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Hey - Just found Lycos Retriever!

Am I way behind? Or way ahead?

     
3:23 pm on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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[lycos.com...]

It's been a LONG time since I used Lycos. But I found the Retriever beta today and I thought it was really neat. You start with a search and seem to get a list of results. BUT - go to one of those results and you'll find a flat HTML page which - in the ones I tried - were very useful answers.

What's more impressive is that I found my first answer not through Lycos but through a Google search - so Google also thinks the flat HTML pages are of a good quality.

Does this look a bit new? or has it been talked about lots before?

3:41 pm on July 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've not seen or heard of it before.

Google also thinks the flat HTML pages are of a good quality

Yeah, there's a heck of a lot of info on the pages -- all scraped from other sites.

The size of the excerpts Lycos is using is quite disturbing, up to 200 or so words in some cases. That's a heck of a lot considering there's no commentary or critique. As it's simply being presented as content I doubt if it would pass a fair use sniff test.

I don't see it as anything more than a glorified made for Adsense site with the Lycos imprimatur on it.

6:43 am on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I don't think that's scraped content. At least, not scraped from a site they don't already have permission to use. These seem to be specific answers from people in a forum somewhere - they even acknowledge the original writer. My guess is that the content comes from another Lycos property where they have a right to use the content.
9:16 am on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Looking again - you are right - they are sections of websites. Enough to give you an insight, but the site is linked at least, so I think that "what is fair usage" is indeed a question for people to debate.

But the results are quite intriguing. They seem so in depth - way more informative than the google listings - which also scrape the page of course - and there they cache the whole lot for all to see!

11:20 am on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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But the results are quite intriguing. They seem so in depth - way more informative than the google listings - which also scrape the page of course - and there they cache the whole lot for all to see!

Yes, google also often scrapes the page that stole from the original page. That's just a bad search engine.

Lycos steals right from the original.

I'm getting so used to thieves, that this hardly shocks me.

Lycos will be happy to monetize the content of others, offering users a much better experience since they can get the information without bothering to leave the Lycos domain.

12:03 pm on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It's definitely taking content without permission as I've found material from one of my sites on it after only about 30 seconds of digging.
1:00 pm on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I tried about 10 different searches and didn't get one good result - next...
1:20 pm on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I think that "what is fair usage" is indeed a question for people to debate.

In many cases it's taking the entire text of a page. Not much to debate as far as I'm concerned -- that's out and out content theft.

2:22 pm on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I wonder if I'm seeing what you guys are. What I see just looks like another serps page, except for the ELEVEN sponsored links at the top of the serps.
2:52 pm on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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And I love how they'll tell us its our responsibility to opt-out via robots.txt.

On a different note, flat html pages are probably just mod_rewrite or something like that.

5:09 pm on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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On yet another note, searches that return zero results will still show 9 adsense ads down the right column.

So, that page with no content that's serving those ads is OK with Google? Hmm...

5:56 pm on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I wonder if I'm seeing what you guys are. What I see just looks like another serps page, except for the ELEVEN sponsored links at the top of the serps.

It's not obvious at first. Click on one of the results links. You'll still be on a Lycos page.

8:48 pm on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This is an attempt at vertical search with mostly empty shelves at this point IMO. There is not much depth to any of the search categories. It's a nice start but perhaps they should re-partner with LookSmart (who they recently dumped) and tap into their (LookSmart's) suite of search verticals.
11:00 pm on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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You heard it here first -- spam is dead.
11:11 pm on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This is spamindex. Stealing content witout giving link back. Somebody will surely sue.
7:02 pm on July 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I honestly couldnt understand teh porpose of that new search future and how differnt is it from usual Lycos search?
3:04 am on July 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Retriever has essentially been dormant since February when Lycos let go all but 2 of its search staff. Nevertheless the idea was interesting.

The current state doesn't render images anymore and hasn't
been updated in months. There's no link from the Lycos homepage any
more, either. Lycos was getting ready to de-emphasize search when it
came out (as an early version, to see how spidering would go), and they
never announced it because they are planning to go in a different
direction as a company.

Some topics came out pretty well. For example, see e.g. King Kong
(1933): [lycos.com...]
Zoloft: [lycos.com...]
Public-Key Cryptography:
[lycos.com...] ,
Lyme Disease: [lycos.com...]
Reggaeton: [lycos.com...]

Retriever is within fair use because it takes only a small excerpt but provides links to pages people wouldn't otherwise see (adding value). Links to all content run down the left side of page. Mousing over shows full URL and title.

There's a preso by the former product manager here: www.infonortics.com/searchengines/sh06/slides/stavros.pdf