Infoseek garners a 21.5% share of those who use search engines, according to a July report from Relevant Knowledge. But, why so many users for a little search engine that indexes less than 10% of the Web? We think that one of its strongest selling points was its immediate indexing of submitted pages. If Jane Anybody threw her resume into an HTML editor and submitted its URL to Infoseek, the search engine would have the page in its index within minutes. Clearly, if you’re looking for the newest resumes, the newest people, such immediacy becomes vital. Recently Infoseek suspended its immediate indexing so now it’s like the rest, but too small to be of much help. Despite the change, It is a pleasant place to stop and a user-friendly portal for Web novices. Searching by keyword or phrase is simple and the page is customizable. An easy to use directory points you to the hot spots (channels) in a variety of categories including the standard ones: business, computers and entertainment. Infoseek allows you to choose what to search: the Web, Usenet or company news. On the advanced search page, drop down menus make it easy to conduct a more complex search, another point in favor of this site as a nice introduction to Web searching. No complicated Boolean search strings here, just simple language queries. And, you can determine the number of results to return, from 10 to 50 per page. One feature that sets Infoseek apart from others is the way it returns results. Rather than listing individual pages from a single site, it groups them. This gives a clearer idea of how many sites have relevant information rather than how many pages do. Infoseek is a relatively small search engine. In May, it still had only about 30 million pages indexed. Given that the April ’98 issue of Science reports there are about 375 million Web pages, an Infoseek search limits you to less than 10% of the Web. But, Infoseek does revisit sites on a (mostly) monthly basis so the results you get from a search are relatively fresh. If you’re looking for general information, using a smaller-sized search engine is not necessarily bad. However, if you’re trying to find those potential candidates who aren’t being called by 27 other recruiters, you want BIG search engines. Next week: Site Visit: Northern Light
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