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Interview with Tim Mayer from FAST

     
3:02 pm on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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French site Enfin.com has recently done an interwiev with Tim Mayer from FAST. A few interesting tid-bits:

Alltheweb uses many on-page (title, body text etc.) and off-page (links, anchor text etc.) features to rank web content. FAST does not use the meta keyword tag.

On spam:

We consider spam to be pages that deliberately trick the search engine into offering inappropriate, redundant, or poor-quality search results. There is no specific technique that we consider spam. spam is more about how and to what extent a specific technique is used. There are specific techniques that can be used appropriately but are used to spam in the majority of cases. Cloaking would be one of these techniques

On Paid Inclusion:

We have over 6 million URLs in the index

[int.enfin.com...]

3:19 pm on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Nice interview and a good explanation of spam. Thanks Tim [webmasterworld.com].
3:43 pm on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Gives in an interesting inside perspective.

Craig

4:40 pm on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Strange. I was having a problem with one of my URLs in FAST and the tech wrote back saying that I did not have any meta tags and that I should add them....
4:46 pm on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Yes the spam bit is about right:

Wish those that make multi false spam allegations read it.

4:52 pm on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Metrorobot, Tim mentions the keyword tag being obsolete. Title and description is still important. Couldn't it be those 2 they told you to put in?
5:58 pm on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Yes - great article!

But this:

... in addition to having one of the largest web indexes, we provide the freshest ... results.
simply isn't true!

<added>"fresh" should be a trade mark of google - proof me wrong.</added>

6:59 pm on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Relevancy and freshness ...

fast's view of WebmasterWorld Highlighted Posts [alltheweb.com]
- most relevant #4 (allthough only slightly relevant)
- freshness 23th september `02

google's view of WebmasterWorld Highlighted Posts [google.com]
- most relevant #1
- freshness 26th January `03

6:20 am on Jan 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I believe title, keywords, and description are very critical to get rankings for some types of inclusion programs.
5:42 pm on Feb 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Title yes, description maybe, keywords no.
9:30 am on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Tim Mayer. -- A webmaster should create pages and sites for users not search engines. Ask yourselves, "if search engines didn't exist, would I be doing this?"

I think this is a very negative approach. Instead of working with webmasters to ensure better search results, he wants to keep the two worlds seperate.

And to answer his question: No I wouldn't be doing this if search engines did not exist. I would not have set-up my website if search engines did not exist. Why would I want to set-up a website that couldn't be found?

It is just too bad that we have people like this guy running companies like FAST. People who just do not "get" what the internet is all about.

9:42 am on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>I would not have set-up my website if search engines did not exist

Short answer: A good website should be able to survive without any search engine referral.
The funny thing is with that goal in mind you'll be sure to produce a website that fullfills the premises for great search engine results....

As to what Tim says: it's essentially what any search engine rep would tell you. Don't think a Google rep would object.

10:54 am on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Heini, I'll give you an example to illustrate my point. Searches for images of sports' games, do not produce satisfactory results, becuase there are no published guidelines by the search engines to newspapers (and magazines) on how to make these indexable. So, while many online newspapers carry fantastic photos, you will have to dig their sites to find them. It is thus not enough to have quality content.

In the same way, had webmasters not optimised a website for appearing in search results, consumers would be denied many fabulous products & services sold online.

What sets Google apart(in addition to the great results) is their recognition that you need 2 hands to clap: they have published (fairly detailed) guidelines; they send representatives to meetings; they post online, here, and elsewhere; etc. etc.

11:05 am on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Well, several Fast people have posted here many times, Tim Mayer himself is a member here, Fast and Alltheweb folks are known to actually answer their email. I think it's fair to say that Fast's attempt at working with webmasters and promoters is second to none.

As to guidelines: did you take a look at the extensive help and about sections at ATW?

11:19 am on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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My comment is in direct relation to what Tim said in his interview.

I just looked over the Help & About section in ATW and I can't see any detailed guidelines, there is just some very basic stuff in there like "How do I know if my site is listed?"

11:54 am on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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So I probably misunderstood you, Namaste. Was replying to where you were talking about posting in foums and speaking at conferences, both of which Fast does extensively.

As to the indexing of news photos: Not sure if this is something the news agencies and newspapers really want.
In any case I think Fast will read your suggestions here.

1:26 pm on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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That's the best part about this site! :)
 

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