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Google is launched! 167

dpavlin writes "Google, my favourite search engine has came out of beta testing. Press release is also online. " Google's just so darn pretty.
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Google is launched!

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  • They managed to keep the interface clean while making it better looking and there's still no banner ads. --Sean
  • Used it five times already today, and all I noticed was a few extra colours in the goooooooooooogle bar. Really got to pay attention.
    There's no point in saying -- but I will anyway -- that google has pretty much become the default engine for anyone who wants to find relevant results. Great stuff, and with a page that isn't cluttered with crap. Well done to all concerned.
  • by Cy Guy ( 56083 )
    I've been following this project since their first public beta test. I still think it needs some polishing, and a way to limit the duplicate hits that are mirrors of other sites. But overall, it is clearly the most powerful search engine, even if it isn't the most comprehensive or current. (for example, doesn't search usenet or newswires as Dogpile does. Fortunately, the caching feature helps to make up for the old links that have expired.
  • The Web is getting increasingly encrusted with junky pseudo-apps that don't really do very much useful. Certain well-known search sites have evolved in that direction also.

    I find that Google is just great at nailing down quick references to things. I type in "Georgia counties" or something for some work project and find pretty much what I need immediately.

    I would pay folding money for them to keep it this simple and good.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    The press release says: "Patent-Pending PageRank Technology". Not too happy about that...
  • I get a javascript error when I bring up google. They have a few (though perhaps minor) bugs to iron out.

  • by Bud^- ( 70689 )

    That is one sweet little engine man. It is not junked up with banner ads and "extra" junk on the main page, or the results page. Decent.

    It does what is supose to great, search.

    Ever notice those "other" search engines? They are supose to search, but for some odd reason it is hard to find the input box for your keywords. It takes 15 minutes to load with all the bloated ads and spam, they make em look greasy.

    I think I have to switch search engines...
  • by Todd Stewart ( 63317 ) on Tuesday September 21, 1999 @12:03AM (#1670139)
    Here's a link to a SciAm article that talks about Google:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/1999/0699issue /0699raghavan.html

    Todd Stewart
  • Yeah, if you like completely broken and non-compliant HTML.

    I mean, I love Google, but it is NOT hard to produce proper HTML, and it makes it less useful.

    check it out ... [w3.org]

  • I get a script error too - how embarrassing for them. However, the linux version works perfectly. I wonder why :-)

    http://www.google.com/linux [google.com]


  • I've found the caching to be very useful, especially when I was trying to find information about something where suddenly many of the related pages had been pulled down due to legal issues.

    Google is number one in my three favorite search engines, and I'm glad to see that they aren't resorting to all the ad-clutter that is so rampant these days. Way to go, folks!

  • Just had to add that little remark.

    according to netcraft [netcraft.com]

  • Yup, yet another software patent.

    But realize that if Google *doesn't* patent it, someone else can, which would be even worse.

    In the current context you can't blame a company for grabbing all the software patents they can, even the FSF is thinking of playing this game. It's how those patents are exercised that matters.

    At least there really seems to be some clever innovation involved in this one.
  • Yes. I'm not a fan of IE, but that's what I'm forced to use at work. :( I too get a JavaScript error when pulling up their site. I would have hoped they would build cross-platform compatibility into their site _before_ going public...
  • http://www.google.com/advertisement.html [google.com] says: "Google will be accepting advertising on the site in the near future."

    As long as they keep it sensible, I'll be happy.

  • Line 44
    Char 1

    'document.f.q' is not an object.

    Go figure the scripting breaks between yesterday and today when it's "released".

    That's under IE5, of course. ;-> Blame it on MS.

    Love the beast, otherwise! (Google, that is... not MS or IE!)

  • by www.thefish.com ( 36532 ) on Tuesday September 21, 1999 @12:12AM (#1670150) Homepage
    Sure, they just launched the engine now, and they don't have clutter, or banner ads, or other cross-selling junk, but it won't last.

    We had a local radio station that went commercial-free for months just to bolster its listener base. They, of course, started advertising because someone's gotta' pay the bills.

    At Google, just like everywhere else, something has to pay the bills. The clutter will come, it's a fact.
  • Soon. In the About Google section there is a notice that advertising will soon be accepted.


    In Lynx, nobody can see you advertise.
  • Works fine on Netscape 4.5 on WinNT for me... (don't tell me to upgrade, this isn't my system)
  • Wow! First time I've seen google in action - a search engine that works! More relevant hits returned than I've seen with anything else.

    The lack of ads is absolutely GREAT - and I too would pay to keep it as uncluttered and useful as it is.

  • For all y'all who are praising Google's lack of ads, it doesn't take too long to find this page [google.com], which basically says that ads are on the way.

    Don't bitch too hard, though... ads make a lot of cool stuff free (slashdot [slashdot.org], yahoo [yahoo.com], altavista [altavista.com], you know this list could go on forever).

  • by Anonymous Coward
    There is no substitue for the boolean expressions in Alta Vista Advanced. Google also can only handle about 3 terms, anything more it seems to ignore it. For really simple stuff, Yahoo and Google are fine.
  • The more we have engines like Google, the better the Net will be indexed as a whole.
  • It's not really "completely broken and non-compliant HTML". They just, for whatever reason, didn't use any quotes in their tags. I imagine some coder got tired of escaping everything. It's not the best form, but at least it's consistent. I'm not aware of any browsers that will not render this properly.

    We all take pink lemonade for granted.
  • Waah....the relevance bars and the single click backlinks to referers are gone.

    I miss them.
  • ...and it hasn't turned into a Portal Page. THis is great! If they ever add "Get your own email/homepage @google.com" I'm not going to use them anymore though :)

    Question: How do they plan to make money off this site? It is venture-capital funded right?

  • Damn, its times like this I wish I could maybe move down to California and get in on the start-up action. Sounds like Google could be the next Excite or Yahoo, can you say $$$$ ?
  • I use www.alltheweb.com too. And sometimes I even use altavista or yahoo. I also like www.google.com though it sometimes comes back with some redundant results. I.e. the same link is listed more than once. This is especially annoying if you want 100 links at once since often most of these links are duplicates. Also I noticed it doesn't find my homepage :( if I enter my full name. This indicates that google covers only a small part of the web since my homepage has been around for a few years (though, the original site now only forwards to my new site).

    About the user interface. All you lynx addicts seem to be really enthousiastic about its sinplicity: a Gif, a textfield and two buttons. I seriously miss the dropdownmenu which allows you to select between 10 and 100. It only shows up after you search which usually causes me to rerun the search. As for why it is so simple, I think the engine is licensed to portals like mynetscape who use the engine on their site rather than google wanting to be another portal. Its a good thing that they keep this page around, though.
  • And what about this [w3.org], while we're being sticklers? :-)

    We all take pink lemonade for granted.
  • Agreed here. I've been using Google for months now, ever since Altavista stopped returning anything of use. I hated visiting Altavista, submitting a query, and about 3 pages later maybe finding something related to what I'm looking for. I'm still impressed every time I go to Google, type in some vague keyword, and the first entry returned is the exact page I'm looking for.
  • I'm accessing Google under netscape 4.08 under Linux, and I can't seem to produce any Javascript problems with either the main page or query pages. Maybe they've fixed it already, or it only shows up under some versions/platforms and not others?
  • by knarf ( 34928 ) on Tuesday September 21, 1999 @12:40AM (#1670167) Homepage
    Follow this link for enlightenment [google.com]

    If you're the lazy type, here's what the link points at:

    Advertisement Opportunities

    Google will be accepting advertising on the site in the near future. The advertising program and site
    information will be available soon.

    If you are interested in advertising on Google, please check back with us or send email to
    bizdev@google.com [mailto].

    Thank you for your interest in Google.

  • ...realize that if Google *doesn't* patent it, someone else can, which would be even worse...

    IANAL, but, AFAIK, Google could publish their algorithm, thus preventing (by `prior art') anyone else patenting it. Always assuming that the patent lawers etc are competent enough to find the Google publication.

    As an aside, I once saw a (U.K.) patent which cited the Beano (Famous U.K. comic) in `related work'. I don't know whether the patent people have a full library of comics...


  • http://www.altavista.com/cgi-bin/query? text [altavista.com]
    You could click on Advanced Search, too ...
  • Well - the web server may run linux, but maybe the workhorse (the search engine) runs on something else. I would expect something 64bit.
  • Well, as I recall hearing several months back on Slashdot, they have quite a few investors. Here is a snip from their about Google page:Google, which is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., was founded in 1998 by two Stanford Ph.D. students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who now serve as chief executive officer and president, respectively. The privately held company announced in June 1999 that it had secured $25 million in equity funding led by Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Other investors include Stanford University; Andy Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems and current vice president at Cisco Systems; and Ram Shriram, who has held the positions of president of Junglee and vice president of Business Development at Amazon.com.

    So, I think they can keep the uncluttered look, at least till the $25 million runs out! :)


  • on google.com:
    keywords: scientific american google

    -> I'm feelin lucky

    there you go - google is great!

  • ...

    as you could easily find things... 4 months ago I found google by accident, use it ever since and only use babelfish from time to time at altavista.... Hope they get the small problems fixed now... I wonder how many linux boxes they have runnning there now....
  • I miss them too...

    Maybe we should write to Google and see if they can be an option?

  • Absolutely, I am being a hypocrite. :) But I have not touched the design of that page in like 3 years. When I do, it will be proper HTML. I just need some spare tuits, that's all.
  • You don't "pay off your startup capital". It does not work like school loans. A venture capitalist ("VC" in startup lingo) invests in your company by giving you some amount of cash to help you start your company, in return for a percentage of your company. You are then responsible for growing your company, increasing your revenues and profits(if any, Internet start-ups rarely have profits), raising some more money from VCs or individual investors as you go(these are called "rounds of financing"). Eventually if you are successful, you are either acquired by another company or have your IPO and sell the shares of the company in the stock market. Some people immediately get rich, at least on paper. This is how the start-up world works.

    Of course they will sell ads. They have to. It is a Good Thing since the cash infusion will let them grow and give better service. Plus as the inventors of that nifty search technology, they deserve to be rich, too.
  • It is not merely missing quotes. No doctype, unbalanced and wrong tags, etc. OK, it is not totally screwed, but it is very broken and should be fixed. I'd rather have good HTML and ad banners than no ads and bad HTML. With good HTML, it is easy to filter the ads. :)

  • I was getting a script error too, but it now appears to be fixed.

    Thanks Google

  • I'm still waiting for the Search Engine that will GPL its source code.

    Probably what's keeping search-engines from doing that is the fear of website owners that will use this as a method of getting their pages rank higher then they should have.

    thats too bad. I'd love to take a look at their algorithms and implementations
  • You can still get backlinks. Use the link: keyword, with the URL you want backlinks for, and you'll get what you need. It is kind of a pain that you have to go through the extra step, though
  • by Octos ( 68453 ) on Tuesday September 21, 1999 @01:33AM (#1670185) Homepage
    Did anyone find the Linux search [google.com]? I think the idea of seperate search engines for different content categories is the way to go for the future. There's so much crap and conflicts of context that it chokes the relevant information lower on the results set.
  • "IANAL, but, AFAIK, Google could publish their algorithm, thus preventing (by `prior art') anyone else patenting it. Always assuming that the patent lawers etc are competent enough to find the Google publication."

    On reflection, I think you are right. Maybe this is a case where a patent almost makes sense. If Google just publishes their algorithm, then whoever can buy more and faster servers profits from the idea, right? If yahoo implements google for example not many people will go to google's page.

    I'm starting to think that the goal should be to reduce software patents' duration to 3 years or so. This is probably realistically achievable, and would maintain a better balance between encouraging innovation and spreading new ideas. Until we disconnect selling ideas from survival somehow it's hard to expect more -- real life isn't a gift culture yet.
  • Oh, I hope this doesn't eventually make Google look like every other search engine..I stopped using hotbot a long while ago when there were so many bloody ads/text boxes (uhuh, sure there's going to be books on whatever string I'm searching for at Barnes & Noble..) that on either lynx or a graphical browser, it's just bloody ugly. Google, for now, is a no bullshit straightforward search engine that gets the job done. And that's all I want out of it..*sigh* ads are inevitable though, I suppose..as long as they're non-intrusive (sort of like freshmeat.net's ads, they're there but everything else still looks the same) I could live with it..

  • Next time you get a page with the drop down, copy the HTML form and create your own page (could even be locally on your HD). Then use this page. Google doesn't care where its requests are coming from, and in fact they give instructions on how to put a google search form on your site. Just copy the drop-down code...or create the input field with your favorite value...
  • I just checked again under IE 5.0 and Netscape 4.04- an they haven't fixed it yet. It must be the platform.
  • I went to google (first time) typed "google" and the first link seemed informative, so I clicked on it. "404..." Ummm, it was on their own site! Don't they try entering their own name?

    Sigh, the state of QA, today.
  • Try searching for: So long and thanks for all the fish

    You get a lot of links to to Douglas Adams sites, and other sites that have put that quote on their "We've Moved!" page.

    However, the interesting link is the first one.... Yahoo!

    I wonder if this is some kind of comment about many people moving from Yahoo! to Google for their search engine needs.

    In fact, I used to be a faithful Yahoo! user until Google came around. Before Google, no search engine could beat humans cataloging web sites. Now, Google does a better job searching than Yahoo!, and you don't get all the other crap that you get on Yahoo!'s page. (If I wanted Britney Spears and Pokemon actions, I'd search for them dammit!)

  • Lets face it folks, no matter what the technologies the engines are having a *tough* time keeping up with the plethora of sites thats out there. A lot of the brick and mortar businesses, mom and pop businesses and companies that provide niche products are just getting online NOW. By the time these engines catch up with the new sites it would be a while.

    Lets also take into account that even human edited directories are having a hard time. My vote goes for ODP the only "search engine" that I bother with anymore. They are turning into something that yahoo used to be in the good old stanford days.. a genuine human edited interface for joe-surfer.

    Just venting some frustration over people go gaga over a google.
  • Google rates sites depending on how many links back they get from other sites. If your site isn't listed it may not be because google hasn't indexed that part of the web yet, but simply because your site isn't referenced from anywhere else.

    I've found that in situations where you're looking for a site that you know isn't popular and won't have many links to it you're better off using AltaVista or something (I remember when AltaVista was a good search-engine!). Usually I want to find a good, authoratative site though, and in those cases google's yer only man.
  • Yeah, but hardly any pages have a doctype, and the unbalanced tags that show up in the validator are mostly closing tags for opening tags that the validator decided are incorrect. Like if they didn't put quotes in the opening font tag, the validator will point out the closing font tag as incorrect ("unmatched"). Basically, validators are nitpicky little beasts, and don't have the last word in HTML correctness. Some of their other errors are, for example, using UL without LI tags, to indent sub-matches without bulleting. Anyway, this thread has already gone way too far-- my point is just that "correct" html is often ugly as hell, and I appreciate the simplicity of google's design more than I would appreciate perfection in their code. :-)

    We all take pink lemonade for granted.
  • ...and it hasn't turned into a Portal Page. THis is great! If they ever add "Get your own email/homepage @google.com" I'm not going to use them anymore though :)

    I agree! That portal stuff is obnoxious and pathetic.

    Question: How do they plan to make money off this site? It is venture-capital funded right?

    Banner ads, just like everyone else.

  • I know how to do that. I used to have a webpage with forms for all my favorite searchengines. But that's not the issue. The issue is that the version of google offered on the google site lacks this feature.

    Google is mostly used by expert users. Other users have probably not found their way to the google site yet. So based on that you would expect a site that is tailored to expert users (i.e. lots of nice features such as the before mentioned dropdown menu).

    The google site seems to suffer a bit from the fact that it was created by a bunch of unix people. Great on the inside but shockingly primitive on the outside. Of course you have to consider that they are only selling what's on the inside (i.e. their search technology). But even then it would probably only help their cause if they payed some attention to the user interface.

    After all, if more people start using google, more portals will consider buying their technology.
  • I don't mean to burst anyone's bubble, but IMHO it won't happen. For AltaVista and InfoSeek, it's *very* unlikely because they have products based on their source code.

    For Google, I'm sure it's a matter of pride and self-preservation. The GPL doesn't say anything about using the code, so if it was released, there's nothing stopping another site from using the code exactly as presented.

    That's not to say I wouldn't like to see the code either. It would be nice to improve the scalability of GPL'ed search engine packages like ht://Dig. In the meantime, we'll just have to read the papers and reverse-engineer.

  • Even if they do use ads, it's possible to integrate them in a manner that isn't awful. It they're not just tossed up at the top, but integrated into the design. (I'm not trying to be mean, but I think that /. a good example of how *not* to have ads.)

    I'd been harbouring a secret desire that Google might be making enough off of licensing their search engine to companies (ie, Netscape) that they wouldn't need to have advertising. That, of course, would be an unwise business move, illogical, etc. But I'd harboured it none the less. :P)
  • Unfortunately google does not support - or NOT operators like altavista. Which is really annoying sometimes :-)
  • I would expect something 64bit.

    Like Linux?

  • Actually, I'd e-mailed them with some code/graphics advice about 6 months ago, and communicated with the webmaster for a bit. I found that they had pretty good cause, believe it or not, for how they do things.
  • >Try searching for: So long and thanks for all the fish

    I wouldn't exactly call that an Easter Egg. I'd call that a search engine.
  • Just establing prior art and thus not allowing anyone to get a patent on their CURRENT IDEA is not enough for Google to protect itself. What happens if someone extends their algorithm and gets a patent on the extended idea?

    If google has its patent, it could have a cross licensing agreement. Without it, Google will have to license the new patent.

    In short, by getting a patent they have some leverage on future patents.

    Note that I am not arguing FOR software patents. I am against it, but given the current situation, even those "good" developers who have no intention of suing anyone have to try to protect themselves.

  • Right now, at 10:30AM CDT, Google is acting very very pokey. I just did a search on "free graphics" and it's taken about 5 minutes to return results.

    Didn't they expect a /. effect? Eeek...
  • As some comments above have pointed out, the Google Bar is gone. I think it is a nice feature because it gives you an idea to what extent the site is being referenced. For example, when I searched CNN before, I could see that the bar went almost all the way to the right indicating that the site was really popular.

    Now, I don't see any mention of why they drop the bar in their "Help" or "FAQ". In fact, they changed the "Help" section to not even explain the meaning of the bar anymore. (Of course... since they dropped the bar).

    Really miss the Google bar. Anyone knows the reason behind their decision?
  • Nonsense. First, DTDs are, by definition, the first and last word in correctness, and that is what validators use. Second, if "correct" HTML looks bad it is because the designer is not a designer, or is a bad one.
  • I get a javascript error when I bring up google. They have a few (though perhaps minor) bugs to iron out.
    No problems in either of the 6 browsers I tested with. They might've fixed it since you posted. In my opinion they'd probably create no errors if they waited 'till the whole document was done before focusing the text field, but then you'd have to wait for the image before you got focus (or click/tab to it yourself).
  • I like the 'I'm feeling lucky' button.
    Not that it's extremely useful.
    'Luckies' like 'slashdot', 'slash dot', 'linux', 'great operating system' and 'free operating system' all bring you to the right place, however :)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I applaud Google for it's visual simplicity, lack of ads, and query speed, but I still find that it's painfully difficult to use, typically spewing out only irrelevant links if the query isn't riddled with a special search operator every few characters. To try the "new Google" out, I entered a very simple phrase:

    Quake 3 info

    ... and got hit with 1,202 links, notably Earthquake Information from the USGS, QuakeNet Technologies (a web developer), and a message board with BSP info from Carmack... on Quake 1. Mixed in there was a link to id Software's official website, which unfortunately is virtually devoid of anything beyond Quake 2.

    So I tried to refine my search. 3, a rather crucial part of the query, was ignored because it was too common. This time I searched for:

    Quake +3 info

    It did better this time, but only marginally. The first result was a link to Mplayer's Quake 2 News, which despite forcing "3" in the query, was still the wrong sequel. The next was id Software (again), and then there were finally some Quake 3 fan sites, a FAQ, and PlanetQuake, among the links to ChubGam 3-D, which looked like Wolfenstein but on better drugs. Since the "3" was clearly being taken out of the desired context, I went back to refine the search again. I tried:

    "Quake +3" info

    Again there was a slight improvement, but the results again drifted to crap like Snap.com and something called "Boston chicks" and a site about Shockwave.

    I'm not saying Google is crap... it's mainly just too picky and overdependent on a very precise query if its to return very precise results. I'll call it... versatile. But even the decreipt AltaVista returned hundreds of accurate results, at least the 50 first of which were dead-on; all with the original query. AllTheWeb performed similarly.
    I think Google could use some work. Sure, it runs Linux and hasn't quite sold out yet, but it's still sorely lacking in the actual searching department. eh.
  • anyone else notice how the press release uses the trademark symbol and words like 'new technology' so repeatedly? sounds like some wacky real-world business/advertising folks got their hands on the Stanford alum's newest creation... let's hope it can stay virginal and pure...
  • I have to go with ODP, also. They come up with (in my mind) clearly the most relevant data, and its super-fast!

    I recommend everybody going to http://dmoz.org as soon as possible.
  • I love the interface. Type in some keywords hit go! Everything else should be done with technology. Simplicity is the key to technology, 1 button, 1 key, just press/turn and go.
  • they have want ads that look like this...

    Massage Therapist

    We are tense from typing and in need of some gentle hands...

    Google is seeking a Massage Therapist to provide massages free of charge to employees. The ideal candidate will be able to provide a full range of massage options ranging from chair to full body massages. Must supply own massage table and corporate references. Help us transform our hard working, tense team back into relaxed, happy Googlers! Google will provide compensation and stock options to the one with the magic touch!


    The Googlers are hungry!!

    One of Silicon Valley's hottest and fastest growing internet companies is looking for an experienced Head Chef to manage all aspects of our on site cafeteria. Job responsibilities will include, but not be limited to, hiring and managing a full time kitchen staff, cashiers, and dishwashers. Our site is equipped with a full service kitchen and grill with a cafeteria style serving counter. The Chef of choice should be creative and healthy in planning menus for Googlers craving a meal other than a burger.

    The only Chef job with stock options!

    get out them cooking pans and you too can retire at age 30.
  • Security through obscurity?

    If opening up the source code to a search engine enabled people to abuse it, it would highlight which parts of the site-ranking formula were artificial and enable the community to remove these flaws.

    The differentiator would then become who could get the most of the web mapped most recently, which would be much more worthwhile.

  • It looks like they got rid of the option to see the sites linking to a given URL. It's a shame--the feature was interesting, useful, and (since Google ranks by link-tos) informative about how a particular site got ranked the way it did. Maybe if we bug them, they'll add it back as an option, like Dejane^H^H.com did with its uncluttered format.

    On an unrelated topic, does anyone know why they have that Google/Burningman logo [google.com] in their old logos page [google.com]? I e-mailed them about it last year, but got no reply. I't love to know if there's a theme camp they do

  • This is really beutiful. I am on my shell account and google just looks spectacular on lynx. It is simple and clean and loads fast. The results seem to be very relevant and of course no adds is nice too! One thing I don't see, and I browsed through the FAQ etc is what you can add to a search to make it more relevant. I know in most browsers you can use use boolean operators. Also I often use + or - to make sure a word shows up or doesnt show up. Does google support these kinds of things? If someone finds some info on it, perhaps post it here. Even without using the extra functions this browser is still very effecient! Way to go google.
  • Ya, and everybody runs lint on their C code too! ;) . And I ALWAYS check for NULL pointers even right after doing a malloc(), . And I always turn on the best optimization for compiling. .

    It's f'n html man. Give it a rest. The article was about the search engine, not about how pretty their html code is.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    AFAIK, google is the only search engine that doesn't try to do anything more than what it was meant to do - search web pages. Every other search tool in my bookmarks just wants to be another Yahoo, but ends up being even more cluttered. How many ultimate-end-all-be-all hierarchal-link pages do we need?

    Of course when I do want to surf in that manner, I just go to Yahoo, not the wannabees.

  • That sounds reasonable. If it is true they should fix it. Right now if I type in my full name, it returns only one link (not my homepage but still relevant). So it does a good job at filtering out the useless stuff. Altavista usually poors out a long list of porn sites if it fails. But still if there's only one link to return, it might be worthwhile to try a different search algoritm and put the results of the new search in the list too.
  • Yes, but note that they have a "cached" link which succesfully retrieves a version of that file before it was moved or deleted.
  • Every search engine goes through a phase of being the latest and greatest, each offering new concepts that will make searching "deeper, more accurate, and faster". Yahoo!, AltaVista, MetaCrawler, and Ask Jeeves (I'll exclude Dogpile because it sucks) have all had the spotlight at one time or another, and then made somewhat halfassed attempts to incorporate the better features of other sites into theirs, including Google's page caching feature.

    Cached pages are a great idea, however, and as I proposed last week, Slashdot should attempt to use similar technology for a few of those sites that are subjected to "The Slashdot Effect".

    For now, Google works pretty well because most search engine tip sites are unaware of it. Soon, those sites will be updated so that workarounds, tricks, and other methods to trick the engine into working for the rabid site promoter will make the results just as inaccurate.

    My own thought on how to make a search engine work well is to somehow tie the results to Yahoo!. It would be a raw-text search, which could then be compared to Yahoo!'s anemic directory of sites. As the number of links from a related Yahoo site to a candidate page increases, the candidate's score would decrease.

    My $0.02.

  • I've checked it under IE5 in Windows 98, Netscape 4.61 in Windows 98, and Netscape 4.6 in Linux, and I've had no problems with all of them.
  • But the whole idea of investing is to get money back. Do you think those investors will be content to see money just go down the drain? They're going to want a return.

    Have a Sloppy day!
  • HTML compliance is a joke anyway. The two most popular browsers are not even close to compliant. All that matters is that the pages render nicely in a text or graphical browser, with any size window. Most web designers can't even do this.
  • Hit the search button, and it'll take you to some Netscape page. Then look to the left of the gray box, and you'll see the names of a bunch of other search engines. Click on Google, and then there will be a checkbox that asks if you want to keep Google as your search engine. Check it, and then whenever you hit the search button again, it'll take you to the Netscape/Google search.
  • 90% of the time it's great, but sometimes I want to search for something specific and it doesn't always work. I was looking for references to "E-Business Advisor" (a magazine), and it kept telling me "e is a very common word and so it is ignored" even though I put it in there on purpose!
  • Actually, IIRC, the back end is a cluster (~200 nodes) of... drum roll please... linux boxes :) In fact, looking at their technical paper, it appears that their cluster is a mix of solaris and linux. However, they have designed it to be massively scalable with common hardware (this was a research project, after all) so they think it may be scalable (using the same Linux/Solaris mix) for a while.
  • My search engine of choice is altavista and i've never been bothered by the various ways they try and gain mindshare/make money. As long as their being a portal doesn't stop me from A) entering their URL and B) typing in what i want and selecting Submit, then more power to them.
  • I'd rather have good html and no ads, but if I have to choose one of the two, I'll take the bad html. it's easy to filter ads no matter what; all you're doing is matching img src's against a search list. misbalanced tags won't make that any harder (though admittedly missing quotes around the src value could).
  • can we heard the cause? esp. about the missing quotes, I can't imagine a good reason for that. (not that I really mind, but it strikes me as weird that there'd be a good cause).
  • IE needs to clean up its "... is not an object" errors; I've heard about them in quite a few pages. i've had to do some JS recently (yuck), and it positively amazed me just how incompatible it can be between browers, browser versions, etc. yuck.
  • Um, there's only ONE line of Javascript, and
    that's on the home page, to set the focus
    to the search box. JavaScript is not required, nor is it extensively used.

  • The help page (http://www.google.com/help.html) says that they do support the NOT (-) operator. Google also supports "" for word adjacency (although not for literal text search).
  • AltaVista's text-only option is great. HotBot also has a text-only version here:


    However, it does have ads. (Interestingly enough, the ad I got was for CodeWarrior/LINUX) ..

  • Whoa.. in their linux search they even have slashdot referenced for example you can type in Octos and see links to just about everything you said on here. (sure you can do that through slashdot too.. but this is so much cooler)
  • Enter "more evil than satan himself" and select "I'm feeling lucky."

    Or you might try her e [google.com]

  • Don't bookmark this plain URL:


    Use this one instead:


    It directly gives you the possibility to
    choose the number of hits (10, 30 or 100).
  • After seeing their press release last night, I wrote in with some questions. However, now that they are /.ed, I'm a lot less likely to get a reply so anyone here want to comment on this?

    > First, let me say I've been using google for a while now and I really like the results it produce. I noticed you changed your pages today and included a press release which contain information about patents you are seeking :

    "Google's PageRankTM technology performs an objective measurement of the importance of web pages that is calculated by solving an equation of 500 million variables and more than 2 billion terms. Google does not determine results by counting links. Instead, Google's PageRank uses the vast link structure of the web as an organizational tool. In essence, Google interprets a link from Page A to Page B as a vote by Page A for Page B. "

    Coming from a computer graphics background, this technique sounds similar to
    integrating radiosity form factors. Here, the surface of a world is covered with "patches."
    Each patch reflects/emits light and/or heat. Because each patch can possibly reflect energy to
    every other patch (directly or indirectly) in the solution it becomes nearly the same problem as you have solved.

    Instead of using light energy, you substitute "human interest." Obviously you have to have some energy in the system initially before it can propagate. Do you give each site a constant energy and or do use popular hand-picked directories like yahoo?

    In the CG world, progressive refinement methods can be done in stages with a time complexity of O(n) that quickly approach their photo-realistic limit in a few iterations.. There are many papers in the ACM SigGraph proceedings over the years regarding this topic, but I'm sure you are well versed in the area of iterative solutions to large linear equation systems. I'm am curious what methods you use? What is 1 unit of "human interest?" I assume you do not attempt to find a perfect solution, what error tolarance do you set? How long does a run take? etc, etc. :) Do you have a paper out somewhere?

    I am starting to use a similar technique for MP3 "group filtering," somewhat akin to how /. moderates comments. I'm planning a voting system that will be built into my web crawler [jitit.com] and also interface with winamp and other popular players, so you don't have to do anything special. Each person is connected in a graph to other people who have voted for the same music.

    Music is identified by a music "finger print." The finger prints are calculated by averaging frequency components over the first several non-empty frames of an MP3. This means music can be accurately identified even when encoded with different encoders and at different sample rates (regardless of filename). Time shifting effects introduced by different starting positions become less troublesome because of the averaging.

    The result is that you have a personal web crawler that can identify a song after a small portion has been downloaded. If the song is past a threshold of tolerance it won't be downloaded and you can optimize for your taste, bandwidth, and available disk space.

    (one reason to post ideas on /. is that it serves as a public record to those who would try to patent it)

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor