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Teoma Aims To Kill Google 318

Posted by timothy
from the not-an-uncommon-aim dept.
gwernol writes: "SFGate.com has an interesting article on the relaunch of Teoma's search engine. They are trying to topple Google as the leading search engine. If their technology delivers on its promise then it will at least be some real competition for Google which can only be a good thing."
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Teoma Aims To Kill Google

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  • by sirsnork (530512)
    While it seems fast and fairly relevent in the few searches I did. It doesn't have nearly the features of Google. There is not toolbar that I could find, no groups or images searches. Google is most certainly more that just a basic search engine these days!
    • by psaltes (9811) on Sunday March 31, 2002 @10:02PM (#3263040)
      Does no one read the article? They are rolling out a new version (which the article was about) tomorrow at 5pm PST! The site that is there now is using presumably months/years old technology. Anyone who's posted so far complaining about some search on Teoma is being fairly silly.

      That said it doesn't sound like the new version will topple google either.
      • by waytoomuchcoffee (263275) on Sunday March 31, 2002 @11:05PM (#3263340)
        Does no one read the article? They are rolling out a new version (which the article was about) tomorrow at 5pm PST! The site that is there now is using presumably months/years old technology

        Um, the site up right now is in BETA. And the article clearly states "After spending the past six months perfecting the technology, Gerasoulis and his development team on Monday evening will roll out a souped-up search engine".

        Are you saying that the current beta was discarded "months/years" ago and no one remembered to take it down, and that the "new" search engine to debut tommorrow didn't go through a beta stage first?
        • I'd assume that if they're 'rolling out a souped up search engine' they haven't yet rolled it out, and the site right now is not the rolled out version. I suppose, as you seem to be saying, by 'rolling out' they could mean simply removing the little 'beta' part of their logo. However, I doubt it.

          And arguing about this is almost as silly as the posts I was originally complaining about.
          • I'd assume

            Well, you know the old saying about "assume" ;-)

            And arguing about this is almost as silly as the posts I was originally complaining about.

            Who is arguing? I was pointing out flaws in your reasoning/reading of the article.

            Btw, it's an interesting tactic to complain about other's posts yourself, while at the same time label any comment on your OWN posts as "silly."
  • I Beta Tested this (Score:5, Informative)

    by telstar (236404) on Sunday March 31, 2002 @09:54PM (#3263001)
    I was a beta tester for this search engine ... rewarded beta testers with a gift certificate at amazon.com. I wasn't all that impressed to be honest. It was fast but the result-set produced wasn't anything spectacular, and the new search features they added were of the "cute and fuzzy" variety. Nothing that would really yield much productivity. They added an associated topics section, and some visual cues to get to information, but given the choice between that and Google, I'd choose Google any day.
  • Similar to (Score:3, Funny)

    by Joe the Lesser (533425) on Sunday March 31, 2002 @09:56PM (#3263006) Homepage Journal
    So Teoma is basically the Kia of the search-engine industry no?
  • For newbies its ok (Score:2, Insightful)

    by geeknews (28375)
    The consensus of users on my site when we posted this article was that Teoma will be great for less than net-savvy users, for more intelligent searchers Google is light years ahead of the rest.
    • Yeah, Google is a fucking bitch to use.. All that confusing text.

      Where are the ads? I feel so disoriented without advertisements bombarding me.

      Jesus, I'm getting defensive about a frickin' search engine. I guess it does have a cult following.

      Josh
  • by Kizzle (555439) on Sunday March 31, 2002 @09:57PM (#3263011)
    Even if it is as good as google, its still not going to kill it. Google is the search engine everyone knows and loves. Unless this engine comes out with some great feature like reading your mind instead of you needing to type, It's not gona take away too much of google's traffic.
  • Alas (Score:5, Interesting)

    by junkster191 (551312) on Sunday March 31, 2002 @10:01PM (#3263030) Homepage
    I got all excited and went to test it out. Based on my unscientific and arbitrary dozen or so tests of obscure literary phrases, rare medical conditions, and *not* so famous dead people google gave me much more relevant pages every time. Hmm... I don't care how it is supposed to function theoretically, if it doesn't provide results then I'm sticking to google.
    • Re:Alas (Score:4, Informative)

      by Aanallein (556209) on Monday April 01, 2002 @05:03AM (#3264798)
      I got all excited and went to test it out. ... google gave me much more relevant pages every time.

      That might be because (according to the article) the new functionality will only be "available beginning at 5 p.m. PST Monday"
      I'm not too certain about the timezones (particularly with daylight savings thrown into the mix; and no, I can't be bothered to look up a worldclock right now), but I think PST time right now is something like 2 a.m.
      So we still have a goodly while to go before we can really see what this search engine is capable of.

      Not that I think this thing can actually beat Google, but at least wait with judging until you've seen the new and improved version of the engine, not what they have now...
  • Beta indeed.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BelDion (109503) on Sunday March 31, 2002 @10:03PM (#3263045) Homepage Journal
    It'll be a while before this Teoma thing can topple Google.

    First of all, no cache. The cache in Google sort of sneaks up on you in its usefulness.. Whether it's because the website is down or because you're looking at an html version of a PDF or word document, you find that you're using the cache all the time.

    More to the point though, how friggin slow is Teoma? I hope it's due to relative newness or something, because it's frightfully slow when running queries. Google flies, click search and the page comes back next to instantly (on a broadband connection anyhow), Teoma seems to be taking several seconds right now. I'd say Slashdot effect, considering where we are, but what kind of poorly designed search engine crumbles under the slashdot effect?
    • Whether it's because the website is down or because you're looking at an html version of a PDF or word document

      I highly agree - I often find myself using the cache when google finds an article that has been retired (usually because of time), or when they've decided to put a stupid login on the page to block content to normal users.

      Though any search engine worth it's salt has a copy of the original document somewhere (or can re-construct it) and they should be able to implement that feature... but that's probably not their primary focus at this point.

    • It is also slower when visiting links, because they use the sucky method of redirecting you to their servers whenever you click on a result before they send you to the site. This is so they can track which links you click on, and it makes the time-to-results that much longer, especially on high latency links like modems.
  • A few notes... (Score:4, Informative)

    by redhatbox (569534) <.moc.xoblaerym. .ta. .xobtahder.> on Sunday March 31, 2002 @10:04PM (#3263054)

    From the Teoma search page:

    "Teoma delivers three types of search results Web Pages: Authoritative sites relevant to your search term. Web Pages by Topic: Top result pages are grouped based on their topics. Experts' Links: Pages contain directories of links for related general subjects."

    Okay, great... but where's the "advanced search" option (such as Google's, at this page [google.com])? I know this is a "beta version" of the Teoma site; maybe their advanced search functionality isn't ready for prime time just yet. Or, maybe I've got it all wrong... do they believe their engine is good enough to eliminate the need for advanced search functionality?

    Also of potential interest are a couple of links at the bottom of each search results page. These links let you try your search on AskJeeves.com [askjeeves.com] or DirectHit.com [directhit.com]. As I understand it, they're gunning for Google as their biggest competition, but it seems somewhat odd that they'd include links to what most people (at least people I know) consider to be inferior search engines instead.

    Just a couple of thoughts :).

    • Re:A few notes... (Score:5, Informative)

      by great throwdini (118430) on Sunday March 31, 2002 @10:36PM (#3263213)

      Also of potential interest are a couple of links at the bottom of each search results page [to] try your search on AskJeeves.com or DirectHit.com. [I]t seems somewhat odd that they'd include links to what most people [...] consider to be inferior search engines instead.

      Complete the thought. Ask Jeeves, Inc. [irconnect.com] owns both Teoma [teoma.com] (September 2001) and Direct Hit [directhit.com] (January 2000). The selected URLs prominently display that owership relation.

  • Ask.com? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by slardy (29383) <slardy&nu-vision,org> on Sunday March 31, 2002 @10:05PM (#3263056) Homepage
    How is Teoma attached to ask.com (ask jeeves)? When you get search results all the results are linked to this server: http://tm.wc.ask.com/ Did ask.com buy out teoma?
    • Re:Ask.com? (Score:5, Funny)

      by great throwdini (118430) on Sunday March 31, 2002 @10:25PM (#3263154)

      Did ask.com buy out teoma?

      It isn't too hard to follow the link labeled Press Information [teoma.com] at the Teoma site [teoma.com] to find another link to the Search Engine Watch [searchenginewatch.com] report entitled Ask Jeeves Acquires Teoma [searchenginewatch.com] from Ovtober, 2001.

      The good folks [teoma.com] at Teoma [teoma.com] were even nice enough to excerpt the following:

      "Ask Jeeves has purchased the Teoma search engine, which has attracted interest over recent months as a potential relevancy challenger to Google."

      You may even notice that Ask Jeeves [ask.com] is plastered all over the contact page [teoma.com]. I don't think they're hiding the connection between the two brands from anyone.

      Has the use of search engines [google.com] impaired our ability to follow links from one document to the next?

      Heck, a Google search of your exact question [google.com] led to the NewsTrove tracking of the assimilation [newstrove.com]. Then again, the other results were a little iffy. ;)

    • How is Teoma attached to ask.com (ask jeeves)?

      Gerasoulis and the other co-owners agreed to sell their Piscataway, N.J.-based company to Emeryville-based Ask Jeeves for $4.4 million last year.

      Did you even pretent to read the article? Or did you just not know that Ask Jeves is ask.com?

      And this is Insightful?
  • by iturbide (39881) on Sunday March 31, 2002 @10:08PM (#3263071) Homepage
    Let face it. Just how good a searchengine is technically is only part of the story. The other part is how much advertising, cookies, links to 'buy a book about whatever on amazon' and all that will they throw at you? You get the idea. This is imho what killed off altavista and loads of other search engines. If people get annoyed enough, are thrown into a portal, or just plain have to wait too long for all that crap to load, they just won't go there.

    If they don't get that right, Google has little to fear.
    • You are overlooking one thing. People will be forced to go search engines that are bad. For example the MS sheeple are now forced to go to MSN whenever they make a typo in a URL. Of course if they had more brains then two dead flies they might be able to change it for a while but we know windows is not aimed at people with brains and besides which it will eventually reset your preference anyway.
  • I searched for my nickname on google and teoma. Goggle provided 296 matches, teoma provided 47. Google had the relevent matches to my query placed near the top. (The relevent ones being ones I was looking for.) Teoma had the relevent ones (much less in numbers) on the fourth of five pages.

    If they want to challenge Google, they have a long way to go.

  • by firewort (180062) on Sunday March 31, 2002 @10:10PM (#3263083)
    Reasons why anyone should use Teoma over Google:

    1) if they don't cave into the demands of the Co$ and delist sites whose outlook on Co$ is less than positive.

    2) if they don't refuse adverts on a very arbitrary basis: they refused non-positive Co$ ads, as well as ads from businesses that sell night vision scopes (and not firearms.)

    see:
    http://www.politechbot.com/p-03325.html - google rejects ads from Co$ critics

    http://www.politechbot.com/p-03260.html
    google rejects ads from firearm-related merchant, accepts SPAM-WARE advertiser.

    Gee, thanks google!
    • So basically your arguement is that Teoma would be superior because they might not cave into Scientology's threats. Hmm ... wanna put some money on that?


      I think I would need a more compelling, as well as practical reason to switch. Even if Teoma didn't give in to CoS, I'd be more interested in which search engine could find me the more relevant results that I'm after. I think the bulk of Slashdotters will concur that politics in search engines is a distant second, if that.

      • by firewort (180062) on Sunday March 31, 2002 @10:59PM (#3263311)
        I don't believe I claimed that Teoma might be superior- I put forth the idea that Teoma might be worth using if they weren't spineless and indecisive like Google. Because the new Teoma isn't up at the time of this posting, it's a little hard to tell for certain.

        Google is a fine search engine, but I much prefer the tools I use to not be influenced by what I consider to be poor politics and poor policies.

        What next? France will ask Google to remove any links for neo-Nazi or pro-Nazi sites? Sites that detail history regarding Nazi Germany in any fashion?

        Censorship is a slippery slope.

        How can I judge what are relevant search results if the search engine is censoring some of the valid results? Certainly, a search engine's job is to display only sites it finds relevant, but out and out censorship should play no role in that task.
        • Dangit, hit submit instead of preview.

          In any case, once you decide that one site is offensive and should be de-listed, all sites are fair game, as all sites are offensive to somebody.
          Same goes for ad-words.

          It is impossible for us to tell whether Teoma is technologically any better than Google, but if Google is going to remove links as possible results, then I expect they're crippling themselves and giving Teoma room to make that into an advantage for themselves.
    • Yeah, that's probably the reason why they run Windows2000 which contains Diskeeper, a program with full access to the hard disk which was written by a company that hires exclusively Scientologists. (Executive Software)

      Even Microsoft doesn't have the source code of Diskeeper, so Teoma and millions of other people run a binary-only program which innards that have never been seen by a single non-Scientologist.

      Great, isn't it?

  • Yeah lets see to trump google they deffiantly are gonna need some start up capitol and some extra features. google employs the largest cluster of machines to provided its sites and store its data base on what is most used to be terrabytes and may pettabytes by now. its gonna take some time.. if its not an April fools joke.
  • by Schlemphfer (556732) on Sunday March 31, 2002 @10:20PM (#3263132) Homepage
    Why are we wasting time talking about this search engine now? It launches at 5:00 PM Pacific time Monday. At that point, we'll be able to make useful comparisons to Google.
    • We can't wait.

      5:00 Pacific Time: Teoma begins to learn at a geometric rate.
      It becomes self aware at 2:14 Eastern Time.
      In a panic (and because someone asked), Jeeves tries to pull the plug.

      Teoma fights back.
  • by dotgod (567913) on Sunday March 31, 2002 @10:28PM (#3263166)
    but Teoma doesn't have a h4x0r mode [google.com] like Google.
  • by Pathwalker (103) <hotgrits@yourpants.net> on Sunday March 31, 2002 @10:29PM (#3263177) Homepage Journal
    When it all comes down to a final reckoning, there is only one search engine attribute that we all care about:
    How well we show up when doing a vanity search.
    Let's see how the search engines stack up:

    1. Searching on my real name.

    When I search on my real name on both Google [google.com] and Teoma [teoma.com], my personal web page [ofdoom.com] comes up as the first hit. Furthermore, on both google and teoma, 70% of the hits on the first page directly relate to me, although tenoma has a duplicate link.

    Both engines preform well in this test.

    2. Searching for a handle.

    I have used the handle Pathwalker for years - let's see how well it shows up:

    On this test, Google [google.com] Lists my webpage [ofdoom.com] on the first screen of hits. Teoma [teoma.com] on the other hand lists a lot of mystical mumbo-jumbo about finding your path in life; none of the info on ME which I am looking for and care about.

    Google wins this test hands down.

    3. Email searching

    Many of my e-mail addresses have contained the string hungerf3 - let's see how many times each search engine can find this:

    Google finds 1470 [google.com] hits of that string, all of which appear to relate to me, and of which it considers 21 [google.com] important.
    Teoma, on the other hand finds only 13 [teoma.com], but they all appear to be of generally high quality.

    Still, google wins this test as well through the sheer amount of information related to me which it can dig up!

    Overall, one test was tied, and Google won the others. While Teoma appears to be a good search engine, it just doesn't have enough information about me in it. If they fix this, then I might start using it more...
    • > When it all comes down to a final reckoning, there is only one search engine attribute that we all care about: How well we show up when doing a vanity search.

      Interesting point, but those of us who don't show up in the results and want to are required to pay $30 [ineedhits.com] just to be mentioned.

      Teoma loses on this test hands down.
  • Try FindItNow [servebeer.com]

    Still under development, but seems to work well. Sometimes it even finds what you are looking for before you ask!

  • by nomadic (141991)
    then it will at least be some real competition for Google which can only be a good thing

    Unless they split a market which can't support two similar search engines, then both go out of business and we're stuck with nothing.
  • Charge submissions. (Score:5, Informative)

    by deragon (112986) on Sunday March 31, 2002 @10:43PM (#3263239) Homepage Journal
    They charge for submitting a URL. $30.00US for the first one. That could impeed on the search engine's success.

    References:

    http://static.wc.ask.com/docs/addjeeves/Submit.htm l
    http://ask.ineedhits.com/
    • As long as Teoma charges for submitting a URL, Teoma will UTTERLY FAIL. There are many personal websites, and their maintainers (like me!) don't have the money to submit paid URLs to search engines. Without those URLs, Teoma will never consider much of the most useful information, so Teoma results will always be poorer. Why would anyone switch to using a search engine whose business model is designed to give poorer results?

      People currently submit their URLs to Google because (1) it's the #1 search engine, and (2) it's free. Now Teoma wants to compete with Google (which has a large database) through a business model which will ensure that Teoma always has an uncompetitive database? Rediculous.

      I think Google has the better business model. Charge for advertizing on keywords, and show the ads separately. That way, people don't feel like they're being lied to, and people get the best possible results (without it interfering with the search engine's business model).

  • by Yo Grark (465041) on Sunday March 31, 2002 @10:46PM (#3263256)
    Teoma went down to 'frisco. They was lookin' for eyes & minds to steal. They were in a bind 'cause they were way behind, and they was willin' to make a deal, when they came across this engine servin' up those webpages nice and hot. Teoma jumped up on a silicon stump and said, "Boy, let me tell you what. I guess you didn't know it but I'm a search engine, too. And if you'd care to take a dare, I'll make a bet with you. Now, you return a pretty good search, boy, but give Teoma their due. I'll bet a RAM Disk of gold against your soul, 'cause I think I'm better than you." The engine said, "My name's Google, and it might be a sin, but I'll take your bet, and you're gonna regret, 'cause I'm the best that's ever been."

    Comon'Google, raise up your cache and kick some ass, 'cause hell's broke loose in searches.

    Teomahe deals the terms of agreement. "And if you win you get this shiny RAM Disk made of gold. But if you lose, Teoma gets your archive whole."

    Teoma opened up their HD case and said, "I'll start this show." And seached "fire flew from his fingertips" and returned "The Path of The Arcane.". boy they indexed slow. Their ram made an evil hiss, a new seach missed and by the phrase resulted this: "The Path of The Arcane."

    When Teoma finished, Google said, "Well, you're pretty good, you face-lifted son, but sit down in that chair right there and let me show you how it's done.

    Seachin for releavance, go chache go. Returned "The Devil Went Down to Georgia - Charlie Daniels Band" oh oh oh , Feelin Lucky in the first search just go. Google, does your site bite? No, man, no.

    Teoma bowed their head because they knew they'd been beat. And they laid that golden RAM on the ground at Google's feet. Google said, "Teoma, just come on back if you ever want to try again. 'Cause I told you once, you son of a gun, I'm the best that's ever been."

    - Moral of the story? It takes a second rate search engine to bring doubt, before we fully appreciate the term: "In google we trust", which, surprisingly was found on google, but not Teoma.

    -YoGrark
  • Ugly cheap logo (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Megs (75547) on Sunday March 31, 2002 @10:50PM (#3263275) Journal
    Okay, fine, they're allegedly going to bring out the Google-killing version tomorrow (News for April Fools, Stuff that makes for a really good laugh).

    The real question is, are they going to get rid of that lame, butt-ugly logo that just screams "cheap knockoff"?

    Also, in my profoundly unscientific survey of two friends on AIM, neither of them were able to correctly recall the name Teoma. Just because it means something cool doesn't mean that it will actually be a cool name...

    Meghan
  • by Warped-Reality (125140) on Sunday March 31, 2002 @10:58PM (#3263302) Journal
    Here's a Google Cache [google.com] of the site

    :)
    • With web sites in constant flux, where the hell is Teoma's caching function? I find lots of sites are down (or more often, changed) when I search for them on Google, but that doesn't mean I don't want to see the content. Google's cache function allows me to see expired content (sometimes the answer to what I was looking for) quite easily and QUICKLY.
      • Be patient. Caching takes up a lot of storage, which costs a lot of money, which Teoma doesn't have yet.
        • Maybe Teoma could just link to the Google cache.
        • First of all, it doesn't cost *that* much (harddisks are cheap nowadays), secondly in the article they talk about lots of cash used for advertizing.

          So they have the money, they just think that spending it on ads is getting them farther than implementing a cache feature.

  • by sam_handelman (519767) <skh2003@columbi a . e du> on Sunday March 31, 2002 @11:01PM (#3263318) Homepage Journal
    I have evaluated a hit as relevant if it contains information related to the question asked. General information about Greece, or about the nutrient value of artichokes (but not containing specific info as to their vitamin content), I did not count as relevant. Pretty subjective, of course.

    Query (relevant hits of top 5)
    Google Teoma
    Religious Intolerance by the Greek Orthodox Church
    5 2(1)
    Nethack 3.4 Spoilers
    5 0
    Vitamin Content of Artichokes
    4 0
    Average Velocity of Asteroids
    4 0
    Who won the peloponnesian war?(2)
    5 5
    Samuel Handelman Columbia University(5)
    2 0
    Harry Noller University of California Santa Cruz
    4 4
    Edward Dratz University of Montana Bozeman
    5 3
    Dangers associated with mercury thermometers
    2 0
    Did Turing have any children?
    0 0
    okay
    Autobiography of Alen Turing(3)
    5 2
    Isaac Asimov's Middle Name(4)
    3 2

    Anyway, my time is up. avg. 50 seconds to run and squint at each query.

    Subjectively, to all of these querries, the #1 hit on google contained the answer to my question (the EXACT vitamin content of artichokes, the NAME of the side that won the war,) while Tacoma, even though the hits were relevant to the question, it was not clear if the information I sought was actually in the returned result; except for my former faculty advisor and his colleague, which Teoma found just fine.

    (1) I'm counting the Scientology hit as relevant.
    (2) Google corrected my spelling, which Tacoma did not. I'll accept that from a Beta.
    (3) Turing didn't write one. It was a trick question. Any link to a review, specifically, of either any of three (that I found) biographies of Alan Turing I counted as a hit.
    (4) I didn't get his middle name, but it turns out he wrote a story called "Middle Name" which swamped the results. Google found specific references to the story, whilest Teoma returned links to lists of Asimov's fiction, but I generously scored both as hits.
    (5) when I put my name in quotes Tacoma University either a) cannot find any matches or b) doesn't understand what the quotes mean. I assume b since none of the hits it finds without quotes mention me.

    Anyway, I'm satisfied in calling that statistical signifance (95% chance) that google is better.
  • So I run Teoma searches for Everything [teoma.com], Everything 2 [teoma.com], and E2 [teoma.com]. None of them finds the site I'm looking for [everything2.com]. On the other hand, Google searches for Everything [google.com], Everything 2 [google.com], and E2 [google.com] leave me Feeling Lucky.

    Nathan, this is unacceptable [everything2.com].

  • Well, I type meself in and nuthin returns. I got 40 hits on Google. Hell, my name is plastered all over the University I work for, so you figure they woulda crawled at least that much. It is slow for such a small database too.

  • by Joe U (443617) on Sunday March 31, 2002 @11:17PM (#3263398) Homepage Journal
    I know it's an IE thing right now, but the Google Toolbar is one of the more useful browser addons ever.

    As an experiment, for a week, I turned off the address bar and used the Google toolbar for everything. I was really impressed by the results.

    Turning the address bar into a search engine is a great idea, one that Google should think about enhancing. If done right, a Google Address bar could make the current DNS system much less important, and that's just a start. There are a lot of possibilities with a setup like this.

    In the end, I turned the Address bar back on to get an idea of what site I was on at the moment, it's easy to lose track without the URL line. However, I did not get rid of the toolbar, and I use it daily.
    • Check out mozilla. The address bar _is_ a google search engine :)
      • Konqueror does it much nicer in my opinion. In the URL bar simply type gg: whatever (for google) and ggg: whatever (for groups.google). Very nice for touch typists. I can't find an equivalent in Moz. besides the tab down which gets annoying due to the fact that the number of tabs changes based on your url history.

        Of course the best thing would be to make the input routine a bit more intelligent and send almost everything with a space or two off to the search engines...
        • Try Protozilla [mozdev.org]. It basically allows you to (re)define handlers for protocols in the URI. (I used it to redirect mailto: to mutt in an xterm, since muttzilla doesn't work with mozilla).
        • Konqueror does it much nicer in my opinion. In the URL bar simply type gg: whatever (for google)

          I'm of the opinion that Konq does handle this a bit better, but Moz can be set up for very similar functionality. Open up your "Manage Bookmarks" screen on a recent build and give a look at the properties on one of the links. In there you can configure "Keywords" that act like what Konq does, only without the ":" in there.

          There's some more info on this buried somewhere on the Mozilla site. Caught a link about this myself not to long ago right here on /. in one of the posts.

          As I stated, I rather prefer Konq's approach to this, as you don't need to create a stack of otherwise bogus bookmarks for the URL shortcuts. Essentially they do about the same thing though.
  • Google's searches are faster. unless that changes, google will get my patronage. And if Teomas slowness is from slashdotting, than they is no way in hell that they can compete with google.

    Maskirovka
  • Teoma ranking (Score:3, Informative)

    by Animats (122034) on Sunday March 31, 2002 @11:32PM (#3263461) Homepage
    Well, all my sites have the #1 ranking for the usual keywords, and I didn't do a thing to make that happen. So I can't complain.

    Teoma is sluggish, but that can be fixed with money.

    • Teoma is sluggish, but that can be fixed with money

      Teoma is running [netcraft.com] ASP on Windows 2000 and IIS 5. Right now, no Windows server technology that I know of is *any* match at all for Google's über-cool cluster (the fact that Google runs Linux on its servers is interesting, of course, but what's *more* interesting is it's composed of (IIRC) 10k PC-class machines).

      So, yes, I'd have doubts about Teoma's ability to scale up.
      • They could just be using IIS for the web frontend, since it's probably cheaper to hire a PFY that's familiar with Windows than to hire qualified Unix admins for everything.
  • If this isn't an April Fools then I don't know what is.....
  • Blah, my name is spelled J?n instead of Jón... Hello?! the internet doesn't stop at USofA borders!
    I would think that software developers would have a clue by now!
    J.
  • If you search for "teoma" on Teoma [teoma.com], it comes up with two relevant topics ("WEB PAGES GROUPED BY TOPIC" header at the top): Teoma Search Engine [ask.com] and Gambling Casino [ask.com]. Apparently, some garbage portals to porn and online gambling include Teoma as one of the search engines they link to.

    It's funny that Teoma has trouble defining its own identity. So, are you guys a search engine or a gambling casino? At least the users get to pick what they like most.

    I wish them best of luck. Google is good now. What is to keep it from selling out like Yahoo is doing now? Competition is good. Now, I wish Teoma had a news archive.

  • by eldurbarn (111734) on Sunday March 31, 2002 @11:48PM (#3263528)
    Inserting tongue slightly in cheek:

    I searched on keywords that represent products that I sell on-line. In each and every case, my page was #1 on the list.

    I suppose this may change when they go "live and in color", tomorrow... but, for now, I can live with it ;-)
  • Here's my simple study. I type in words at each search engine, and look at how many results I get. I rank them in order of most to least results, and I've put my (sometimes comical) comments below the results from each query.

    QUERY 1: LESBIAN

    AltaVista: 29,176,797
    Google: 11,600,000
    WiseNut: 8,282,738
    AllTheWeb: 1,166,487
    Teoma: 442,000

    Congrats to the pervs at AltaVista for having nearly 30 million results on "lesbian"! The jack-offs at Google come in a distant second at nearly 12 million results on Lesbians. Nice job to the occasional wankers at WiseNut on their 8-million results. AllTheWeb? Only 1 million results? Don't you guys jack off at all? What right does a search engine have to call itself AllTheWeb if they only get 1 million results on a query for "lesbian"? Teoma gets the "nice try" pat on the back. Grow some nuts, Teoma, then come back and play with the big boys.

    Now, lets try something a little bit more sparse.

    QUERY 2: Michael Jordan.

    AltaVista: 27,980,822
    Google: 1,320,000
    Teoma: 245,000
    AllTheWeb: 205,054
    WiseNut: 72,998

    Again, AltaVista comes out on top at 28 million. This is questionable, but probably accurate. AltaVista has really indiscriminate searching technology, and doesn't try to eliminate redundant or very similar pages (or subpages) like Google does. But, strictly by the numbers, again, Google comes in a distant second at 1.3 million. Teoma actually comes in somewhat respectibally this time at 2.5 hundred thousand; still, its not in the same league as Google or AltaVista. AllTheWeb again comes up short and dissapointing, especially given its name. Guys, don't call your engine AllTheWeb if it only returns 1/4 as many results as does Google! WiseNut apparently isn't too wise at only 72 thousand results for MJ. Come on guys, get with it. MJ's may have been retired for 2 years, but he's still big news.

    On to something a bit more obscure:

    QUERY 3: Leilani Rios

    For those of you who don't know, Leilani Rios is a stripper who was kicked off her run team for stripping to pay her way through college. What BS. This is a recent development; so this query sort of tests for how updated the search engines are.

    Google: 1,870
    AllTheWeb: 723
    AltaVista: 567
    WiseNut: 426
    Teoma: 74

    Well, I can hardly say this is surprising. AltaVista (~600) is finally dethroned, Google revealed as king (~2k). While I'm here, I should eat some crow for earlier criticisms of AllTheWeb (~700). Perhaps they don't deserve the title AllTheWeb, but 723 results on this query isn't bad. Still, not even half of what Google returned. WiseNut again occupies the low mediocrity position with 426 results. Teoma...Teoma Teoma Teoma, coming in with a sorry 74 results. Come on guys, this is recent news, but its also big news. The girl was in PlayBoy magazine for christ sake! Again, Teoma, spend some time growing up, grow some balls. Then come back and play with the big boys.

    In the interests of fairness, I'll do another query for a person who recently became news.

    QUERY 4: Katie Sierra

    AltaVista: 68,416
    Google: 37,200
    AllTheWeb: 25,447
    WiseNut: 21,184
    Teoma: 4,740

    Welp, AltaVista's back on top again at 68k, though I doubt the validity of it. Remember, AV doesn't sort out very similar pages, as does Google. Google comes in second at 37k. AllTheWeb, again, not bad, though certainly not "all the web" at 25k. WiseNut again comes in on the short side of mediocracy. Teoma...welp, you're beginning to see the pattern. Come on guys, this is sorry. I might find more results than that for Katie Sierra by just searching slashdot! (;-).

    Next is a personal query for a website of mine that's minor and unfinished:

    QUERY 5: "Here is a listing of links to several sites that either argue against"

    I used quotes this time because I'm specifically seeing if these search engines will produce a result for my web page (or one with those exact words, if any other has those exact words).

    Google: 1
    AllTheWeb: 1
    Others: 0

    Welp, what can I say? Google/AllTheWeb apparently appreciates even my trivial, marginal, unfinished thoughts. How dare AltaVista, WiseNut, and Teoma not have my trivial unfinished web page catalogued! No, just joking. I didn't really expect any search engine to have my page in it. But Google/AllTheWeb gave me a pleasant, ego-stroking surprise. This was what really impressed me with Google/AllTheWeb. What actually happened is I forgot about my web site (that is, its address) and typed in "pessimistic views" at Google(then today at AllTheWeb)...the first web page listed looked familiar and I wondered why until I realized it was a page I created years ago. Kudos to Google and AllTheWeb for including the "little guy".

    Well, that's it. You guys get the picture. Google is still king. AltaVista does a good job at faking it, but we all know that AV doesn't distinguish well between duplicate or very similar pages. AllTheWeb, impressive, but certainly not all of the web. WiseNut, I've never heard of before, but you did half-ass. Teoma...you came in 2nd in ONE category. Not even 1st. But, not being on the bottom rung just didn't feel right to you. Feel good to be back home? Here's my preferences for search engines and why:

    1. Google. Provides a lotta search results, well organized, and many great features.

    2. AllTheWeb. Before I discovered Google, you were my girl, but now your just my whore ;-). No, really, AllTheWeb has its uses. Its a techie search engine with lots of neat advanced features, and I love the FTP / MP3 search options.

    3. AltaVista. AV, though I'm sure you have (metaphorically speaking) fake breasts and a pushup braw, I still have a fond spot for you. Before I discovered AllTheWeb and Google, you were my girl. But now your more like the ex-wife who keeps on nagging me. AltaVista's kinda the thing I goto when I'm feeling nostalgic for my first car. Not really much use, but still got a little soft spot for ya.

    4. WiseNut. Never heard of this search engine before and there's obviously a reason for that. WiseNut seems to be, to me, the very definition of mediocracy. I'll keep an eye on you and see if anything good comes of you, but I'm about as hopeful for that as I am that Enron execs will be found "innocent".

    5. Teoma. Well, you did pretty shitty in every category. But you've got an excuse -- your the new kid on the block. The 16-year old girl who's mouth is so small you can't quite take in a whole . No, seriously. Teoma has some potential. I like the way I get fast results, and I like the no-nonsense interface. I think the more advanced way in which you organize things. I'll put you on my list of possibly up-and-coming search engines. But don't kid yourself yet. You're nowhere near the league of Google.

    Despite my harsh, sometimes funny, tone in this post, all these engines are good. But "good" (i.e., AltaVista, Teoma, WiseNut), just doesn't cut it when you have GREAT engines like AllTheWeb, and when you have THE ENGINE, aka Google.

  • If they pull it off, great. If they even come close it will only be good news. Make it like the CPU world, where if AMD or Intel slacks off on improving their offerings, the other will eat them alive. Google is so far ahead of its competitors that they could slack off and still be #1 for quite some time. If Teoma works hard and gets close, or offers features Google doesn't, then Google will be forced to improve constantly, and not slack off at all.
  • I agree that some competition for google would be nice. Google is too good, there is no one that even comes close, at least for me right now. That makes me a bit nervous; if google suddenly turns evil, then what will we do? It would be nice if there were someone in second place who wasn't so far behind.

    I used to use altavista, I still remember when google came along. For a while, I'd still usually try altavista first, and definitely use it when I was looking for something really obscure because it had a far bigger database. But when searching for things where altavista would give me 50 million hits, I soon learned that google would almost always have what I wanted within the first page.

    I hope google keeps doing everything they're doing right, but I do like a bit of diversity. I hope someone else comes along with some useful features I haven't even thought about yet.
  • by gbnewby (74175) on Monday April 01, 2002 @12:33AM (#3263837) Homepage
    Their "jobs" link mentions a variety of technologies, including LAPACK. LAPACK is a collection of scientific functions (there's a C version, CLAPACK, but LAPACK is FORTRAN). My guess is they're using, among other things, techniques related to latent semantic indexing (LSI) and vector space models (VSM) for their ranking.

    Unless you're an Information Retrieval Wienie (like me), you might not know about LSI and the VSM. The cool thing is that these are methods that work really well in the laboratory, but have scaling problems so are not found much in large-scale systems.

    Google, we know, uses Page Rank to rank pages based (partially) on the "authority" of the page. It's not clear whether Teoma uses this or not (it is patented). LSI is also patented (by Bell/Lucent), but VSM is not.

    For both Google and Teoma, they seem to use hybrid approaches:

    - Word occurrence, with weighting (weight of a term in a document; weight of a term in a collection). This is fundamental to all search engines (it's part of what distinguishes an information retrieval system from a database).

    - Statistical relations among words and documents (e.g., VSM and LSI techniques -- there are many variations). These look at either a term by document matrix (where each cell is a term count), or term by term matrices (where each cell a measure of the terms' pairwise relatedness).

    - Clustering, to eliminate duplicates and identify groupings (Teoma seems to do this; Google does this in their directory. This is NorthernLight's claim to fame, and is patented)

    - Authority ranking (it's not clear whether Teoma does what Google does, but this is probably a part of the mix)

    Each search engine has its own recipe for how these and other factors are combined. If only they would share (and stop getting software patents)!

    ...Greg
  • I wasn't impressed at all with the results. Basic searches for oddball sites I can easily find within the first 2 or 3 google hits end up 20 or 30 on Teoma. I did searches for myself, too, under various names, guises and projects I've participated in... some of them with rather unique names. Teoma didn't even come up with my project's page at all while Google had it on the first link.

    I also smell rank selling in Teoma's results, as some results are suspiciously high in the rankings for no real reason whatsoever.

    Eh... You can have that Teoma shit, I'll keep Google thank you very much.
  • If you read the article, it states that the ask.com site is already using the tech they are planning to roll out tomorrow on teoma.com.

    To test it, I did a search for something I'm actually looking for right now:
    "italian hand painted ceramics"
    for my friend's wedding present.

    Comparing the results from ask [ask.com] and google [google.com], it seems to me that ask actually provides higher-quality results (for this search at least).

    This is a real change, since I've until now thought that ask jeeves was a company with really bad tech (I had several meetings with their founder and 'chief scientist' and other lead team members back in the day and found them completely clueless. No, really, you cannot imagine how clueless... AND they were NT based!), and I was always shocked at how successful they managed to be.

    Now it looks like they've purchased something that really works.

    Rather reminds me of when Macromedia looked like they were about to go bust (no one cared about Director any more) and they managed to purchase Flash...
  • /. Crowd (Score:3, Funny)

    by sean23007 (143364) on Monday April 01, 2002 @02:54AM (#3264449) Homepage Journal
    I think this will be taken up by the Slashdot crowd, if only for one reason. A simple search for the word "Microsoft." On Google, the first link is to Microsoft's corporate website, the second is to the Internet Explorer Home Page, the third is to Microsoft Help and Support, etc. Teoma yields the same first result, www.microsoft.com, but the second result says Boycott Microsoft and the third is a link to information about the US vs. Microsoft court case.

    Now which one of these is more geek friendly? (By the way, I used this Google [google.com].)
  • My favourite feature on google is the "did you mean" listing if you seem to incorrectly spell a word. I don't know about the rest of you but it's a fairly regular occurence that I don't know how to spell something complicated and I'll end up with no search results. Google helps me find the results and assists me in knowing the correct spelling next time.
  • This is somewhat offtopice, ut anyways...

    I think it is fair to say that Google is one of the most popular and useful sites out there. I think more or less everyone likes it: how well it works, its features such as the cache and the usenet archive, and also how "clean" it is. Now - how much is this worth to you? I think very few (if any) sites are as liked.
    So - how much is this worth to you? Personally, I would never pay for Slashdot, although I spend lots of time here. However, Google's usefulness is different. I think actually it could start a subscription service that people would sign up for - IF they handled it right.
    I am also using Yahoo mail, together with its "Personal Address" feature that I pay for. I am getting more and more annoyed at all the ads though. If Yahoo could add a few more features I would like to have (like IMAP access), and guarantee performance and reliabilty, I would likely pay some more to see less ads. I think we should not be to sorry if many sites stop being free IF they give you good value for your money.
  • Given google's current business practices and 'user-friendly' manner of running a search engine, I don't feel there is a need for another great search engine. Assuming Google doesn't change its practice after it has dominated the market completely, I don't think users will be interested in locating/using another search engine. Competition is bad...ha..no really it can be.

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