Monday, February 20, 2006

Update on the two search engines

I've reverted to PicoSearch for most of the searching at the site because it is more thorough. Atomz consistently returned fewer results; for example, although the words "Sequoyah," "Nauvoo," and "Essex" appear on the 1820 Timeline page, Atomz couldn't find them unless I put them into a head tag. On the Wharton Society page, Atomz couldn't find "Watkins" or "Loomis" or "permission" on the FAQ page, unless they were entered into the head tags as a keyword.

So, to sum up:


  • cleaner results page
  • faster results
  • automatic weekly indexing
    Also, Atomz will index long texts, like the novels at the Wharton Society site.

  • more thorough.

  • less thorough in its indexing.

  • no automatic indexing
  • a busier, more ad-filled, and less attractive results page
  • slower results
  • no indexing of long texts.
    Picosearch also puts a more or less random date on the pages; for example, several pages have been updated since June 2005, and the site has been reindexed since then, but Picosearch still shows June 2005 as the page date.

    Since the point of a search is to give complete results, it looks as though Picosearch wins this round. I've put Picosearch boxes on the Timeline pages but am sticking with Atomz for the places where long texts need to be searched:
    UPDATE (for those who care): The problem seems to be that Atomz has a hard time figuring out text that's in tables, and there doesn't seem to be a solution for that.
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