharpens"... I don't believe there will be any potential loss of traffic...

The bigger problem is that my pop-up blocker (IE 6 native) blocks the pop-up when I try to go to the site... to some people it would seem like "it's broken"... Would be great if it could open in the same window, but the "back button" would still work (and land me back in the same place in the stack) - not sure, if that's possible...

With this engine the more "intersting looking" page will win over the more "informative" page..

RandyAdams




msg:3753925
 8:37 pm on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thank you all for the insightful and passionate comments!

As you probably know, when search engines analyze user behavior they classify clicks out of the SERP (in organic) as either SHORT clicks or LONG clicks. The SHORT clicks happen when the searcher goes to the site and immediately returns or bounces back to the SERP because they realize that the site was NOT what they were searching for, the LONG clicks being ones where they don't return because the found what they were looking for.

ALL major engines seek to reduce SHORT clicks because they are frustrating to the searcher, don't lead to successful results and are really the equivalent of organic click fraud. Some engines actually reduce the site rank of sites that get lots of SHORT clicks.

The purpose of showing the pages in Searchme in enough resolution so that a searcher can determine whether it makes sense to do a LONG click is a similar effort to remove or eliminate SHORT clicks, never meant to discourage LONG clicks. So yes, if a site is making money selling impressions to advertisers based on erroneous clicks by searchers, the reduction or elimination of SHORT clicks by any search engine will reduce the number of erroneous impressions and corresponding monetization.

It was and is never our intention to reduce LONG clicks, and I don't think we do that, but I'm open to examples of sites (content sites I would imagine) where you might think that a searcher would find the information they are looking for without clicking through to the site. I use Searchme every day on a cinema display and ALWAYS click through. The wait time is not significant when you know you are going to be interested in the site, and the quality is ALWAYS better on the site, plus the links work ;-> Check out this stack and tell me if there is ANY content you would NOT click through to if you were interested in it.

As for monetization, we are sensitive to the issues brought up by incrediBILL and while that is a ways off we DON'T plan to monetize while organic pages are visible.

As for SEO, as more and more visual engines appear and take a larger share of the market, thumbnail or large thumbnail appeal will be ever more important.

Thanks again for all your comments and questions, I hope I've addressed them but if not you can follow up with me directly at randy@searchme.com.

RandyAdams




msg:3753927
 8:39 pm on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Sorry, forgot the stack to check out link:

[searchme.com...]

Leosghost




msg:3753939
 9:08 pm on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Randy ..you didn't address mine ..sites with large images and little text per page are screwed under your current model ..and you ducked all the issues concerning copyright and your bots ..if you dont want to be talking to our lawyers monday ..talk to us now ..here ..in public ..

like Bill says ..I also love the tech ..the interface is cute ( needs work on the icons though ..they are not immediately apparent as to their targets ..especially to a non english speaking searcher ) other stuff visualy coulmd use some work ...but overall nice interface and concept ..

BUT..new search engines success is viral ..and geek / webmaster driven ..remember the rise of google ..and the belly flop of cuil ..work with us and address our concerns out in the open ( and not one by one via email ) and you can be the new google in 2 years ..with webmasters help ..
However annoy us ..( I have a lawyers assistant taking screen caps of my site as shown on your search engine as I type ..and they have USA offices ) ..( and I have spoken by phone to legal folks who are thinking class action and work for percentage might be applicable and lucrative for all except you ) and you'll sink like cuil ..but with lawsuits and ridicule ..they just got ridicule ..

your lawyers should have seen the problems with your model ..so quit listening to them telling you to post and run ..

they get paid by you even if your baby dies in a hail of legal vitriol ..so they really dont give a r*t*a*s.

we do ..even as someone who has more than half of my sites image based I prefer your interface ..if you reduce the char count on the snippets

I suspect that even I would prefer you succeed ..( if you can be fair ) ..we all of us on the innerwebs need to have alternatives to the hegemony of G ..

skipfactor




msg:3753946
 9:21 pm on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

What about a 'play' button for the results? Something like when you hold the mouse button down on one of the arrows but with user-adjustable speeds.

RandyAdams




msg:3753952
 9:32 pm on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Leosghost: Not sure exactly what you are asking me to do and you sound a pretty threatening, so if you'd tone it down a bit, I'm happy to listen to your requests to do my best to accommodate you.

First of all if you'd like us to remove your images from our index, please tell me the URLs and we'll do it today.

Secondly please list your demands explicitly, what is it you want us to do?

Thanks,

randy

Alcoholico




msg:3753962
 10:00 pm on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

It would be nice if you could type and even search in languages other than english, input box does not like accented or non-english characters.
If your site is good and valuable I cannot figure out why anyone would choose to see half fuzzy page than visiting the real thing, in that sense google's cacher is way worse.

incrediBILL




msg:3753963
 10:02 pm on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Don't know about you, but I can't read it... 19" monitor at 1024x768, even after it "sharpens"

I can read most of those screen shots just fine on a 22" monitor at 1600x1200. Some site using 8pt type might be a bit harder than 10pt, but you can still make it out. If we were allowed to do such things I'd post a screen shot of SearchMe's screen to show you how legible it is on my monitor.

The purpose of showing the pages in Searchme in enough resolution so that a searcher can determine whether it makes sense to do a LONG click is a similar effort to remove or eliminate SHORT clicks, never meant to discourage LONG clicks.

I understand the intent, but Google's intent with cache pages has resulted in some people spending more time on Google than actually visiting the sites themselves, or mining the cache to avoid detection from the site owner, which is why many webmasters are starting to use Noarchive these days.

@Randy, I think I speak for most of us when I say that we appreciate your participation in this discussion.

RandyAdams




msg:3753967
 10:15 pm on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

incrediBill: Thanks, I sincerely appreciate all of your comments (except the lawsuit stuff ;->) and truly want to create an engine which ultimately drives MORE real traffic to your sites and to do it in a fully cooperative way. So hearing where your pain points are is very important to me because if we are to be successful it has to be a symbiotic relationship, we need your cooperation in order to fairly list your sites, and you need ours in order to get the maximum amount of traffic.

It's a little early to sum up the action items for us based on this discussion, but we're listening (and learning) what works for you, so expect that we will be acting on your comments. We're having a staff meeting tomorrow morning where you can be sure we'll discuss this thread and I'll report back on what we're going to do/change as a result.

centime




msg:3753972
 10:21 pm on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Erm, the interface is so different from the established patern that I wonder why

Why complexify the presentation of SERPs so?

How does one see beyond the first 10 results, okay their is probably a way to do so , but I didn't find in in the 1 min max I was willing to spend looking for it

And I did a search for "webmaster forum" and guess who wasn't in the top 10 :)

Leosghost




msg:3753988
 10:40 pm on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

It's simple Randy ..back off on the snippets ..at the moment if the largest image on a page "that you have scraped" is over 500 pixels high on the original page as displayed by "img src=" then it is way too distinct as presented by your interface ..couple that with the fact that your "snippets" in my case are at least 700 characters long ..and you have reproduced the entire pages ..all the images ..headers and cont(ent images ..thumbs and full size jpegs are in the screenshot ( the image folders from which they were ripped I repeat are disallowed to all robots via robots.txt ..and have been so for over 8 years ..with no interruptions ..and "hotlinking" -calls to images from outside of the domain directly- has been forbidden at server for the 4 years ..proir to that it was .js blocked via a very complex routine which "on right click" killed the browser session on any machine running any flavour of doze ..and required "system reboot" before you could right click anything ..wether browser or anywhere in your doze machine ..all flavours except vista ) ..but you could get in with a straight "get" or a "screenscrape" ..or by ripping my files like any other hacker / vandal ..

you have those images on your results ..so you didnt get them "nice and clean"..so dont try to fob me off with "First of all if you'd like us to remove your images from our index, please tell me the URLs and we'll do it today." ..a burglar telling me to tone it down and he'll put my stuff back on the shelf in my house is bull#*$! ..you want to be serious search engine ( although I think your model is closer to a directory ) ..cut the crap ..you got found out ..now build some bridges ..I'll even meet you halfway ..

Cut your snippets ( the ones that show up when we hover at the bottom of your screenshot ) back to 100 or 150 chars absolute max..so anyone has to actually come to my pages of they want all the text in a n "SEO'd" "how to" on any subject ..

And "fuzzy" or "flou" individual images ( ie; called via "src=" inpages that you index ..that are over 300pix in any direction ..horizontal or vertical ..what you are doing now is like showing polaroids of rape scenes ..you didnt ask if you could smooch my images ..so the least you can do is not make it possible for folks to know whether I wear boxers or briefs ..unless they show up in person at my site ;-)

ID your image bots clearly( and not just as MOZ clones running under disguise )..and post the strings on your home site under tech info or whatever ..thus giving webmasters the choice to participate or not ..

Respect robots.txt ( in spirit as well as in the strict application ..means dont screenscrape )..inspite of what Bill said ..IMO what you have been doing is not respecting it..

say you'll do these in public here ..and post the same on your site ..and I'll link to you ..and wish you well ( we'll worry about how you are going to monetise your service later ..and some of us "crankier ones" may even help you iron out the wrinkles ) ..

now ..my dinner is well cold ( and has been getting cold for the last 4 hours whilst I've been monitoring this thread and making calls )..so as it's past midnight here ..I'm gonna eat and look in in 30 mins or so ..

like I said Randy..I actually would love you to succeed ..and not least because my son codes , builds and animates ..and damn near thinks in flash ..and your product is cute ..and if you can tone it down a little ..or rein it in slightly ..the I and many many others ..not just here at WebmasterWorld would back you ( maybe even buy shares at the IPO )and only say good things ..:)

BTW ..excuse spelling ..the keyboard isn't english layout

RandyAdams




msg:3753994
 10:46 pm on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Leosghost: Thanks for the detailed list, we'll discuss it in staff tomorrow and I'll get back to you by midnight pacific time tomorrow. Other webmasters on this thread, do you concur with Leosghosts requests?

Leosghost




msg:3753995
 10:49 pm on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

I also second entirely Bill's post here
Don't know about you, but I can't read it... 19" monitor at 1024x768, even after it "sharpens"

I can read most of those screen shots just fine on a 22" monitor at 1600x1200. Some site using 8pt type might be a bit harder than 10pt, but you can still make it out. If we were allowed to do such things I'd post a screen shot of SearchMe's screen to show you how legible it is on my monitor.

The purpose of showing the pages in Searchme in enough resolution so that a searcher can determine whether it makes sense to do a LONG click is a similar effort to remove or eliminate SHORT clicks, never meant to discourage LONG clicks.

I understand the intent, but Google's intent with cache pages has resulted in some people spending more time on Google than actually visiting the sites themselves, or mining the cache to avoid detection from the site owner, which is why many webmasters are starting to use Noarchive these days.

@Randy, I think I speak for most of us when I say that we appreciate your participation in this discussion.

Bill posted whilst I was typing ..so I only just saw when I picked up my plate ..again ..cold ( very hot ) chili ( and "chinon" ) anyone ...

mack




msg:3754004
 11:14 pm on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

I realy like this interface. Its just so very usable. I actualy had to call someone into the room to show them it. I also think this would be great for a local system file search. Imagibe beign able to go through all your files like this as opposed to the horrible search tool Microsoft supplied with Windows.

I think the key here is going to be scale. Can it handle mass traffic?

Another thing.. Making money is quite a good idea for a search engine. Not easy in this situation.

Mack.

jimorandy




msg:3754007
 11:17 pm on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Ah, cool! I figured out why I wasn't getting the results I was expecting - Adult Filter. When activated my site comes second on 1-word super-competitive keyword (it's 7-8 in Google for that). But mine is so-much-more better looking, I think, I'll actually get more clicks than the first!

to Randy and incrediBILL, yes, I think this technology will reduce Short Clicks by much - the text is just big enough to read titles and Header Tags (definitely, can't make out 10-11 point text on my monitor... 12 point, maybe, with much effort). When I analyze my browsing behavior – that’s exactly what I do: first, I search; second, I’ve quickly analyze the search results (mostly looking at the page title); third, click and visually analyze the page (mostly reading titles and heater tags and page layout) – if that’s what I want, I’ll stay and read more – if not, I go back = Short Click… So, SearchMe – just married my second and third step.

Thinking of “far future” – what would be cool is if when clicking on the result the page would increase in size and would “morph” into (over) the search results page – like in Sci-Fi movies… I bet, this could be done with your own browser ;c)

fischermx




msg:3754013
 11:19 pm on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Randy:
I think most of leo's speech is reduced to this: respect robots.txt.
Your bot is clearly not respecting it.

Then, when you have that done, we can talk about all the other stuff.

Robert Charlton




msg:3754029
 11:43 pm on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

respect robots.txt

I'd throw in the snippet length as well... and also come up with a noarchive option that's independent of Google's.

Leosghost




msg:3754030
 11:45 pm on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

@jimorandy

to Randy and incrediBILL, yes, I think this technology will reduce Short Clicks by much - the text is just big enough to read titles and Header Tags (definitely, can't make out 10-11 point text on my monitor... 12 point, maybe, with much effort). When I analyze my browsing behavior – that’s exactly what I do: first, I search; second, I’ve quickly analyze the search results (mostly looking at the page title); third, click and visually analyze the page (mostly reading titles and heater tags and page layout) – if that’s what I want, I’ll stay and read more – if not, I go back = Short Click… So, SearchMe – just married my second and third step.

what you just described doesnt reduce your "short clicks" ..it negates the reason to go to the original page ..you can do what you do without ever leaving searchme ( under it's present state )..and why worry about the font size on your screen ? ..if the interface is showing all of the text ( in that lil' white box at the bottom of the screenshot )at 14 pt and at 18 pt for the header ..on your page when you mouse over the image ..you are never gonna need to visit another page again ..providing the pages only have 700 chars of text ..excluding headers ..

[edited by: tedster at 4:17 pm (utc) on Sep. 29, 2008]

Tastatura




msg:3754032
 11:50 pm on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

RandyAdams

Leosghost: Thanks for the detailed list, we'll discuss it in staff tomorrow and I'll get back to you by midnight pacific time tomorrow. Other webmasters on this thread, do you concur with Leosghosts requests?

Yes, pretty much - IncerdiBILL and Leosghosts pretty much summed up accolades and critique.
In my earlier post (##:3753876 second from top on this page) I hinted at concerns regarding robots.txt file and your imaging bot and was hoping for response and clarification but so far I did not see it addressed....

g1smd




msg:3754033
 11:51 pm on Sep 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Wow. Every site I visit must be recorded as a long click as I always open sites from search results into a new tab.

Often, too, I'll return to the SERPs tab (which is still open) and click another result opening into yet another tab.

I might click 4 or 5 results in under half a minute from the one open SERP, and not return whether the site is good or bad.

.

One oddity with SearchMe. On one search earlier today, I carried on deep into the results, many dozens in. When I got to one particular result, and as I clicked the next result to show it, the previous result asserted itself to scroll back into view and be the main displayed result.

I could not get off this one. Whether I clicked forward or back, even several times, that one result always reasserted itself after several seconds. Even if I got to be 5 pages away, that result would turn the pages and reappear again. I had to close the window to get away from it. I haven't retested with the same SERP as yet.

jimorandy




msg:3754048
 12:20 am on Sep 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

@ Leosghost

It will reduce short clicks for my type of site - I am 100% positive. My visitors "can not do what they do without ever leaving searchme". They have to click and "interact" with my site, and that's what I want and that's exactly what searchme gives me... I guess, your site is just the information site, so I understand when SearchMe displays most of your info you'd get upset (so, deal with it). But you have to understand that were are other types of the websites too...

"the interface is showing all of the text" - it's not for stuff I searched - maximum I saw was 5 lines. I actually think this feature is somewhat useless. I would never read this stuff. (Suggestion to Randy: make the URL bigger and darker - hard to read, and I think it's more important)

"you sound like a turkey voting for xmas because the lights are reel purty on the tree"
No, I sound like a regular Internet user. It's all about user experince, you see. You think average Internet user cares who owns the copyrights to the info, pictures or videos they are viewing. No. They just want this info in the easy, fast, and maybe intersting way - that's it.

"some posters have firing synapses" - not cool.

Leosghost




msg:3754053
 12:27 am on Sep 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

No, I sound like a regular Internet user. It's all about user experince, you see. You think average Internet user cares who owns the copyrights to the info, pictures or videos they are viewing. No. They just want this info in the easy, fast, and maybe intersting way - that's it.

wheras this is a forum for professional webmasters (says so at the door) ..which is why the content of your post strikes me as more appropriate in myspace or skyblog ..which comment is also not cool ..nor is it meant to be as yours does not bring anything to a debate amongst webmasters ..on webmaster issues ..

[edited by: Leosghost at 12:29 am (utc) on Sep. 29, 2008]

Leosghost




msg:3754060
 12:35 am on Sep 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Your
You think average Internet user cares who owns the copyrights to the info, pictures or videos they are viewing. No. They just want this info in the easy, fast, and maybe intersting way - that's it.
..makes me think of all those teenagers who have friends who are "cool" who give them the latest mobile phones ..and of course they are not interested where their"cool" friends got them from ..frequently without asking from the real owners ..

mugging is a crime ..as is theft ..as is non respect of copyright ..
that's it
..innit ..capice ..

Tastatura




msg:3754061
 12:38 am on Sep 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

You think average Internet user cares who owns the copyrights to the info, pictures or videos they are viewing. No. They just want this info in the easy, fast, and maybe intersting way - that's it.

(wow!) While that is true, it's only one part of the equation - it also has to be delivered to them by legal means !
Try to put a song or a video on your site and see what happens in short order if you don't have an agreement from the owner of the work.
While most webmusters don't have legal and monetary muscle of the music and film industry does not mean that they automatically surrender their rights...{/getting off the pedestal)
You can't just put whatever you want on your website just because "average Internet" user wants it.

sshhhh

martinibuster




msg:3754083
 1:18 am on Sep 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I can read most of those screen shots just fine on a 22" monitor at 1600x1200.

Yah, Bill, but it's not the whole page. What you leave unmentioned is they only show five paragraphs out of 23 total paragraphs in the article about Obama/McCain. It's not the whole page, the user has to click through to the site to enjoy the entire article.

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