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New advanced features at Alltheweb

10:13 am on May 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member heini is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 31, 2001
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As adressed in this discussion [webmasterworld.com] Alltheweb, the FAST showcase, has undertaken a complete facelifting. The start page, the SERPs, help pages - all new at Alltheweb.
More interestingly the functionality has been changed too.
First of all, Fasts Beta Topics are out of beta status. Not sure if this just a matter of words or if Fast engineers have further improved the building of topics for any given search phrase.
In the help files however the connection between grouping sites into those topics and the ODP categories is described pretty clearly now:
Fast Topics...analyzes the results from a query and dynamically
groups them into categories similar to open directory when appropriate, or
to dynamically created categories

In other words: First go ODP cats, if not available a taxinomy derived from the ODP categorization is applied.

Then FAST adds a Narrow Your Search box, offering additional words associated with the search phrase. This function apparently draws from completely different sources than the Topics. Are users queries analyzed for the associations?

Both these features, the Topics and the associated common words are FASTs attempt at adding intelligent navigation to websearch. An attempt that several new engines are working on these days, with one of the best results so far provided by Exalead/AOL.France.
At Alltheweb those navigational features however have gone from the top of the page to the right hand sidebar - a decrease in prominence.

The advanced search, one of Allthewebs fortes, has added a very cool feature: you can filter searches not only for TLDs and domains, but for IPs and blocks of IPs too. A handy toy for the curious web professional...

What else? Check out the sophisticated Special features [alltheweb.com]. Highlights are
- normal.title:text
Finds pages that contain the specified
word or phrase in the page title
Finds pages with the specified word or phrase
in the title or in its head content
- link.extension:text
link.extension:jpeg will find pages
that contain .jpeg images

Definately the best advanced search on the web, with lots of useful features for webmasters.

It's a pity that all those goodies Fast offers on this showcase rarely make it to their portal partners.
Lycos.com has implemented some of them, and with their recent change of course back to strengthening websearch we will eventually see more of it.

(edited by: heini at 11:18 pm (utc) on May 8, 2002)

10:32 am on May 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

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excellant review

visually looks good.

I agree about the partners not taking advantage of the advanced search facilities that make FAST one of the most important tools in any serious optimizer / searcher box.

Interesting to know about the clarification between Fast's groupings and ODP cats.

In most cases, i think FAST's relevancy is better than Google's for ranking positions.

8:08 am on May 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

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joined:Mar 27, 2001
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Very nice.
Well done to FAST. Their pages look pretty and the advanced options are excellent.
4:01 pm on May 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

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joined:Dec 23, 2001
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They have a better boolean syntax than Google.

Google uses +,-,"",OR
AllTheWeb's +,-,"",()

The brackets make a lot more sense than using OR because it's more consistent. Google should have either supported brackets or used AND and NOT instead of symbols. Instead they've muddled both types of syntax together. A clear win in clarity for AllTheWeb.