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Alternative Search Engines Forum

2nd & 3rd Level Engines

 6:28 pm on Mar 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's become quite clear that most 'new' engines are designed to display other engine's results pages.

Why would any engine wish to market another engines's clients?

With all these new search engines about, it just seems to me that it's creating a get rich quick mentality.

Instead of e-books, we now get Search engines. They all seem to be using the same search results or technology so what's the point.

Are these companies really going to survive!



 7:22 pm on Mar 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yahoo displayed Google results for a long time and Inktomi and Altavista before that. AOL uses Google. Altavista and Alltheweb are about to use Inktomi. These are all big names using each other's results.

I would say that it all depends on the experience that they present to the users - is one engine presenting the information more clearly, with better extras etc.

You can't really expect many new full scale search engines to appear; the scale of the operation required makes it a very expensive start up business. And can they do it better than Google or Yahoo? If not, then why not approach it differently and just re-use someone else's hard work.


 8:08 pm on Mar 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

I understand why the smaller engines use Google's results - cos they don't have the manpower to do the sales that invite companies into the directory.

Paying 2000 GBP + for the privilege of promoting someone elses clients is like throwing money away.

You've got to ask "Why would someone want your service over another's"

Different if you have other services or area's of interest. But I've noticed from visiting these smaller engines that nearly all don't offer anything but search results.

I'd like to see new forums etc Perhaps more concentrated areas of interest.

And cheaper services too lol. These days every blighter wants a Grand for a decent listing.



 8:16 pm on Mar 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Paying 2000 GBP + for the privilege of promoting someone elses clients is like throwing money away.

I am lost to what/where this figure fits?



 8:36 pm on Mar 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Sorry, the figure was a quote from one of the engines.

They wanted 2000 to supply their results on my site.

Other engines charge far more.


 8:42 pm on Mar 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yes some other engines do charge far more but these same engines will give you the search results free if you have a site which has millions of searches each month and make money on your visitors clicking on the sponsored listings which they offer you a percentage



 10:48 am on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

In the search engine business there are two complete different business models:
1. Attract as many users as possible to your site with a search field & button on it and get your money via PPC ads.
2. Build a "real" search engine and deliver your good results to number 1 - who has to pay for this service.

A company following business model 1 doesn't need to have its own search results, it's sufficient to buy it from somewhere else. This explains why some engines are charging you to use their result: Following business model #1 you can use their results go earn a lot of money.


 10:52 am on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Many are making money by suppling other se results... ppc affiliates for example.

Many smaller se's may operate their own ppc but use larger search engnes for backfill.

When you compare the cost of using someone elses data, it compares very well to the entry cost of building your own.



 11:26 am on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Sure, I know all that, except:

A) You have no control over admin of these results


B) Accurancy of results can be bad, and quality of sites too


 2:17 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

I agree with you, but...

Lots of small se owners do not, they design sites to gain traffic, then use XML etc to parse another se's results. They make money and that's very probably their business model.

To the surfer they see a search engine. Type in a search term and if they get the results they want they will use the search engine again. The general public do not have a great grasp on the SE market, as far as they are concerned the results are from the se they visit.



 2:58 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Users don't have a grasp on the SE market?

I wouldn't be so sure on that. I think users know at least the basics - what PPC and Keyword search is, and who the major players are, which engines are good for this and which are not.

I also think as a consumer myself, that I demand speed, accuracy and quality from most products/services, and SE's being a 'service', I don't see how it will be treated with any less demand.

What about using the SE's for business use? If I was an employer, I would be measuring productivity and time management.

Now, if a department is set up for research purposes on the web, I'd want those employees to spend less time searching as possible, thus saving on costs etc

Some engines are just not great for that, you know, too general purpose.

Just having someone elses search results, may not be a wise move! You need to decide what you want to be, and is someone else using the same results as you.

It's a lot more complicated than you would think.

People do have their favourites, of course. I like Yahoo and MSN etc.

But if they don't deliver -I'll soon go to Webcrawler, and not to Google.

Cos I know chances are that Google will not have it.

You see what I'm saying.


 3:05 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

In addition, I'm aware of these meta search types - and there are just too many, so much so that people can get confused about which one to stay with.

I guess people will continue to use a general and maybe start using the vortals more.

Vortals give far superior accuracy anyway.

Whatever floats your boat I guess. I like:



 3:45 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't be so sure on that. I think users know at least the basics - what PPC and Keyword search is, and who the major players are, which engines are good for this and which are not.

Totally disagree, most people do not have a clue about PPC/PFI, and the strengths and weaknesses of search engines. More the case that they fly like bugs to the brightest light, usually MSN, Yahoo, Google, mention 'alltheweb' to average joe surfer and the retort will be 'what?'


 4:09 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>most people do not have a clue about PPC/PFI

You are absolutely correct caine.

The average user does not know the in's and out's of how the web works, all they do is go to whatever search facility they use, normally via their large ISP Portal (which they think is the whole of the web anyway) and type keywords into a box, that is all a lot of Internet users know, it's only the more advanced type of user who has managed to break away from the ISP Portal and know a little bit more on where to search.



 5:52 pm on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Sorry Guys, but I think you're deluding yourselves if you think that joe bloggs don't know what PPC is.

You get given an account, where you pay an amount in, then this is used up on (hopefully) targeted traffic clicking to your site.

Come on, it's not exactly difficult. And what about all the I.T courses available. Most of them are FREE or at least Funded. So it's not difficult to learn about how the web works.

If you can click a mouse - you can use the web. And if you can use the web, you can certainly learn about SE's and the differences between them.

But, I hear what you're saying. Everyone knows Yahoo, Yep, can't disagree there.

And this is the problem. All the engines haven't been gracious enough to tell the world what their specialist topic is!

And that's a major major boo boo.

No wonder people are clueless. But as I said earlier anyway, they ALL look the same!

I rest my case lol.


 3:34 am on Mar 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

99 percent of people don't have a clue what PFI, PPC CPC, SEO, SEM, metasearch, clustering, geotargetting, ROI, or conversions are. They don't care either. All they care about is a search box in front of them. In fact most people "laypeople" I know have never scrolled down past the second page of results ever!
Amazing but true, IMO.


 7:54 am on Mar 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Why don't you just ask your best friend or even your girl friend/wife "how does google earn money?"? You'd be surprised about the answers...


 11:48 am on Mar 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well, Advertising I would have thought. You don't need to know what PPC is to know that's where your money is going.

As most companies need to get their message in front of people, they have to buy advertising space, whether it's via an Agency, on a board or on the web - it's all the same thing.

You take a look at any (most) SE's, and they will always have some type of image displayed. These are always advertising some product or service.

See we've gone from people who don't know what PPC is to people who now don't know what an advert looks like.

Come on.


 12:00 pm on Mar 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

PPC, SEO, etc

Why do you reckon that people can't understand these SE terms?

Cos the World loves jargon. It's makes the transmitter of the message sound intelligent, when all they are doing is confusing the hell out of the message receiver.

I really wish that the large SE's of this world, and others net companies - would stop talking in jargon.

No one understands a message if it's surrounded in jargon. If I say "Excommunication in Absentia" would you know what that means?

Tell me please. But we are getting a bit off track here.

I'm just saying that the main players in the SE world are good, handy, useful and all that, but I really think there is a place for niche engines.

People want accuracy in Search results - and they want information fast.

[edited by: jeremy_goodrich at 10:32 pm (utc) on April 1, 2004]
[edit reason] please see TOS thanks! [/edit]


 10:50 am on Mar 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

Christopher, in our posts, I think you have confused yourself with a small "ppc search engine" which often uses backfill from the "big" ones, and a "search engine" which has to have its own database and a web spider to be known as one.

A search engine is not known a search engine if it does not have its own results. Those search engines that don't, are called "meta search engines" or "enterprise search partners" (ie. AOL, MSN, Netscape etc).

But a ppc search engine, which is less than a minor one, often uses AltaVista or Google for backfills in the results, along side their own 2 or 3 ppc results to keep users interested.

When I first joined the internet (1999/2000), I didn't know what a PPC was, or what SEO was, or even what geo-targeting was. I didn't even care about it back then, I only used the Internet for educational and personal (sending mails to friends, family...) purposes. But when I got interested in this in this industry, only then did I find out what SEO was, what a PPC was, and what geo-targeting was.

So in my opinion a Joe user would not have any idea if you asked him what "Boolean" is, or what "Search Engine Optimization" is, all he/she would care about is finding information and sending e-mails.



 11:05 am on Mar 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>If you can click a mouse - you can use the web

Of course you can we all know that but you are still missing the point that there are 1,000's of people who do not know how to use their PC properly and they are sat at the same desk facing it every day let alone surf the web for hours on end.

I have a good friend who works for a very large IT support unit and some of the tales he says have you rolling on the floor laughing you head off they are that basic a problem, and these relate to the PC not the web, these same people would not know where to start if they got an Internet connection.

We know how the web operates with search engines PPC PFI etc but the average joe surfer does not, some people are scared to death of going online only because they have never tried, I have this type of conversation often with the "normal average person off the street", and as soon as I say "Yeah I have got a web site and"...... it's over their heads, they don't understand.

We do but they don't



 2:27 pm on Mar 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi all,

sidyadav said:

"Christopher, in our posts, I think you have confused yourself with a small "ppc search engine" which often uses backfill from the "big" ones, and a "search engine" which has to have its own database and a web spider to be known as one."

Just so I've understood this correctly:

As far as my understanding goes there are 2 types of search:

Search Engine or Directories.

Search Engines use 'bots' little robots that scurry along the web, picking up data from the sites.

Then we have directories that are different cos their hand built - ie don't use robots for getting the results. Thus, should be more accurate, if not giving perfect results.

But there are now Directories that combine Web Search with it's own data, so we now get the best of both worlds.

I hope we are agreed on that?


Some of these databases may not have enough results right! So they need another engines results/services so that they can offer bigger, better search services.

Information (results) that supports another's is called Backfill.

So what I'm saying is that either the backfill or full results are used by most of the new engines, Veoda, Dipsie etc etc

so they must be 'set up' as a money grabbing, get rich quick scheme. The service they provide is not their own, or from their hard work - it's Googles or Inktomi's results.

I think it's a bad idea to have too many of these 'General Engines'or Meta's, cos as people on this forum have commented, SE users have too much choice in what to use.

I totally agree that some people don't even know how to switch on a PC, never mind use an application package - but I still stand by what I said earlier - things are improving.

Maybe 6 years ago, Computer Literacy was bad, but these days everybody is very up on I.T.

Infact, I used to be a Recruitment Consultant, and every CV I've ever seen during the last 5 years has at least C.L.A.I.T 1 on it. So, it's probably a case of lets agree to disagree on that point.

I think it's just a case of lot's of companies wanting to get in on the search game.

But the problem is, most of them will fail simply cos it's all be done already.

You need to be something different or unique to compete, unless you have a directory that specialises in a certain area, niche if you prefer.

These are known as Vertical engines or Vortals.

And I'm no 'expert' in search technology - I just picked up a good book one day and read it.

Can't understand why people are so scared of a little mousey. It doesn't bite - promise!


 8:24 pm on Mar 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

So what I'm saying is that either the backfill or full results are used by most of the new engines, Veoda, Dipsie etc etc

1) Dipsie hasn't even launched yet, so how can you say it uses backfill/full results from others?
2) Veoda is a meta search engine as it says it on its homepage "Search the web's best search engines all in one place, fast and relevant." and yes, META engines do query other search engine's databases but they use their own algorithm, mixing other databases.

I think you had yourself confused between a META search engine (one that uses other SE results, but has its own algo) and a search engine (which, as I said has to have its own crawler in-order to be known as one). And just so you know, I do not know any search engine which uses backfills, yes, directories, PPC's do, but search engines don't. Why would they be wanting to promote other services when they have their own?



 9:42 pm on Mar 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

Sorry, didn't Yahoo use Google's results? Yahoo was always a directory.

I believe that Yahoo now uses Inktomi for it's results. And seeing as Yahoo own inktomi - looks like they are using their own results.

You said that directories don't use others results.

And I know for a fact that at least one directory has it's own results!

Apart from Yahoo that is.

Care to place a 1000 bet on that?


 4:05 am on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

I know one that doesn't.

What I was actually meaning was - SOME directory's use backfills, I can surely e-mail you a list if you want, but other "big" ones like DMOZ, Yahoo, Zeal etc don't - they have a decent database so they don't need to depend on others.

Veoda is a Meta search - so it must have it's own bot or crawler then.

what?! META search engines have crawlers? where did you hear that? META search engines use their own algorithm (please lookup algorithm in a dictionary), which helps them mix results and show the most relevant results on that top - just like a search engine.

Crawlers, on the other hand, are not meta search engines. They do not have anything to do with it. Crawlers/Bots/Spiders/Web Spiders/Robots are programs which collect the database for a search engine. But, if its a meta search engine, they of course don't need a crawler cause they depend on others.



 7:36 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

"META search engines have crawlers? where did you hear that? META search engines use their own algorithm"

what has using algorithm 'rules' got to do with whether an engine is backfilled or not?

So what. Is backfilling going to affect the 'rules' somehow. It might affect the search results, but why would getting result from another engine affect the algorithm?

Who's going to be able to tell anyway or be able to find this out?

I suppose you could ring Google and ask them, but they might not tell you.

Yes, the SE's have rules. They are there to make money - like when Google/Yahoo adjust the SE rankings.

People are then forced to re-adjust their web site keywords etc, then resubmit, or buy sponsored listings to just compete.

It's clever, but underhand.


 8:00 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

My original point was the new engines (most just happen to be Meta's) are designed to display other engines results.

And will they all survive by doing this.

I don't know how many Meta's there are, but why confuse the web user by having say 20 of these, when really only one matters.

Dogpile UK/World. Now, I could understand having lot's of different subject ones, but lot's of Metas searching the same results (10 engines at a time etc)

What's the point.

As I said a money making opportunity. You can only use one meta engine at a time.


 8:22 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

What you're saying, by there are too many META's in this world, is the same thing as saying there are too many banks in the world, or too many SEO firms in this world - please close them down and stop confusing us!

But in business, that doesn't work.

Just like search engines, which compete in several ways:

  • algorithm
  • spider/crawler
  • special features
  • and in several other ways

    META's also have competition. They all use different algorithm's, their aim is to provide the best results, using the best search engines (and the best algorithm) in a slick interface. Alongside "best" search results, META's also provide stuff like keyword clustering and such. The revenue they get is from showing PPC ad's or "Sponsored results".

    META's also have the same amount of competition in this world as search engines do. So you think every META is the same, well, thats not true. A decent amount of work goes into each META - trying to manupilate its competitors just like any product in the world.


    [edited by: jeremy_goodrich at 10:23 pm (utc) on April 1, 2004]

  • ByronM

     9:01 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Never too many of anything if the market can sustain it.

    There must be a 1,000 webmaster forums, yet this and many others suceed.

    Everyone has different liks & dislikes so its nothing to worry about.

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