MSN Releases 'Desktop Search' Feature

written by
Friday, June 03, 2005

MSN Releases 'Desktop Search' FeatureAfter five months in beta, Microsoft's MSN has released the final version of its desktop search application, which is said to incorporate many new features based on extensive user feedback. I first came across this great searching tool at Search Engine Strategies in December, and since then I can see that MSN has significantly beefed up the degree of control to which users have over this product, both in the initial set up process and in the desktop search options.

MSN Releases 'Desktop Search' Feature

After five months in beta, Microsoft's MSN has released the final version of its desktop search application, which is said to incorporate many new features based on extensive user feedback.

I first came across this great searching tool at Search Engine Strategies in December, and since then I can see that MSN has significantly beefed up the degree of control to which users have over this product, both in the initial set up process and in the desktop search options. Among these improvements is the ability to specify which items should be indexed. Users can use a simple dialog box to select "emails" and "all hard disks," "email" and the contents of the "My Documents" folder, or select specific files and locations to be indexed using an explorer-like panel.

Other Advanced indexing options have been added which allow users the option of specifying file types to be indexed as text, and list a set of file types that should not be indexed. With both of these options, the program comes preconfigured with a number of appropriate file types. MSN Desktop Search is said to have the ability to index more than 200 file types, but users will also be able to add filters to index additional file types.Overall, I feel that the final release of the MSN Toolbar Suite is a significant improvement over the beta versions I first tested. The product remains heavily Microsoft-centered, and is best suited to those who are regular users of Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer.

Labels:


Ask Jeeves Releases New Search Features

written by
Friday, June 03, 2005
Ask Jeeves Releases New Search Features

In what appears to be another attempt to outshine rivals Yahoo! and Google in the search market, Ask Jeeves has added a couple of new features to its ever-growing search engine capabilities. The company has long operated in the shadows of the larger search providers, despite financial success of its own.

Zoom Feature

Of these new features, one, called Zoom, builds on Jeeves' long-standing clustering technology, which analyzes search results into concepts or ideas related to any given query. Zoom lets searchers narrow or broaden the field of search results, as well as view results for related concepts. For example, for a search on the term "cancer," visitors can narrow it to types of the disease, or they could expand it to related illnesses.

Better Answers to Questions

A second new feature centers on delivering better answers to direct questions -- for instance "Who shot John Lennon?" - - by "cleaning up" the unstructured data on the Web for accurate information.

There's no question to the fact that Ask Jeeves has kept pace in the feature wars of its rivals, but it has yet to win the trend that is the personality of Google or the enormous audience that Yahoo! packs. The thing that I like most about Ask Jeeves (besides the Butler Image), as I am sure most of you do as well, is that they truly understand how the Internet is related through social networks. With this understanding they continue to refine their searching and indexing techniques to better fit the needs of these social networks. This alone is what makes their search engine results editorially different and easier to navigate through than say those of Google's or Yahoo!'s.

Needless to say, I believe that this is the year of the butler. As long as Ask Jeeves continues to improve on their core search technology and produce the advanced features, like those discussed above, than I have no doubt that they will receive the true recognition they deserve. Its just about that time for good o;' Jeeves to leap out of the shadows and into the mist of what is turning out to be a true search engine war.

Labels:


eBay Plans to Acquire Shopping.com

written by
Friday, June 03, 2005

eBay Plans to Acquire Shopping.comAuction king eBay has announced it's plans to acquire one of the Internet's largest and more popular shopping engines, Shopping.com, in what is said to be a $620 million transaction. The acquisition, announced Wednesday, brings the Web's biggest comparison shopping engine under the hood of the largest auction website.

eBay Plans to Acquire Shopping.com

Auction king eBay has announced it's plans to acquire one of the Internet's largest and more popular shopping engines, Shopping.com, in what is said to be a $620 million transaction. The acquisition, announced Wednesday, brings the Web's biggest comparison shopping engine under the hood of the largest auction website at a time when eBay has been struggling, to say the least, in its efforts to maintain its growth.

Similar to Yahoo! and Google, Shopping.com makes its money from advertisements that appear adjacent to related search results. But unlike rivals, its sole specialty is in listing prices of commercial goods sold across the web. The acquisition puts eBay in close competition with the commercial engines of search giants Yahoo! and Google and is also a sure sign of eBay's financial interest in the booming search-engine marketing business. This is to be expected... search marketing is projected to be worth more than $5 billion this year. With Shopping.com under its belt, eBay will own a major avenue to funnel traffic back to its online mall, along with the ability to strengthen its fee revenue with advertising dollars.

Labels: