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Old 11-17-2004   #1
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Question Beta Search Engine to be launched in Australia

Ansearch (www.ansearch.com.au) is launching a beta search engine at the end of November with plans for a commercial launch in March 2005.

We would love to gain some feedback on everyone's experiences in the early stages so we can ensure that features are addressing users' needs in a way that search engines have not achieved before.

The differentiating factor of Ansearch is that quality is stressed over quantity. Many search engines pride themselves on pulling information from a number of sites yet this tends to dilute the relevancy of results.

Ansearch was established based on the need to 'couple' answers to searches. Relevance, credibility and reputable sites are emphasised as popularity drives rankings within this tool.

This is slightly premature given that we are less than 2 weeks from the launch. In the meantime, our www.mysearch.com.au site acts as an alternative search engine until the interface has been released.

Please let us know what you think about the site once launched and how you feel that we can develop the search engine so that it addresses issues not taken into account by the big global players.

Thank you!

Last edited by orion : 03-11-2005 at 02:18 PM. Reason: Removing duplicated link in post
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Old 11-17-2004   #2
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Exclamation

Welcome to this thread Ansearcher and thank you for allowing us to provide with feedback. We look forward to testing your new search engine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ansearcher
In the meantime, our ...mysearch.com.au site acts as an alternative search engine until...
In the meantime, I have tested the alternative search engine. Here is my honest feedback.


SCORING SYSTEM USED

Strongly Agree = 4
Agree = 3
Disagree = 2
Strongly Disagree = 1
Not Applicable = NA


EVALUATION RESULTS

INDEX SIZE is acceptable for popular queries = 3

RELEVANCY is fair, users find what they need = 1

SPEED (response time) is fair = 3

USABILITY is acceptable, searches requires a minimum of instructions = 3

ADVANCED SEARCH FEATURES perform as expected = 1

LAYOUT and DESIGN is coordinated and has good visual flow = 3

NATURAL LANGUAGE SEARCHES are possible = NA

QUERY MODES perform as expected = 1


COMMENTS

1. A search for Caribbean returns “Found 4209503 sites for caribbean”, but top 1-20 results are identical and as follows
“Google Directory - Regional
Directory Help Search only in RegionalSearch the Web Regional Go to Directory Home Categories Africa (18304) Asia (79338) Caribbean (10186) Central America (5354) Countries (233) Europe (322978) Middle East (14715) North America (1072002) Oc”

Only after the top 25 I found results Relevant to the Caribbean.

2. A search for “sex” with or without the Adult Filter option returns identical results with #1 position occupied by the following

Adult Search Engine Porntal.com.au Porntal Sex XXX
Adult Search Engine

3. Search engine does not seem to support alternate query modes. FINDALL (AND) cannot be distinguished from EXACT searches.

4. No User Help page is provided.


OVERALL

Overall, there is room for improvement in the above tested areas.


Orion

Last edited by orion : 11-21-2004 at 11:22 AM. Reason: 1. typo 2. fixing line
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Old 11-21-2004   #3
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Ok - now I'm totally confused.



1. If this is a totally new search engine - then how come I get the same identical top 10 results from mysearch as I get from Yahoo? (minus the Yahoo Overture Paid listings)

It looks like mysearch is just using an Yahoo search database - like the old Inktomi?

So does mysearch actually have its own database - or is it a branded database?

2. If mysearch is a spidering search engine - then why does the 'add a free listing' page want an email address, page title, site description, password and 'category'? Why would that be relavent if you have your own database and your own spiders? Isn't that a 'directory' like list of requirements?
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Old 11-22-2004   #4
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Response to Chris

Thanks Chris for the comments. In response to your questions:

1. The beta site for Ansearch will be launched next week. MySearch was simply a test engine that was added a while ago and has no association with next week's launch.

MySearch possesses its own database although given the focus on Ansearch, data within the former tool has not been updated recently.

Ansearch/Mysearch is not reliant on the database used by Yahoo. If you conduct a search for 'green tea', you will see different results.

2. As for spidering processes, MySearch allowed users to submit Websites although this capability will not be a feature of Ansearch. A presence within our search engine will be based on popularity rather than self-submission.

Hope that clarifies. Definitely let us know of your experience with Ansearch when it launches next week.
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Old 03-11-2005   #5
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Ansearch Questions

I have some feedback / questions for Ansearcher.

(I have already posted my findings in another forum so I don't want to duplicate all that here)

Ansearcher - can you tell me please what your position is on the caching of websites and the affect that this may have on the larger engines SERPs?

Do you have any worries with displaying companies copyright information in an altered form and URL? How about the duplicate content this will produce?

It appears that Ansearch have been actively buying expired .com.au domains and using the old content to form multiple indexable URLs, key phrases and maybe gain traffic??

You have some very big Australian business names that this is affecting. Do you have any fears about this?

I hope my concerns are wrong - but I am most definately not getting a warm fussy feeling from what I am seeing.

Adding: Also with the "features" of Cached, Details, Site Map,

How do you think business owners & webmasters are going to feel when your website appears before them in the major search engines with their hard worked content, title tags, links & meta data?

It seems to me as if you are just scrapping content and pushing buttons to feed your engine (all very clever of course). With the deal with Overture now in place I am sure you will be profitable shortly?

Hate to be negative but have you thought about what folks like me (hardworking dedicated content builders) might have to say?

If your engine is so good and so popular why don't you use your robots.txt file and exclude indexing by the majors? Alternatively can you offer webmasters information about how to keep their data out of your engine and away from your robots?

Also, can you tell me more about your aims for DomAnsearch
(what it isn't enough to use current & expired domains??)

Quote:
For domain name holders (Release: January 2005)
DomAnsearch™ incorporates intuitive technology that analyses a domain name and matches it with associated ads and related searches. This allows you to earn revenue from your registered domain names which are currently parked or unused.
Once again I hope I am wrong about my concerns... hoping for some explainations. I'm an Aussie and I like to be proud of that - hope you are too.

Last edited by excell : 03-11-2005 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 03-11-2005   #6
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By the way - who are we talking with? Is it Dean?
It would be nice to have a clear picture of who we are dealing with here.
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Old 03-14-2005   #7
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Quote:
A presence within our search engine will be based on popularity rather than self-submission.
Hmmm - Ansearch has certainly peaked my attention.
It seems that if you have what folks want (a good name or a well optimised website) you will be there... don't need to do anything really.

It's quite concerning to me that a lot of the traffic acquisition appears to be via the registration and 302 redirection of expired / misspelt / not registered .com.au domain names as well as SE optimisation via the copying of websites.

Whereas it is understood that ansearch has goals to reach in driving traffic to their search engine, and have had very good report thusfar in available media, are there any worries expressed by the stackholders in regards to:

Trademark infringement
Copyright issues
Search engine spam
Search engine industry / webmaster acceptance
End User satisfaction
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Old 03-15-2005   #8
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Excell-ent Feedback

Thanks Excell for the feedback. In response to some of your questions:

Caching of websites is undertaken by every major search engine. The pages are part of the data we store about every popular site within our search engine. Unlike most search engines, however, we cache a single page in each site rather than other engines that spider the entire site.

You pose a number of questions to Ansearch that could be directed to the industry as a whole:

What effect does Alexa's million's of pages indexed in Google have on Google?


MSN have 19 Million Links in Yahoo
Alexa have 4,980,000 Links in Yahoo
Google have 659,000 Links in Yahoo
Gigablast have 108,000 Links in Yahoo
Ansearch have 12,800 Links in Yahoo

Apart from the home page, no other page is cached.

Ansearch does not have a problem in other organisations caching and indexing our pages.

As for our search engine, like all other engines, the main goal is to provide website information in some structured format that allows users to find the information they are searching for. Our format lists information that other search engines don't display so that we can differentiate ourselves from others.

I am unable to comment on questions relating to the financial position of the company. We do make regular releases to the press and ASX so details are transparent to the public.


Despite no complaints thus far, the robots issue is being addressed and will be resolved some time shortly after launch. There are a number of other features and offerings on Ansearch that will be revealed at the end of the month when Ansearch is set for its commercial launch. If you would like to be notified of these updates, please fill in the relevant feedback form on our website. Otherwise, stay tuned...

Regards,

Ansearcher
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Old 03-15-2005   #9
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As far as I know google uses robots.txt to block robots from indexing their cached pages. disallow /search

Much has been discussed about the legalities of caching pages, so I will not go on about the issue.

I could be wrong - but I haven't actually stumbled across a whole heap of indexed cache pages from major engines in my years of searching.

Of more interest in your results on google is the vast number of .com.au domain names that are registered to you (or associates) and redirecting (mostly via 302) to ansearch.

It makes me question the top 100 websites feature.
Are these popular because folks are already using ansearch or because they have stumbled in via a typein / misspelling?

looking at the list I see you own lots of them (add a .com.au on the end):

wageline
angusandrobertson
rebelsports
coopbookshop
tafensw
vtac
missyhiggins
familyassist
fairtrading
boardofstudies

Do I need to go on???

The question begs itself are these the most popular websites searched for on ansearch? or are they an example of your ability to register domains and pick up traffic to send to ansearch?

I could be wrong but I fail to see how this all gives quality & benefit to the searchers.

I mean - how does it help them to type in

teoma.com.au and find you

or kanoodle.com.au

etc etc.

how useful are the results to the user when they type in

rebelsports.com.au

or even search for rebel sports in your engine.

2nd result your own domain again looping back around

Can you allay my fears that something doesn't look quite right , I would be interested to know how all this is justified.

Adding: Oh deary deary me - I just looked into the top keywords you have there... majority seem to be keywords in domains owned by you.

how useful is your search engine if I type in - say, beccartwright.com.au
obviously I am looking for something about this person my daughter tells me is popular #1 beccartwright.com.au hmmm? is that a quality result there?

Last edited by excell : 03-15-2005 at 05:36 AM.
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Old 03-15-2005   #10
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Good gracious. That is an interesting collection of domain names isn't it.

I wonder how many other similarly mangled/misspelt business names and trade names have been taken up by this strange entity "Goodbrook Holdings" and other entities with an apparent association with AnSearch?

I really can't help but wonder how the actual owners of the relevant trade/service marks and business names involved are going to respond. It looks to me like a pretty blatant attempt to hijack accidental traffic from common and/or likely misspellings of well known institutions and businesses and a very unethical way of gaining additional traffic, thus boosting apparent "popularity".

And in view of an apparent contractual obligation for AnSearch to achieve certain traffic volume landmarks by specific dates, one could almost be tempted to apply the label "fraudulent" to such efforts in boosting traffic.

One must also wonder whether the choice of email username on these whois records is indicative - is whodeani an atrocious pun on that famous escape artist of yore, Houdini, the implication being, of course, that in the event of serious legal action, the person(s) responsible for what I believe may be an outrageously unethical situation, will just softly and silently vanish away like smoke on a breeze, as if they never were?
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Old 03-15-2005   #11
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My attention has been drawn to this thread.

Quote:
wageline angusandrobertson rebelsports coopbookshop tafensw vtac missyhiggins familyassist fairtrading boardofstudies teoma kanoodle
I would have thought that most of these, if not all, were registered trademarks of the real businesses/organisations. How do the registered owners of those marks feel about you using them in these .com.au domain names? Have you asked them Ansearcher? If you don't have their permission, you may have legal problems.

The tactics you seem to be employing are very similar to those adopted by porn sites. I can understand such tactics being used for porn sites because it's the most competitive area of the Internet but why would an Australian search engine stoop so low? Is your situation so bad that it is really necessary? And, even if it is necessary from a survival perspective, is this the type of ethics that it is appropriate for a search engine to adopt?

I am appalled.
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Old 03-15-2005   #12
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Greetings OAC! Good to see you, it's been a very long time . Excell has raised some good points here. Looking forward to hearing AnSearcher's response to these questions.
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Old 03-16-2005   #13
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Hi Kal
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Old 03-16-2005   #14
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Glad I'm not the only one that has a comment about ansearch.
I see Dean (Whodeani) has been reading - maybe you can shed some light on our concerns, Dean?

There sure are some interesting domain names pointing to ansearch - how much would you say all these domains contribute to the reported traffic growth rate for the engine and how much of the growth would be normal - you know - normal stuff like return visitors, word of mouth, advertising, press releases etc.?

More examples:

microsoftoffice
microsoftoutlook
marieclare
kazaar
msnmessenger
msnsearch
victoriassecret
weightwatcher
westpack
wikipedia
womansweekly
wwwanz.com
wwwdell
wwwnational
wwwseven
wwwsmh
wwwvirgin
yahho
yahoomessenger
yahou

This is all publicly accessible so I see no reason not to post this data here.
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Old 03-16-2005   #15
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Exclamation "you got knocked the fug out!"- from the movie "Friday"

Quote:
Originally Posted by excell
I mean - how does it help them to type in

teoma.com.au and find you

or kanoodle.com.au

etc etc.
wow...BUSTED! cannot believe the gall of Ansearch coming into a place populated by SE experts and trying to proverbially "pull the wool..."

I am curious, however, excell as to the reason you have spent this amount of time on this matter...is this a competitor or are you just very interested in the Aussie Internet landscape. I am not trying to attack, as I feel that what you have helped to uncover is very interesting (not to mention damning), but I am curious as to your reasons.

I am even more curious to hear a response from the anonymous AnSearch rep...
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Old 03-16-2005   #16
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No mystery here Chris.... I have no competitors (my business in closed to new business). I just have a passion for Australia & Australian businesses and have set my path to help them on the Internet since 1999, I like the concept of showing the world our AU work ethics & our clean approach.

When I see something like this it gets my ire up - I don't like seeing this sort of stuff coming from areas that don't necessarily affect AU & have often been quite outspoken in the SE arena when I see what I consider to be possibly an alert, danger or just plain wrong - but when I see something like this that has so much potential & is such a can of worms - hey LOOK OUT!.

I hate the fact that I have been more outspoken on this than anyone else out there... I don't want to look at this... this is not about me.

It is embarrasing for me to see fellow AU peoples stepping out like this... it would have been "busted" some time... it wouldn't have needed me for it to happen.

Can anyone at all tell me I am wrong about what I am seeing? Can anyone tell me it is all OK and normal and acceptable? - I would like to think so, but somehow I don't see it happening.
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Old 03-17-2005   #17
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"somebody go find AnSearcher"

I can see that this does really hurt you, excell...thanks for the response. I was just wondering if one of your clients was perhaps somehow getting hurt by this practice.

It seems wrong, certainly, especially since AnSearcher doesn't seem to want to testify. But the old saying goes: "If a tree falls in the forrest, does anyone hear it?" ...or something like that. Unless this AnSearch site begins to experience any real traffic, why worry?
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Old 03-17-2005   #18
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Quote:
...I was just wondering if one of your clients was perhaps somehow getting hurt by this practice.
Nope, there's nothing personal that I have against ansearch - in fact, when I first saw referrals showing up in stats, I recommended them! However, having seen what is out there, I believe that lots of people are getting hurt by this practice (or potentially will in the future).
Quote:
"If a tree falls in the Forrest, does anyone hear it?"
nope - just as long as we have something to make toothpicks with.
Quote:
Unless this AnSearch site begins to experience any real traffic, why worry?
I'm not worried if they make traffic or not but traffic seems to be the biggest selling point for ansearch (it's the way that it is acquired I don't like the look of). To quote another saying "all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" or something like that.

Anyway, to get this thread somewhat back on track, I have had time to do some testing as requested of the actual search results & interface.

I'm not finding a whole heap of relevance or "intelligence" with the search results. Example: If I arrive there because I am looking for Yahoo! geocities in Australia and accidentally type in geocitys.com.au instead of geocities.com.au (which will lead me there even if I don't have the correct URL) I cannot quickly find what I am looking for. OK.. that example was a little below the belt, but anyway, I don't find the results really helpful in many cases. - it wouldn't be a search engine I would use.

The unevenness of the results in the size of the description area is ugly, the lack of information about features is unhelpful and needs explanation.

Anyone else got comments?

Last, but not least:
Quote:
AnSearcher doesn't seem to want to testify
This isn't a court room, we are all friendly folks here. Don't be shy now, I am sure that there are good logical answers to any of our questions and concerns - there cannot be anything that has been said that has not been faced at the board room table or over the water cooler. The Internet is pretty transparent and if you want to be successful it's good to be up front. I'm sure if there is anything I may have said that is getting Ansearcher's tongue - it could easily be cleared up?
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Old 03-17-2005   #19
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I hate the way it is automatically assumed by people that when you call attention to a site or a company using questionable practises, that you must in some way be a competitor or losing business to them. I've had that happen in the past and it's really insulting. Not everyone waits to act until an issue hurts them in the hip pocket!

If I see something online that seems misleading or unethical, I see no problem with questioning the logic behind it or contacting the site owner about it. Often a webmaster using such tactics is unaware of potential problems/ penalties they can attract and are grateful for the advice. Others are fully aware of what they are doing and are trying to deliberately mislead or "cheat" the system to make more money. I don't have to like it, but unethical does not usually equal illegal and so there's not much point debating an issue if they're not breaking the law and aren't willing to change
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Old 03-18-2005   #20
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Yah - I guess a lot of noise goes on and it gets confusing to understand issues that are potentially harmful to many and could cost/hurt quite a few between issues that are virtually harmless to many and cost/hurt only a few.
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