The Search Lounge

10/18/2004

Entireweb

Entireweb
Type of Engine: Basic search engine.
Overall: Average.
If this engine were a drink it would be…a glass of brännvin, as in Swedish schnapps. A traditional drink that may never make it into your repertoire but it’s good to know it’s out there.

Intro
Entireweb is a Swedish engine. It’s basic and straight-forward with a few nice touches. Nothing on the front-end drastically sets them apart.
On their About Us page they state very clearly that the search is currently a Beta version, though I don’t know how long that’s been the case.
Their spider is called SpeedySpider.

UI and Features
Entireweb offers several ways to refine queries. There are more than 30 languages to choose from, or you can limit by continent (when did Scandinavia become a continent?), domain, country or a combination thereof.

There’s an advanced search page for Boolean searching. One option they have is “How many rows of 'Page Content' to show. This is s a nice feature though at present the max is 5 lines. I’d be interested in playing around with setting it higher than that. I’ve always felt that site descriptions on search engines is a major area for improvement.

I like the language and region metadata they show on search results page. Here’s an example (I snipped description and page content to save space):
1. Brad Friedel - Latest News Headlines [SpeedyView]
Description:
Page content:
http://www.myfootballnews.co.uk/Brad-Friedel-Player-News-267.html
Language: english Region:uk
Related links:
http://www.myfootballnews.co.uk/Blackburn-Rovers-Team-News-10.html
http://www.myfootballnews.co.uk/player-news.html

I like the language and region tags. I’m not so excited about Related Links, but that’s because for all the searches I did, I never saw URLs that were not sub-pages from the same domain. So instead of Related Links, it should be called More results from same source. Speedy View is a page preview feature.

Check out their Speedy Spy page. On it you’ll find their Top 20 queries and also the latest 20 queries. I kept entering a search and then quickly refreshing the Speedy Spy page, but I never did see my query appear on the list. I appreciate it though when engines give insights into user behavior.

Query Examples
I had a little soccer injury last week so I searched for “strained calf muscle”. I wasn’t too impressed with the results. The first couple seem to be from commercial sites and when I’m looking for medical info I really want a trusted source. Some of the other results were OK, but they were focused on the knee or Achilles heel with the calf being mentioned in passing. A better results page would have had content specifically about calf muscles from non-commercial medical sites.

The number of results is always pretty low. I searched for “huckabees” and got 4 results. All four were about the movie. The first two were very relevant and the second too were too specific for my query. But where is IMDB? Where is the Apple.com trailer? Where are the movie reviews? And none of the results had the word “huckabee” anywhere in the visual display text and that’s bad.

Conclusion
I’ve had fun reviewing visual and clustering and music and meta-search engines, so it’s nice to return to a classic, AltaVista/Google/FAST/Wisenut/Teoma search engine. Entireweb seems to have a good base to build on. They say they’ve been around since May of 2000, but that in 2002-2003 they redesigned their search technology. So, I’m not sure where that leaves us now at the end of 2004. Is the 2002/03 search the beta search that’s live? If so, that’s not very impressive. I don’t need them to revolutionize their UI or search features, but their relevance needs some improvement. They need to build up the size of their index as well as improving the order of results.

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