Yahoo instant search and alltheweb

May 11, 2006

Trying to remember back to an example of yahoo's attempt at real-time search, dubbed "instant" search, I finally found it here. It didn't look like it had changed at all since I first viewed it and their initial attempt was pretty paltry with an extremely limited set of search results. Scanning the forums, there were various mentions and comparisons to Google Suggests which also looks like it hasn't changed too much. But then, almost coincidentally, I stumbled across a post where it looks like alltheweb has just released a version of 'live' search here. Unlike Yahoo (actually alltheweb is yahoo now) and Google's experiements, alltheweb operates much more like Fact200 in both search results and term completion. Actually, they do a little more sophisticated term relationship management yielding a arguable better term suggestion mechanism. It is indeed, very impressive.

Doing a search around for 'live' and 'instant' search, it appears that a few others have been experimenting with real time search on their own sites (bitflux and a blog) and the major question that still remains is how well is it going to scale. The number of requests is probably at least 5x more. Hardware and bandwidth are getting cheaper though…

On the plus side for Fact200, they are still less responsive, lack previews, and lack indexing of ideograms. Fortunately, someone on the message boards made a note of their lack of Chinese support and provided a segue for a Fact200 mention.

But they do provide real time searching over a global search domain which is definitely interesting and worth keeping an eye one. 

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