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Recently my boss had a strange telephone conversation with a client going over the results in Lycos of a newly indexed site using the client company's quite unique single word name as a keyword. Our results in the office here in northern michigan show the search results bringing up the home page and assorted inside pages. However the new york based client searching in Lycos came up with nothing showing up for search results using the same single word that represented his quite unique company name.
Can anyone confirm an idea, put forth a common error that might have happened, or have fun brainstorming an educated or not guess? (multiple Lycos indexes that would fit this regional situation?)
You may have been searching at the same time that Lycos were updating their data from Fast. It is now typical of the larger SE's that the data is provided through different access points, you may have experienced the roll out, of what I presume is a new submission, to the different data centres. Fast also divide their dB amongst nodes, each one containing a subset of the data, it is not impossible that when your customer ran their search the node which contains his site did not deliver the information.
"For FAST Web Search, the document index is broken up into discrete segments of 5 million documents and stored on independent search nodes. Queries are received by our multiple redundant dispatch nodes, which "broadcast" the queries to every search node simultaneously. The results are assembled by the dispatch node and ranked according to the relevancy score for each document and returned to the user."
It would be nice if you could let us know if the site is now returned when your customer searches and if they were using a different browser to yourselves.
If a site won't show up in regular lycos.com search, try searching at lycospro.lycos.com. I think they must either have insanely unstable databases, or have two different ones that aren't well coordinated.
If you find a site in one search but not the other, WRITE LYCOS AND COMPLAIN! I have emailed them more than once, and their support team has never given me a response past the thick-headed form email variety. Maybe if a bunch of people start complaining about erratic Lycos search results, they'll forward the emails to someone who knows what's going on.
So yes, this is still a problem. I emailed them and asked why this is. I doubt I will get a response, but we'll see.
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?
I emailed them back and told them the keywords I was looking at and the listings for that day and today. Actually, they are having problems today. I typed in known keywords for Lycos and there were no listings. That was 30 minutes ago, but now they are back. I dunno what is going on.
As far as listings in Fast? We do better in Lycos and Lycospro.
Hopefully they will email me back with more information.
This is after Lycos updates themselves to FAST's DB.
Most of the time in order to do well in Lycos under one keyword you have to be listed really well in FAST under "the exact phrase" parameter.
The results from "the exact phrase" search parameter matches up most of the time to Lycos. BUT! Usually after Lycos takes their piece of the pie. After the take the top spots they want, they will add in the results from FAST.
Not very fair eh?
No, I am not selling smelly jeans.
"From time to time, you may notice a change in your site's position in the search results at Lycos. Our goal is to offer information from all corners of the Internet, and so our results come from several sources. This combination of data sources may cause differing results due to
several variables. We apologize for any confusion.
To ensure a more stable position in the Lycos results, you may also want to add your site to the Lycos Open Directory. The Open Directory Project is a collaboration between Lycos, Mozilla.org and HotBot to build the
Internet's most comprehensive taxonomy of Web content. Because all Open Directory listings have been reviewed by an editor, they are given priority in the Lycos search results."
I'm sure this isn't new information to most of you, but I did want to pass it on.