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Comparison Of Google to Teoma 151

Posted by Hemos
from the compare-and-contrast dept.
randomErr writes "SearchEngineWatch.com was compared the good and the bad of both engine. They wrote the cool thing about Teoma is that its community-seeking behavior is both query-specific, and happens in real time. Whenever you type in a query, we're actually looking for the communities after you type the query. Teoma's approach differs from Google's, which uses a similar, but more static ranking system. It's also unlike the approach taken by Northern Light that classify web pages based on pre-defined categories."
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Comparison Of Google to Teoma

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 25, 2002 @07:59PM (#3766010)
    Google rules. Teoma sucks.

    But, seriously, Google has all sorts of features (cache, newsgroups, api, etc, etc) that Teoma doesn't. It's not just the size of your index, it's how you let people use it. There's a reason Google is my (and many other people's) start page.
  • I generally find Google is good enough for finding official sites. Maybe I just don't enter sufficiently obscure searches...
  • Google Labs (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nept (21497) on Tuesday June 25, 2002 @08:04PM (#3766024) Journal
    How many people know about google labs [google.com]? It's got a lot of other cool stuff like sets, voice search, and my favorite, the keyboard shortcuts :)

    • Mycroft [mozdev.org] now has a Mozilla search plugin for the version of Google with keyboard shortcuts. And to be on topic, Mycroft also has a search plugin for Teoma.

      If you're using a new version of Mozilla (newer than 1.1alpha), you can press Ctrl+Shift+F to go to your chosen search engine. If you install and select the Google Keys search plugin it's easy to do an entire search using only the keyboard. You can press Ctrl+Shift+F, type your query, press enter, and then press '2' to go to the second hit or 'KLK' to go to the second adwords ad.
    • Hmmm... jee, maybe me, sincewe already covered it [slashdot.org]
  • Whenever you type in a query, we're actually looking for the communities after you type the query.

    Oops, did you let that slip?
    • "Whenever you type in a query, we're actually looking for the communities after you type the query."

      Oops, did you let that slip?

      No, he forgot the quotes, as you would have noticed if you had read the article. The sentence he failed to quote properly is by Paul Gardi, Teoma's Vice President of Search.
      • Perhaps, but is it any coincidence that Teoma appears on Slashdot so much even though Slashdotters clearly prefer Google?
  • google (Score:4, Funny)

    by crazney (194622) on Tuesday June 25, 2002 @08:05PM (#3766030) Homepage Journal
    google has two great things:

    a) pigeon rank
    b) linux

    Teoma has:

    a) no animal employement
    b) windows.
    • wait, are you talking about what makes them better search engines or better /. stories?
    • Re:google (Score:2, Insightful)

      by _generica (27453)
      how is this funny?
      damn moderators on crack
      • Re:google (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        how is this funny? damn moderators on crack

        Ahh, finally some1 who sees my side of things! I have always known that the moderators are wasted, thats why my highest score is 0, and all my posts get marked either "Flamebait" or "Troll"

  • buh-whah? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    SearchEngineWatch.com was compared the good and the bad of both engine. They wrote the cool thing about Teoma is that its community-seeking behavior is both query-specific, and happens in real time. Whenever you type in a query, we're actually looking for the communities after you type the query."

    This is some truly awful grammar and word choice, to the point where I can't figure out what the point is whatsoever. The whole first part of the paragraph seems poorly translated from some foreign space language. C'mon, slashdot editors... edit.
  • by Sheetrock (152993) on Tuesday June 25, 2002 @08:08PM (#3766044) Homepage Journal
    But as the article says, Teoma will probably never replace Google.

    In some ways, Teoma is more innovative. It's using an extension of an algorithm designed a few years ago by researchers, HITS, that actually goes beyond just searching an index based on a keyword into utilizing the idea of social networks to try to get you closer to what you want. However, this probably impacts search speeds, which I'm guessing is a lot of the reason why their searchspace is so much smaller than the ones used by more contemporary search engines like Yahoo! or Google.

    People don't really dig that far with search engines, and I think Teoma's features will be wasted because of this -- most people are just using it to look up the domain for an organization rather than exhaustively researching every page they can get their hands on.

    • I don't think it really has to be Google vs. Teoma, if they provide different services they both can be very successful.

      However, perhaps one of the reasons people don't dig that far with search engines is because search engines haven't been useful for that. Sure, sometimes I'm just looking for a page I know but I forgot the URL, but sometimes I use a search engine to learn about a new topic or find some information about something that I'm learning, and having relevant links sounds great.

      I suppose that the social networking nature of the information gathered by Teoma could be useful for social engineering as well. With fewer searches you could get a feel for the way people in a particular field/job think about things and how terms link up.

      -Rose
    • As opposed to PageRank [google.com]?

      I'm sorry, but I fail to see any significant difference between Teoma's idea of a social network and Google's ranking system. It simply sounds like Teoma is exposing the concept of "communities" more than Google. The fact that Teoma dynamically calculates the number of votes for a given query might lead to more relevant search results, but I'm skeptical.
    • I disagree. Yes, most people are looking for something that may be "obvious", but what if you aren't? There are some things that every website on the planet doesn't mention.

      Even with Google your search results tend to get less and less relevant as you continue through the list you got back. If a search engine could somehow reverse that trend (say, a "remove pages like this one" button)...
  • by WillSeattle (239206) on Tuesday June 25, 2002 @08:09PM (#3766045) Homepage
    writes "SearchEngineWatch.com was compared the good and the bad of both engine. They wrote the cool thing about Teoma is that its community-seeking behavior is both query-specific, and happens in real time. Whenever you type in a query, we're actually looking for the communities after you type the query. Teoma's approach differs from Google's, which uses a similar, but more static ranking system. It's also unlike the approach taken by Northern Light that classify web pages based on pre-defined categories

    In clear English, that would be:

    writes "SearchEngineWatch.com has compared good and bad aspects of multiple search engines. They wrote that the cool thing about Teoma is that its community-seeking behavior is both query-specific, and happens in real time. Whenever you type in a query, we actually look for the communities after you type the query in. Teoma's approach differs from Google's, which uses a similar, but more static ranking system. It's also different from the approach taken by Northern Light that classify web pages based on pre-defined categories."

    Sigh. Sure hope you're not writing any Open Source documentation ...

    -
  • Sure, but does Teoma have doodles? [google.com] And if it does, what'd they call them? Toodles?

  • Google groups (Newsgroups) and the page caching. The page caching has been great for all of those sites that keep getting /.ed. Also, finding Googlisms are fun. That is trying to find two words in the same search query that where the query only returns one result.
    • Also, finding Googlisms are fun. That is trying to find two words in the same search query that where the query only returns one result.

      Swing and a miss. The term you're looking for is googlewhack [googlewhack.com]. "oligotrophic" and "festering" is a good example, for one.
  • Edit! Dear God! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wrexen (151642) on Tuesday June 25, 2002 @08:16PM (#3766066) Homepage
    SearchEngineWatch.com was compared the good and the bad of both engine.
    And so it begins

    They wrote the cool thing about Teoma is that its community-seeking behavior is both query-specific, and happens in real time.
    Quotes here anyone? Is this a quote? Are they summarizing? We'll never know

    Whenever you type in a query, we're actually looking for the communities after you type the query. Teoma's approach differs from Google's, which uses a similar, but more static ranking system.
    Google's approach or Teoma's approach??

    It's also unlike the approach taken by Northern Light that classify web pages based on pre-defined categories.
    Last time I checked, "the approach" was singular

    I'm not trying to be a troll or a grammar_nazi here, but is just a little proofreading too much to ask for? This write-up is nearing the 1.0 sentence-to-error ratio
    • Whenever you type in a query, we're actually looking for the communities after you type the query.
    "We're"? Is this a post submitted by a participant inside Teoma? Is this story an attempt to garner marketshare amongst Googling Geeks who read Slashdot? Was any payola given in consideration for front-page placement? Can rhetorical questions ever be answered?
  • by ozmodier (469115)
    Has Google changed something lately? My search returns have been getting worse and worse over the past few months.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Mine too. I reckon the spammers have begun cracking the relevancy algorithm. Look what happens when you google [google.com]"search engine ranking optimization." The first link (after the paid placements and to the right of the text ads) tells the story.
  • So Google's static but Teoma's a HeisenBUG. Now that's a sarch engine to (or not to) watch.
  • Submission (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuerstma (15683) on Tuesday June 25, 2002 @08:21PM (#3766084) Homepage
    Google - easy to submit to.
    Temoa - PITA to submit to.

    Google wins.

    (not to mention the other goodies, such as Google owning Deja. All of a sudden I'm pitchin a tent in my roos)
    • PITA is not a good way have having people use your search engine because ordinary people would like to submit other web sites they find interesting for other people.

      If paying a company to have you own site be included is one thing but paying for other sites to included is another. People other than owners of the sites like to have the largest database available to search for things, paying to be included would limit to what is payed for but not what is good.
    • by sh0rtie (455432) on Tuesday June 25, 2002 @09:27PM (#3766295)


      Teuma is not so much PITA (pain in the ass) to submit to
      but more of a CITH (cash in the hand) method of inclusion, meaning no cash = no listing

      basically charging people to fill Teuma's database for them,
      not a lot of difference from those awful search sites you find , you know ,when you happen to mispell a well known url and find yourself at a domain squatters site with popups and a search engine with "finance" and "loans" the most prominent links (as they are the most desperate they tend to pay the most) and when looking at the submission process it directs you offsite to a paypal https:// payment method paying some holdings company $29.99 in Guyana

      Teuma is doomed for failure as soon as the cash runs out, and seeing that its a joint venture of ask.com (who no-one uses willingly) and themselves , it just seems a re-branding exercise for ask.com and a chance to promote their lame marketing tactics [ineedhits.com]
  • But does it have pigeon power?
  • Here is a article [techtv.com] on TechTV's site concerning Google's programming contest winner. Hey look I found the /. thread [slashdot.org] concerning the contest. I can't find the original thread, but I am sure someone out there started one.

    I would imagine that if they awarded this guy $10,000 plus expenses for his trip out to visit them, that they would have serious thoughts about adding this feature to their website.

    I wonder why Mr. Dan Egnor decided to release all his source code [ofb.net] for this project under the GNU liscene when google is paying him all this money to essentially act as a consultant for them.

    I wonder how long it takes for the other search engines to integrate this source code into their engines. Is this Teoma Google's closest competitor? They have the Teoma search bar and their site seems to be reasonably fast.

    I certainly see no reason to switch.

    Oh and by the way the Google Toolbar [google.com]has been updated apparently since (6/7/02) if you haven't downloaded it since then you might want to check it out again. I think they added some new buttons.

    • I think they added some new buttons.

      OOOO, shiny.

      Seriously though, Opera integrates search bar functionality right in the browser, and if you want to try a different search engine with the same query, just pull down the menu and pick another. Google is the default though.
  • I typed in the query "Where can I find some pr0n?"
    It responded with the single result, titled: "Even geeks deserve those really odd stocking fillers" and was actually about thinkgeek.
    Hmm.
  • Self-serving results (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rjamestaylor (117847) <rjamestaylor@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 25, 2002 @08:31PM (#3766117) Homepage Journal
    Teoma's results for "Google sucks" and "Teoma Sucks" Google's results:Notice, too, that Teoma is an ASP=based system. *PeeYew!*
  • by Dr_LHA (30754) on Tuesday June 25, 2002 @08:36PM (#3766132) Homepage
    Type "Slashdot" Into Teoma, here's what I got:

    1. Article about Andover IPO
    2. Slashdot.net domain placeholder/squatter
    3. USGS article detailing the Slashdot effect on it's web site.

    ...and so on. Slashdot itself isn't even in the top 10. Unscientific I know - but the reason I use Google is that the most relevant like is almost always the top one (and certainly in the top 10).
    • If you just wanted to go to Slashdot, why not just type the hostname in your browser navbar?

      There is a big difference in navigational searching ("Take me to Slashdot") and informational searching ("I want to learn everything there is to know about Slashdot"). And it'a really hard to figure out which you want from a single query term. But you'll note that the Teoma results are much more on the "informational" slant.
      • I disagree. Typing 'slashdot' in my browser bar is how I get here once I know the URL; until I know it, Google is _far_ more reliable, and utterly certain to not dump me onto a squatter site.

        Of course, I knew slashdot's URL before I ever used Google, but the point is still valid -- there are many other sites to be found that way.

        Google isn't the all-in-all, of course; but Teoma doesn't come close. I like using alltheweb when Google isn't enough.

        -Billy
  • by EchoMirage (29419) on Tuesday June 25, 2002 @08:42PM (#3766156)
    Teoma misses the obvious stuff. Like "Slashdot," which does not bring one to slashdot.org within the first ten hits.

    Teoma's technology is cool, and I'm glad to see Google getting challenged - I think it will make Google a stronger search engine.
  • Here's a fun test.

    Go to Google and search the phrase "Teoma Sucks." Count the hits.

    Now, go to Teoma and enter the same phrase. Count the hits. Who wins?

    If your search results were the same as mine, you'll be amused at the #1 site returned by Teoma.

    Enjoy.
    • #1 return for "Teoma Sucks" on Teoma is baloney.com

      I actually don't mind Teoma, I think friendly competition is good for us all.
      • Actually, I ran an interest area of mine: waka (it's a form of short verse). Teoma offered me several waka hits, along with a nicely organized grouping of "Japanese Poetry." Helpful, that. The links were of very high quality.
  • Google rules.
    AskJeeves (Teoma) sucks.

    I'm sorry, but changing one's company name is not going to make a service any better.

  • Leaving aside caching, groups, images, answers, news, speed, etc. etc I would like to say this about Teomas Refine Search capabilities.

    Teoma is trying to urge users to use query expansion techniques for enriching their queries through the "Refine Search". Query expansion works well in Information Retrieval experiments. Problem is that users are too lazy to do all that clicking (an extra couple of clicks!).

    Google definetely has the technology to add some query reformulation and expansion. They just realised user laziness right from the start. That's what makes them so irresistable. Google users feel that they save time and make less effort to find stuff. A good study on this can be found in this [firstmonday.dk] article.

    Someone at Teoma should run a query on the Kiss Principle [google.com]

  • ... on perhaps the most incomprehensible Slashdot submission ever.
  • Teoma toolbar (Score:2, Informative)

    by jesser (77961)
    Teoma now has a toolbar [ask.com] for IE/Win, similar to the Google Toolbar [google.com]. Here is a quick comparison of the toolbars:

    The Teoma toolbar is missing a lot of features that the Google toolbar has.
    • Teoma's toolbar does not have a "Search Site" button.
    • Google adds "Google Search" to Internet Explorer's context menu for selected text. Teoma does not. (This feature is built into Mozilla, by the way.)
    • Shift+Enter doesn't open the search results in a new window like it does in the Google Toolbar.
    • Alt+Enter doesn't go straight to the first hit like it does in the Google Toolbar (I'm Feeling Lucky).
    • Alt+D (focus address bar) and Alt+G (focus Google toolbar) do not work while the Teoma toolbar has focus. Furthermore, CLICKING on the Google toolbar does not work when the Teoma toolbar has focus.
    It does, however, have Alt+S to focus the search field in the toolbar (Google uses Alt+G). This is good because the first thing you're going to do after focusing the search field is type a search phrase using the keyboard.

    The Teoma toolbar makes it easy to add and remove toolbar buttons. I like that.

    The "Email this page to a friend" feature is useless. It creates a message that advertises the Teoma search bar and almost hides the information you were trying to send. Unlike the "Send Page" feature in IE and Mozilla, Teoma only sends a link to the page (like IE's and Mozilla's "Send Link"), but it doesn't tell you this.

    Problems with BOTH toolbars:
    • Neither Google nor Teoma makes their toolbar Search button search for selected text. (Same with the search buttons built into IE and Mozilla.) You can drag the selection into the search textbox, but that's awkward.
    • Clicking search brings you to a page with a search box but does not focus the search box for you. In contrast, the front page for each search engine focuses the search box automatically, saving you a mouse click.
    • Pasted Japanese text comes out as a bunch of question marks, and clicking search actually searches for question marks (%3f).
    • The only version available is for Internet Explorer for Windows.
    • Pasted Japanese text comes out as a bunch of question marks, and clicking search actually searches for question marks (%3f).


      Try setting your default Browser language to Japanese. If no luck, set your encoding to auto-select-> Auto-Japanese. Still not luck, download the Japanese version of the Google bar. http://google.co.jp

    • > The only version available is for Internet Explorer for Windows.

      googlebar.mozdev.org

      Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to install properly on
      current versions of Mozilla, but it worked great with
      0.9.9, and I suppose the bitrot will be fixed eventually.

      • I'm using the googlebar with Moz 1.0 (build 2002053012) and it works just fine.
        • > I'm using the googlebar with Moz 1.0 (build 2002053012)
          > and it works just fine.

          I'm using a trunk build, and am unwilling to return to the
          1.0 branch because it lacks an enhancement that is very
          significant for me (namely, tabs close left-to-right).

          But the googlebar was nifty while I had it, and I imagine
          the bitrot will be cleared up at some point in the future.
  • Northern Light has discontinued the indexing of 'Web pages. In other words, it is not really a "search engine" anymore. Now, it seeeks to compete with Lexis-Nexis and Dow Jones, as a pay-per article database of things that (mostly) were originally published in magazines and newspapers.


    So, technically, it is something of a non-sequitur to mention Northern Light in this posting.


    It is also worth mentioning that Northern Light has been sued by several thousand members of the national writers' union for ripping off freelance writers, and violating their copyrights on an industrial scale. Its lawyers filed a brief with the Supreme Court supporting the (losing) position of the New York Times in the NYT v. Tasini case, which was the case in which the Supreme Court ultimately re-affirmed the rights of freelance writers to be compensaqted fairly for their work.

    No stranger to irony, Northern Light Technology (now owned by Divine) has also hypocritically attempted to abuse its so-called "intellectual property" rights, as a sword and not as a shield, in an attempt to hijack the Internet Domain Name NorthernLights.com from its rightful owner (who owned NorthernLights.com almost a YEAR in advance of the launch of the now-defunct Northern Light "search engine"). "Northern Light," incidentally, is the name of an 1860 sailing vessel. The "search engine" was not named after the Aurora Borealis. Just because the CEO of Northern Light picked a really stupid name, and manufactured confusion because his brand name was knowingly proximate to a common dictionary word, certainly does not give him any more right to hijack his neighbor's address than the brand name "biznes (tm)" would give one the right to hijack "business.com" from its rightful owner.


    For more information about the hypocrisy of this company (which still continues to drag the trademark dispute through the courts, even though it has discontinued its "search engine"), see

  • by Quixote (154172) on Tuesday June 25, 2002 @10:17PM (#3766479) Homepage Journal
    Search for the term "search engine" on Google, and Google is ranked first.
    Search for the term "search engine" on Teoma, and Teoma is ranked nowhere in the results! (On the first page, at least). Lycos ranks tops there.
    You decide.
  • by sh0rtie (455432) on Tuesday June 25, 2002 @10:20PM (#3766492)

    i went there and i wanted to see their privacy policy before i used the engine, but i had to actually use their search engine before able to see a link, this was after the site had tried to place 2 cookies on my system,
    one from teoma and one from a 1x1 gif webbug from askcm.com, after performing a search the webbug transmitted what i had searched for and a GUID to the askcm.com address as well in the form of a hash.
    nearly every way of tracking your behaviour has been implemented on their site.

    Of course it does finaly provide (after using) it mentions they will take if they can personally identifying info and they share it with 3rd partys (with permission) (yeah right like yahoo/hotmail did)

    On using Internet Explorers "privacy report" feature (which uses the webstandards w3c p3p privacy [w3.org] method) it came up as not supporting that either

    pretty un-professional if i cant view a privacy policy before using their service, isnt that what its for ?

    not that google is any different of course as it too doesnt support the w3c privacy standard and tries to set a cookie, but it doesnt use webbugs to thirdparty sites and set 2 cookies so i guess thats an improvement.

    Looking at the toolbar they offer [ask.com] i have to agree to the the same terms as their website!, which seems strange as they expect me to install software without a explanation of what its gonna do to my system (spyware anyone ?).

    Teoma (ask) is yet another classic venture of YOU are the product not the search engine so selling you to the highest bidder takes more importance than the technology ever will.
  • When I searched for my name, Teoma ranked my personal web site as the 3rd result. Google put my site 52nd on the same search. Clearly, Teoma likes me better.
  • A search for "slashdot" returned slashdot.net as #3. Have you been there lately?

    It is a placeholder page (in german) for the domain from a registar.

    Yeah, that's crappy logic. I do have to say though, I read through the usgs page and it was interesting.

    -Pete
  • All I can say is that when you search for "Ulkarnis" on google, you actually get my site, ulkarnis.rpg.net.nz

    On Teoma, you get nowhere close, despite meta tag descriptors and keywords, page title, etc...

    I'll stick with Google.
  • Google has a strong anti-gun bias - see Google Refuses Business from Gun and Knife Advertisers [bowmansbrigade.com] for details.

    For me, that rules them out, despite the fact that I prefer the technical aspects of their service to those of any other search engine. If you want to know my position on such things, see my editorial on my homepage, titled Firearms And Self Defense [ihug.co.nz] for details.

    • I find myself weak. I find I like this Google policy. And yet it is "censorship".

      Still, in this particular case I can't find any good reasons to stand against google.

      Gun's are good for exactly one thing, that being hunting, which is for the most part deprecated activity.

      Self Defense ? What a sick society...

      • Self Defense ? What a sick society...

        I agree - there are many sick people (murders and rapists especially) in society, as well as the people who would prevent potential victims from defending themselves.

        I notice you didn't actually question any of the findings I reported in my editorial....

  • Google sucks lately (Score:2, Interesting)

    by nebbian (564148)
    I don't know why, but just lately (in the past month or so), Google has gone completely nuts and won't show pages that it used to show. For example, my father has a site that's all about little historic stone statues, and you used to be able to do a search for "Venus Figures" on google and get his site. No longer! Even a search for the title of his site doesn't return his site. Even a search for the URL doesn't return his site anymore! It returns some pages with links to his site, but not his site! For my money, the balance of power of the web search engines is shifting. I now use teoma and www.alltheweb.com when I want to do a search, and then try google. If we can make a decent operating system, web server, proxy, etc open source, why can't we make a decent open source search engine? Surely the geekier members amongst us can figure something out... Ben
  • It doesn't give you what you're looking for right away -- it mixes it all in with advertised links and misc nonsense. If you want it 'your way, right away' Google will remain King of the Hill.
  • by Daetrin (576516) on Wednesday June 26, 2002 @12:07AM (#3766898)
    Altavista has a very nice feature that was lacking in both google and and teoma last i checked. Altavista will search for _exactly_ what you typed in, caps, punctuation, and all.

    I can not even begin to count the number of crappy links google has tried to give me because it decided that some similar word was "close enough" to what i was searching for.

    That might be a useful feature for when i'm unsure of what i'm looking for, but most of the time i _know_ what i want to find, and i don't appreciate Google cluttering things up with other "likely" variants. Using the "exact phrase" in the advanced search option returns the same inexact search results.

  • "Downside" and "Deathwatch" both bring up my site as #1 on both Teoma and Google.

    I do absolutely nothing to achieve that placement, other than trying to provide useful content and not putting ads all over the place.

  • Try to search KX-TD290 (E1 card for KX-TD1232). 102 results from Google and ZERO from Teoma. Bye-bye, Teoma. Come back when you will find at least half of what Google finds.
  • I wonder if Google is responding to AllTheWeb's claim [slashdot.org] to have the largest nuber of indexed pages by refreshing/rebuilding their index?
    I'm wondering because the site in my .sig and all pages mentioning or linking to it are no longer to be found by Google. Gone. Vapourised. The cache is empty as well. This [8bit.co.uk] and this [petitiononline.com] site used to be the first results listed when you searched for "amigaos petition distribution policies" [google.com]. Now see for yourselves what turns up (it's just 3 hits).
  • I entered:

    delphi "cd ripper"

    in Google and got 6 hits. Teoma gave me 55, and I feel like they were more useful. I like Google a lot, but I'm adding Teoma to my very short list of useful search engines.

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