New InSites into the FAST Search Engine . . . an interview with Stephen Baker of Fast, Part 1

Written by Robin Nobles

New InSites intorepparttar FAST Search Engine ...interview with Stephen Baker, Director of Business Development and Marketing

by Robin Nobles

Ofrepparttar 128036 major engines inrepparttar 128037 search engine universe, FAST -- aka, -- is arguablyrepparttar 128038 most unique. In many ways, it operates differently than typical engines and, in light of recent developments, it's timely that we probe a little deeper intorepparttar 128039 inner workings of this strategically important engine.

To assist us with this article we invited Stephen Baker, Fast's Director of Business Development and Marketing, to lend his perspective. As you will see, Mr. Baker was quite upfront with his answers.

FAST powers other engines!

Like Inktomi, FAST powers other search engines. For example, you're probably already aware that FAST provides primary results forrepparttar 128040 Lycos search engine. But what other engines does FAST power? Mr. Baker explained,

"In North America, we power all ofrepparttar 128041 Lycos and Lycos Latin properties as well asrepparttar 128042 Telus portals and AllTheWeb. Our focus over 2002 will be to establish broader reach inrepparttar 128043 US (currently 35%). 2001 was focused on European expansion, where we power over 75% of searches. This includes Lycos Europe and all ofrepparttar 128044 Terra sites, T-Online, Tiscali, including, Scandinavia Online and Overall, we appear on over 70 portals inrepparttar 128045 European market."

...obviously an important consideration for companies doing business in Latin or European markets.

FAST also has its own engine.

Unlike Inktomi, FAST has its own public search engine. As you may know, you can't submit directly torepparttar 128046 Inktomi engine itself. Instead you must submit through an Inktomi partner as well as pay a fee for inclusion. And, only recently did Position Technologies make availablerepparttar 128047 pure Inktomi results for searching ( although certainly not in mainstream usage sincerepparttar 128048 public is generally unaware this specific search option even exists.

FAST, however, providesrepparttar 128049 means to submit your site directly to them via -- -- which they use basically as a "testing" engine. AlltheWeb is where they first consider new features such as spam detection orrepparttar 128050 use of ODP categories as a training set or even linguistic analysis of non-ODP categories.

According to Mr. Baker, AlltheWeb has also begun indexing dynamic content and supports 48 languages with over 700 million full-text HTML pages inrepparttar 128051 index. Using a technique called query analysis,repparttar 128052 new version of AlltheWeb will remember your choices and give you a more personal search experience. An interesting possibility is that query analysis could potentially supplantrepparttar 128053 importance of link popularity sometime inrepparttar 128054 future.

I asked Mr. Baker ifrepparttar 128055 results at one FAST powered engine will match results at another? He replied that, like Inktomi,repparttar 128056 partner engines powered by FAST use their own algorithms. He said,

"Our engine is entirely tunable, allowing customers to pre- establish offensive content, language, etc., settings. In addition, most of our customers blend FAST results with directories, PFP, and licensed results."

Fast's new pay inclusion program.

On February 25, FAST officially launched their paid inclusion program. However, typical of FAST, their paid inclusion program is unique.

Administered by partners such as Terra Lycos, Fast's PartnerSite program has four versions designed to benefit a variety of online businesses based on size. Partner Lycos callsrepparttar 128057 PartnerSite program Lycos InSite Select. The first level ofrepparttar 128058 program provides a means by which you can pay per page and offersrepparttar 128059 following benefits:

* Guaranteed inclusion inrepparttar 128060 Lycos index within 48 hours of submission. * Full refresh of your site content every 48 hours or less. * Automatic notification that your site has been submitted and indexed. * Guaranteed inclusion for a full year. * Personalized submission reports to see exactly what has been added torepparttar 128061 index and when. * Access to Search Services Central, which is an online account where you can make changes and request support.

Congratulations! You’ve Gotten Visitors to your Site! Now, can they find what they're looking for?

Written by Robin Nobles

Congratulations! You've Gotten Visitors to your Site!. . . Now, can they find what they're looking for?

By Robin Nobles

As search engine marketers, we spend an enormous amount of time trying to get targeted traffic to our site. But, once those visitors get to our site, can they find what they're looking for? If not, guess what? We've lost a customer.

Think about it this way. How many times have you found a site through a major search engine or directory, only to visitrepparttar site and not be able to find what you're looking for anywhere onrepparttar 128035 site? What do you do next? You go back torepparttar 128036 search engine and click onrepparttar 128037 next site. That site has lost a customer: you.

Helping your visitors find what they're looking for on your site can cover a great many areas, such as navigation, user interface issues, andrepparttar 128038 lack of a clear "call to action."

But one way around many of those issues is to offer an onsite search engine, so that once visitors hit your site, they can easily find exactly what they're looking for.

The really neat thing about onsite search engines is that many of them are FREE. Yes, you read right: free. Of course, that also means that you may have ads in your search results, which may or may not present problems for you. However, even if you choose to purchase an onsite engine,repparttar 128039 cost is generally not expensive.

What should you look for in an onsite search engine?

* Good customer support. If you begin to have problems withrepparttar 128040 engine, you want to be able to get help in fixing it.

* Reports that let you know what people are searching for once they reach your site. Just think ofrepparttar 128041 GOLD this will tell you! If you don't have a page that covers a particular topic, make one!

* Ease in setting uprepparttar 128042 engine. This may or may not be an issue to you, but if you're like me, you want something that is simple to set up and maintain.

* An extensive "help" section atrepparttar 128043 site that will walk you through setting uprepparttar 128044 engine and answer any questions you might have.

* The ability to keeprepparttar 128045 engine out of certain areas of your site that you don't want spidered and available throughrepparttar 128046 search, such as employee areas, password-protected member areas, etc.

* The ability to spider password-protected areas so that your member areas can have their own onsite search.

* The ability to customize search results pages.

* The capability to request re-indexing whenever you updaterepparttar 128047 site, or even to schedule re-indexing on a regular basis.

In my training material and resource library atrepparttar 128048 Academy, I had an onsite search engine for a long time. Then,repparttar 128049 company folded. Until recently, I hadn't set up another onsite engine, becauserepparttar 128050 one onsite engine that I really wanted to use didn't index password-protected areas. So, I "patiently" waited forrepparttar 128051 onsite engine, FreeFind, to add this to their list of features. When they recently did, I jumped on it, and now both of my online training programs have excellent onsite search engines through FreeFind (

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