I've had a look at the relationship between Lycos and Lycospro, Fast, dmoz, and DirectHit by running a search on a specific keyword and comparing the results for my company with three others.
Lycospro (http://lycospro.lycos.com) appears to be allthesites (www.allthesites.com) in Lycos livery. I found no difference in the results delivered for the four companies against the keyword searched on.
allthesites, based in Ohio, purports to be a partner of Fast, so what its version of Fastís dB is doing on lycospro is anybody's guess (it's probably got a lot to do with tax breaks, etc) unless it is merely a Fast Ďdumpí.
Fast seems to be running behind its sister site in terms of indexing. I found it carrying older descriptors than allthesites. This seems odd, given that allthesites touts itself as the leeching "partner". I think the discrepancy is due to Fast imposing stricter relevancy algorithms Ė theyíve improved dramatically over the past few months.
Quite what allthesites looks for, I don't know but it appears to deliver a wider range of results than does Fast (www.alltheweb.com), including a wider range of domains, sub-domains and pages.
In other words, more results meant that all four companies bar one (at number 2) fared only moderately (mid- to late 20s) on this one.
Itís as though this engine reflects the Fast dB without relevancy algorithms. New entries definitely start off low down (as is the case with Fast) and have to work their way up.
Subject to qualification, of the four search sites, Fast seems to have the most in common with Lycos (www.lycos.com).
Lycos reflects its paid ads first but I don't think anybody looks at those, and its 'popular' sites next. These are not dragged off DirectHit so, how they arrive at them, I've no idea (not that DirectHit is any indicator of traffic flow).
Of the four companies submitted to Fast and Lycos, two were not in Lycosís directory, which derives from dmoz. They therefore missed out on positions by the same number as there are directory entries listed. One is listed in dmoz and the other not. The one that is, does not carry the keyword searched on in its meta tags and therein (I think) lies the reason for its omission.
DirectHit appears to affect Lycosís directory rankings while Lycosís Web pages seem to come from Fast without much alteration. The directory rankings, from dmoz are not ranked according to them, so this is where DirectHit comes in (perhaps).
As far as DirectHit is concerned, itís getting to be about as useful as WebCrawler. It delivered only four pages of results (40) and then repeated the same page ad nauseum. I guess searching for forty results instead of the whole shebang saves on resources.
I searched on the same keyword using three further companies listed in the thirties on Fast. Only one, obviously a submitted site as someone has coded it, showed up on Lycos and allthesites. The other two, not optimized, were not in the first hundred on allthesites, Lycos, Lycospro, DirectHit, or dmoz.
What all this says is that, if youíre well-positioned in dmoz and Fast, youíre going to do extremely well on Lycos and youíll certainly shape on allthesites and, by extension, Lycospro(not exactly the most popular engine about).
To get a good listing on Fast is a long story for another day. Iíve had to get it right and wait a long time before hitting the top ten on four keywords and phrases. But then, itís worth it.
Is anybody able to verify or correct me on these speculative conclusions?