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I am ready...... bring it on.
They have appeared to be webmaster-friendly, asking for feedback from the webmaster community on at least a couple of occasions that I can remember.
I also understand they run a lean operation so maybe they won't be out trying to clean out our coffers through "monetization" campaigns.
And IMHO they do serve relevant, up-to-date and deep-crawled results. I've found myself using them almost as much as Google in the last couple of months.
But most importantly, Google needs a serious competitor for the benefit of all concerned.
IMHO - FAST would be a worthy supplier to Yahoo - they have built a great engine and worked hard to become a strong rival to Google. The added bonus is I do rather well with them :).
Still, it's not over 'til it's over. Whatever happens, I think (hope) I have all bases covered.
What's wrong with putting all your eggs in one basket? It's very good if your the #1 egg and nothing happens to you ;)
From a selfish standpoint I have never fared well with FAST, so I'd rather they stick with Google from a short term perspective. Yes, from a longer term perspective though, it would certainly mitigate risk and over dependency on a single source (and reduce the PR0 fear factor). Another negative for FAST though is that it is PFI (or a long wait), whereas Google of course is free for entry.
I have no idea who will win the partnership, but here are my reasons for why all 3 have a great chance.
* clearly has improved the quality of the results
* has the ability to provide the service level requirements and speed that big partners need.
* has some really creative technology for foreign languages.
* supposedly has a really good cost position, and hence can propose a really low price.
* limited advances in Paid Inclusion. Unclear FAST can pay for the deal, given that company has just broken even (I think) and algorithmic web search is just one part of the biz.
* limited position in U.S. (Lycos)
Say what you will about Inktomi, they have proven they can work with big partners (MSN, and AOL in the past), and are probably the most advanced on Paid Inclusion. But clearly they have some corporate problems. If they lose this one, MSN then has them by the collar. (As RealNames found out, not a great position to be in). Inktomi would probably have to pay Yahoo for the deal, and hope to make it back in Paid Inclusion.
* Obviously the best algorithmic engine and still has all the buzz.
* Will Yahoo be willing to pay through the nose to get Google again (and the reputation factor)? Is Google content with just being the unpaid search provider?
I would not rule out Google yet, although that in that case, Google really has the negotiating leverage (I would argue).
Unfortunately I think neither Teoma or Wisenut is ready for a big partner (experience, scalability, etc), although in another 2 years (assuming the Yahoo deal is again for 2 years), they might be in a great position if they survive.
The Search world remains fascinating.
BTW I've been an avid reader of these forums for several years and am glad that I am now in a position to start contributing.
So have both Ink and Google, but it would be nice to see some "fresh meat" on the search engine scene for once.
FAST is catchy and the public can remember it easily - IMO. But they need to figure out one name.
For some reason I am not even in FAST with some sites, so really my own vested interest is in Google staying with Y!. However, I think it is better for the Web in the long run to have some competition in search. Therefore, I hope FAST gets it even though I will personally take a hit.
I've been using Fast a lot more lately (also Teoma) - google's relevancy has gone down as their spam has risen and , this, in spite of their PR penalties.
Putting the Yahoo! brand at risk for a few bucks does not make a lot of sense, but they have sold out their constituency before.
PFI, as FAST offers it, does not have any influence on ranking.
I do not see any case here.
Furthermore PFI is in action at INK, a US based company. Lycos.com offers PFI.
"Search industry veterans like Sullivan foresee possible problems down the road. "There is the potential for abuse," he says. "Pages that consumers want could be ignored by spiders."
Full article here:
>>PFI, as FAST offers it, does not have any influence on ranking.<<
"Guaranteed inclusion and ongoing refresh of your content every 48 hours"
That puts me at a distinct advantage over the non paying site who has to wait for the "regular" cycle, my stuff gets there first.....who knows when the others get in (if ever).
But with some degree of seriousness, I am inclined to believe that even Google's spam is a bit more relevant than AlltheWeb's spam. More crude to webmasters, perhaps, but more on-topic to searchers?
Maybe things are different outside of my areas of interest. Anyone care to stickymail me some examples where AlltheWeb's spam is clearly superior?
* (added: different results are flipping back and forth with every 1-3 refreshes.)