As of January, 2012, this site is no longer being updated, due to work and health issues

Search Tools Survey - Popular Product Ratings

This survey has been on the SearchTools site since December 1998. It is not meant to be statistically significant, just informative.

The following tables list the responses rating the 16 most popular search tools (6 or more entries) as of July 31, 2002.

Comments from users indicate that the highly-rated products provide solid indexing and search functions, are flexible and easy to administer. Those with lower ratings tend to be older packages which don't have configurable indexing, adjustable results rankings, or good administration interfaces.

New in 2001/2002, Microsoft's Site Server makes a respectable showing, while Logika's FusionBot service has at least 23 happy customers, who were asked to respond to the survey.

In 2000/2001, the FreeFind remote search service gets very good marks, while the Muscat product and service (now owned by SmartLogic and/or BrightStation) is not well regarded by its users.

  Name average rating number of responses
1 FusionBot
Note: Logika encouraged happy customers to take the survey
2 MondoSearch
Note: MondoSoft encouraged happy customers to take the survey
3 Atomz Search
4 FreeFind service
5 Webinator
6 Ultraseek (formerly Inktomi)
7 ht://dig
8 Verity
9 Microsoft Site Server
10 SWISH (mainly SWISH-E)
11 Glimpse and WebGlimpse
12 EWS (Excite for Web Servers)
13 SUN ONE iPlanet (formerly Netscape Compass)
14 Microsoft Index Server (included with IIS server pack)
15 Muscat (now somewhat obsolete)
16 WAIS Search Engine (mostly FrontPage)
Disclosure: The site is provided as a free service to the web development community and is not sponsored by any advertisers. However, Search Tools Consulting has provided analysis and information to search engine devlopers including Atomz, AltaVista, Siderean, Google, Inktomi, Maxum (Phantom) and Mondosoft (MondoSearch). We do not give them site visitor or survey personal information or allow our relationships with any vendors to change any product review or analysis.
July 2002 Survey Results

Sites & Search
 - Why Install
 - Why Not Installed
 - Site Sizes
 - Update Rate
 - Server Location
 - Languages
 - Multilingual Sites
 - File Formats
 - Summary
 - Popular
 - Custom
 - Others

Popular Search Engines (sorted by rating)

FusionBot Remote Search Service

Fast, efficient search service, has many nice control features in the browser admin interface.

NOTE: Logika encouraged happy FusionBot customers to participate in this survey in July 2002, so the results are skewed upwards.

SearchTool rating how long date reported What about this search tool works well? Any problems or issues with this search tool?
Fusionbot Average rating: 4.39, Number of responses: 23
5 2 years 07/2002 Reliable-Good cust/service no
5 14 months 07/2002 Very fast. flexible search criteria. easily handles large numbers of heavy text pages (minutes of meetings), reasonably priced. No
5 1 year 07/2002 Easy to integrate, fast, reliable and probably the best customer service in the world?! We're developers of an CMS solution, and are providing this service to all our customers, which are very happy with it. None that Fusionbot haven't fixed in a day or so.
5 1 year 07/2002 It locates by word or phrase and always finds everything Never had a problem of any kind
5 1 year 07/2002 Everything works a advertised and support is excellent. None
5 1 year 07/2002 fast, accurate, easy nope
5 10 months 07/2002 With over 1500 photos and growing, Fusionbot allows our visitors to quickly view photos of particular brands or types of farm equipment. Very fast. Very flexible. Reasonably priced. No.
5 8 months 07/2002 immediate spiders on request regular auto updates weekly alway punctual "deep" spiders-excellent search word indexing easy set up None
5 6 months 07/2002 It's flexible and customizable. The results are quick and accurate. And the customer service is excellent for questions of all levels. A superior tool -- and we've tried four others before this. This is an excellent search tool.
5 3 Months 07/2002 Everything No
5 1 month 07/2002 Easy to use, quick, simplicity, handy, a great navigation tool as well as index for my site No, It's GREAT!
5 6 months or so 07/2002 fast, comprehensive, flexible only that my competitors are finding out about it!
4 1.5 years 07/2002 Easy to customize -
4 1 year 07/2002 Functionality is very god. price a little high
4 1 year 07/2002 most everything, except... doesn't list pdfs or wma files well
4 1 year 07/2002 it's fast, not always accurate, but fast and about 97% right on the money. sometimes it doesn't pick up key words/names but this has happened rarely. However, it sticks in the back of my mind, I wonder why it does that.
4 1 year 07/2002 Searches not only Meta Tags but content of each page Will not search only certain sections without code on every other page.
4 8 months 07/2002 quick and effective, ability to customise results (not yet used extensively), re-spider on demand would be nice if we could search to a specific anchor tag within a page - we don't have a lot of pages but they can be quite big / lot of content.
4 6 months 07/2002 easy to keep up to date. reporting is pretty good. Haven't really had any difficulties.
4 - 07/2002 - -
3 9 months 07/2002 Gives a good search tool for my site, I can update it (cause an update to be scheduled) whenever I need to do so no
3 6 months 07/2002 - -
3 5 months 07/2002 It will search all pages even ones in which the url contains a ? -



Available as either a remote search service or as Windows NT software. Indexes and displays frame hierarchies correctly; shows category organization in results.

NOTE: MondoSoft encouraged happy customers to participate in this survey, so the results are skewed upwards.

SearchTool rating how long date reported What about this search tool works well? Any problems or issues with this search tool?
MondoSearch Average rating: 3.83, Number of responses: 12
5 3 years 08/1999 - -
5 2 years 06/2002 It yellow highlights the search term in all results documents, and, if multiple words were searched for, it tells which pages show the words as a phrase, which have all the words, and which words are used if not all the words searched for. I also get wonderful reports and statistics for search terms used, results clicked, popularity of terms and pages, what is not clicked, etc. None....I LOVE this tool....but I was paying about $5/mo when it was Searchbutton, but Mondosoft bought them and is now raising the price to a completely unaffordable level for us. We have until June 30 to find a new service or pay up.
5 1.5 years 04/1999 handling of Frames, categorized results, easy setup and update, ISP hosting of search. Does not read pdf files
5 4 months 08/1999 Very nice grouping and display of search results, frame support, etc. No problems.
5 3 months 08/1999 Administration interface Support of meta-tags Presentation of results -
4 3 years 08/1999 - -
4 1 year 08/1999 indeksering meta-tags video/audio - clip not incl sub-search
4 8 months 08/1999 - -
4 1 month 08/1999 Works with frames No
3 1.5 years 08/1999 Excellent search in dynamic pages Does not - in the interface - satisfy the advanced user's preference for using operators (i.e. demonstrate personal skills...)
2 1 year 04/2001 - -
- don't know 09/1999 - *search with wildcard (trunkering)


Atomz Search

Remote search service, up to hundreds of thousands of pages.

SearchTool rating how long date reported What about this search tool works well? Any problems or issues with this search tool?
Atomz Average rating: 3.5, Number of responses: 32
5 3 years 08/2001 ease of configuration, efficiency no
5 2 years 01/2002 Everything We have reached the page limit, and the non-free version is too expensive
5 6 months 03/2002 everything right now, free. Afraid they're going to want $10,000 soon. They no longer offer free service - we have it because we signed up before they started asking for money. Afraid they're going to cancel that.
5 3-4 months 11/2000 5 minute set up; customisable results page to integrate perfectly within our site's style; power search for those that need it; indexing of PDFs. none yet
5 3 months 09/1999 being able to mask some pages... reliable... no
5 2 months 10/2001 - -
5 1 week 04/2000 Extremely easy to set up and configure; very fast; no advertising. Only indexes up to 500 pages, which I've already surpassed.
5 2 days 02/2002 Good links to all used words The free facility is only available for 500 words. We are a charity (under registration process) and cannot afford the huge fee to purchase the full version
5 1 day 04/2000 customizable, fast, free, no ads none yet
5 not yet 08/2001 (1) variety of search options (2) reports (3) customizing capability for search and response pages only maximum number of pages on free site
4 2 years 06/2002 maintenance free did not warn us that we went over the 500-page "free" limit
4 6 months 10/2001 indexing, content retrieval manual updates
4 3 months 11/2001 customizable, easy to use... finds what you look for i'm going to have to get rid of it soon, as i will have too many pages for it, and can't afford the higher version of atomz. i'm disappointed, as i love atomz, and all the others i can find which allow lots of pages require ads, which i really dislike.
4 3 months 06/2000 great searching, including through all the .pdfs it's remote and we need a search indexing engine we can have on our internal server to keep traffic inhouse/intranet
4 3 months 01/2000 fast not our program
4 - 05/2002 Free, very configurable -
3 1 year 09/2001 - -
3 1 year 05/2001 management page no
3 1 year 01/2001 easy to use page restrictions
3 6 months 07/2002 good none
3 6 months 08/2001 Does a thorough job Paying the monthly fee
3 4 months 08/2000 - -
3 2 weeks 01/2000 fast and displays well and free looking for a way for users to search for a word or term on the current (long-text) page only, with each one highlighted or ability to jump from one to the other appearance of requested word/term
3 2 days 09/2000 easy set up -
2 2 years 02/2002 Reports generated -
2 1.5 years 08/2001 small footprint privacy issues
2 6 months 09/2001 provides reliable, correct results does not offer enough configuration/customization options
2 6 months 03/2001 Automatic update indexing Only indexes 500 pages with free version, expensive to upgrade
2 2 weeks 09/2001 impressive output I searched for word "book", but it searched for "bed".
2 2 years ago 03/2002 - -
1 1 year 04/2002 At least it's a search results are not relevant enough; users don't return; marketing isn't happy
1 1 month 09/2000 index no ability to click on links


FreeFind Search Service

Remote search software works as an ASP, indexes and runs the search engine on the external servers.

SearchTool rating how long date reported What about this search tool works well? Any problems or issues with this search tool?
FreeFind Average rating: 3.25, Number of responses: 12
5 6 Months 07/2001 Intuative interface Cannot search behind password protection
5 3 months 07/2000 weekly report of search keywords -
5 3 months 04/1999 Most everything is good, actually. It's a very professional tool Not enough control of how the results pages look. In particular I would like to add links for further search opinions (searching the web etc.)
4 3 months 04/2000 Retrieves correct pages Search for phrases and particularly phrases within Goto options tag .. eg search for "British Horse Society" brings up pages with many instances of British or Horse but the page which contains "British Horse Society" in a Goto option tag does not come up in position No 1.
4 - 01/2002 Exact results, descriptions in results, configurability -
3 2 years 09/2001 Regular reports About to change to Atomz which has better customisation and less obtrusive adverts
3 1 year 06/2001 - No
3 6 months 08/2001 seems fast and accurate none apparent
3 3 months 12/2001 - -
2 1 week 04/2000 Indexes pages well Search is too simple: No boolean operators; does not index text embedded in links
1 2 years 05/2001 - -
1 2 days 03/2000 for free, very easy to instal no use of wildcards possible


Webinator (Thunderstone)

Powerful configurable indexer and search engine, also works with Thunderstone Texis relational database for integrated search.

SearchTool rating how long date reported What about this search tool works well? Any problems or issues with this search tool?
Webinator Average rating: 3.0, Number of responses: 12 (11 ratings)
4 10 months 04/2000 - We don't have option to search by date...many other unimplemented features..
4 4 months 07/2002 Flexibility, performance Poor handling of XML documents
4 4 months 09/2001 (Texis) Quick. Easy query language. Nice features. nope
4 4 months 11/1999 detail of search results and searches across multiple intranet webs and virtual webs can only be used on the internal network
4 2 months 05/2000 ease of updating limited number of pages indexed
4 2 months 01/1999 switched from Excite -
3 1 year 02/2002 ease of use none
2 6 months 09/1999 single-term searches work fine Gives title and first ~60-80 words, need title and description
2 2 weeks 05/1999 ability to create results pages identical to rest of site elimination of database if not used for 5 days; lack of radio button choice for "this site" and "the web"
1 2 years 08/1999 - It's been hard to configure Webinator to produce relevant results for users.
1 2 weeks 02/2000 Fast, easy, free. Seems to ignore common words such as "it", "on", "maybe". If someone searches for "Maybe This Time", they receive hits for "Maybe This Time", "A Time to Live", and "Time Out". I need a search utility that will give visitors to my site more accurate hits when searching for a specific phrase.
- 3 months 12/1998 good index, powerful -


Ultraseek (formerly Inktomi)

Powerful indexer and search engine can handle millions of pages, extensive browser administration interface.

SearchTool rating how long date reported What about this search tool works well? Any problems or issues with this search tool?
Ultraseek Average rating: 2.65, Number of responses: 20
5 2 years 04/2000 Intelligent spider, ability to split indexing and searching across multiple machines, very good technical support -
5 3 months 01/1999 Low/no administration costs, incredibly customizable Doesn't do Windows NT Challenge/Response and so it indexes the header of the rejection
5 1 day 11/2001 - -
4 don't know 09/2000 Fast. Didn't come with CCE, costs extra.
3 4 years 06/2001 - -
3 2 years 07/2002 - -
3 2 years 06/2001 - -
3 1 year 10/2001 Ease of administration, good reports, good indexing, relevance of results, speed nope
3 6 months 12/2001 meta data full text
2 5 years 03/2001 - Cost...
2 2 years 07/2002 good boolean capabilities doesn't highlight text you searched for in the result; too many results; hard to tweak
2 2+ years 03/2000 - -
2 14 months 09/2001 - want to know how to strip out common words 'how','to' etc
2 1 year 10/2001 - -
2 1 year 05/1999 - -
2 6 months 02/1999 performance, administration, customization limited capabilities. Need synonym searching.
2 4 months 08/2000 - -
1 5 years 11/2000 It ranks by relevance and shows a summary below the results. It does not index properly.
1 2 years 08/2000 It searches domains on multiple servers. Hard to customize.
1 don't know 09/1999 ummmmmm nothing? bad help, bad tutorial, stupid to require + before each term


Free open-source software has a very active user and developer community.

SearchTool rating how long date reported What about this search tool works well? Any problems or issues with this search tool?
Average rating: 2.54, Number of responses: 24
5 1 year 10/1999 good presentation of results. locally generated parsing tools. very quick response to query. bugs like everyone elses
5 1 year 01/1999 - -
5 - 08/2000 - -
4 1 Year 02/2001 Install and Go - True Plug and Work (under SuSE 6.4 Linux), took me 5 minutes to index and first run, 2 hours to adapt HTML. Fuzzy modul has weaknesses, needs dictionary
4 1 week 09/2001 Support Scandinavian characters and our file formats. By now I have not been able to find out how to install Finnish Endings search.
4 - 09/2001 - -
3 4 years 12/2001 fast, accurate with single searchterms no compex search possible
3 2 years 01/2002 fast search results slow indexing, no phrase searching
3 2 years 08/2001 Reasonably relevant results, quick searching, automated search index construction and updating... cannot deal with database generated pages.
3 2 years 04/1999 - -
3 4 weeks 03/1999 indexing websites foreign language support, no substring search
2 4 years 05/2001 results seem fairly good just looking at other possibilies
2 3 years 06/2001 Searches that are explicitly looking for words in running text Topic or title searches don't work too well.
2 2 years 07/2002 all but document relevance -
2 6 months 07/2001 - -
2 2 months 01/1999 It's better than nothing and inexpensive It's not thorough enough
2 1 month 09/2000 does return results with order of relevance results are often returned showing the key words as being in hte navigation
1 3-4 years 06/2001 allow boolean search The results are not pertinent. The tool does not allow the search of an expression.
1 3 years 06/2001 - very poor, does not find very obvious documents
1 3 years 01/2001 not much crashing and non-relevant information returned
1 2 years 09/2000 it searches finds old content, not very fast or customizable
1 1 year 02/2001 It's speed and it doesn't bog down our system when indexing itself. It doesn't search phrases and you still have to manually index this search engine
1 6 months 01/2001 Possible to customize different page results Very slow indexing, disables search during indexing.
1 1 month 05/2000 it gives broken URLs the results do not match search terms the description is generic and generally displays the menu rather than a page description


Widely-used search engine, company also does knowledge management, social networking, etc.

SearchTool rating how long date reported What about this search tool works well? Any problems or issues with this search tool?
Verity Average rating: 2.33, Number of responses: 49
5 don't know 07/2001 Everything It's very expensive.
4 5 years 04/1999 Very customizable, Topics are very powerful Technical support needs improvement, need to concentrate on getting their core products working correctly.
4 3 years 04/2000 - -
4 3 years 01/1999 It is the only multilingual tool mostly with the vendor. They are not particularly helpful to our developers who are trying to build a DataBlade on top of our Informix server.
4 2 years 04/2001 The results are adequate. The tool was implemented without much usablility testing. The initial thought was for access by the general public. In most cases, engineers and others searching for technical information were not considered. Moving the technical manuals to the web was an after thought. These documents are designed for printing/publishing. We have not designed our content for web searching. Many technical manuals are available on our site. Most are published in pdf format. We lack discipline in meta tags with most meta tags not used at all or misused.
4 1 year 06/1999 highly configurable, feature set comprehensive and it seems all we need is already thought of. The support staff at Verity is phenomenally helpful. The product needs configuring to be effective. To get performance right out-of-the-box requires prior experience with the product.
3 3 years 06/2001 returns results fast Manual indexing, timely process
3 3 years 03/2001 Profiling via news page Lack of flexibility when looking at segregating groups of documents for access control purposes.
3 3 years 04/2000 - We have run into size limitations with verity's search engine (approx. 100 Meg)
3 3 years 08/1999 consistent None
3 2 years 12/2001 it's ok doesnt index Acrobat 5 documents
3 2+ years 08/2001 - -
3 2 years 10/2000 - indexing is too long (5,000,000 pages)
3 1 year 05/2002 Handles the number of concurrent users and volume of documents without problems. Some functionality requested by users not supported; Quirky at times; Doesn't run on Linux.
3 1 year 10/2001 - -
3 1 year 04/2000 - -
3 1 Year 05/1999 - Indexing Problem, Inclusions & Exclusions from collection is a big problem.
3 1 year 01/1999 - -
3 6 months 04/2000 fast, usually accurate, easy to maintain won't handle as large a collection as we need it to. Doesn't provide any way to show the file size.
3 3 months 01/2001 load balancing xml support
2 6+ Years 04/2002 - Too slow
2 5 years 05/2001 - people can't find what they're looking for
2 5 years 05/2001 collection maintenance performance, scripting
2 2 years 05/2002 - -
2 2 years 01/2001 It finds information It brings back too many results. We want to leverage our recent investment in a Content Management system and Personalization server metadata
2 2 years 12/2000 - Limited subset of Verity features. Results set stored on front end server makes load balancing difficult.
2 2 years 10/2000 - -
2 2 years 05/2000 booleans, identification of individual search volumes, legible output limited number of volumes, no logging of search statements (i.e., so we can't analyze user behavior), relevancy ranking often questionable
2 2 years 09/1999 - Dynamic pages / multi language
2 2 years 09/1999 - We need a more robust solution.
2 1 year 10/2001 It finds the pages that relate to the search. Just does not check for priority.
2 1 year 11/2000 Ability to customize the search Too slow
2 1 year 10/2000 ususally find some results results are not always accurate. lot of duplications. sometimes return wrong inforamation
2 1 year 07/2000 - -
2 1 year 04/2000 Pretty easy to setup. No automated way to add and remove documents from the search. Have to manually use a browser to remove obsolete documents. There is a automated way to reindex and optimize, but doesn't do any good if it doesn't handle documents that have been deleted or new documents that have been added to the site.
2 1 year 10/1999 - -
2 3 months 06/1999 The hits come up as links. If language is carefully used, good hits result. Hard to customize, and it needed lots of customization.
2 1 month 03/2001 it's fast don't like the way the indexes are oranized
2 1 month 01/1999 - -
2 don't know 03/1999 - No scheduling/No spidering
1 5 years 08/2001 - -
1 3 years 02/2000 That's the problem--it doesn't. Constantly hangs up and sucks CPU cycles.
1 2 years 05/2000 General search capabilities of HTML-only files worked well until recently. Multi-format indexing doesn't work well (and isn't delivered in the new releases) indexing generally doesn't finish. Support is poor. (Netscape relay support.)
1 2 years 07/1999 - The site retrieves results with partial key word occurences. Key word occurence navigation is clumsy. Document comparison is clumsy.
1 1 year 03/2001 - unstable...or maybe the IT people who are implementing it are inexperienced.
1 1 year 01/1999 - -
1 don't know 10/2001 - -
- don't know 11/1999 - -
- don't know 02/1999 - -

Microsoft Site Server

Microsoft high-end server with search features

SearchTool rating how long date reported What about this search tool works well? Any problems or issues with this search tool?
Site Server Average rating: 2.23, Number of responses: 13
5 6 months 04/1999 Speed, Indexable properties -
3 1 month 10/1999 GOOD -
2 4 years 04/2002 Easy to install Slow
2 3 years 09/2001 generally OK difficult to work out how to get it to index keywords; occasionally fails but have not isolated cause.
2 2 years 06/2002 Out of the box No best bets.
2 2 years 10/2001 - -
2 2 years 08/2001 - slow, search on databases not really useful
2 2+ Years 07/2001 Admin interface is good and easy. Doesn't provide functionality needed.
2 2 years 08/2000 - -
2 1 year 07/2001 Reasonble flexibility not an out of the box solution
2 1 year 06/2001 Indexing, unlimited catalogs Excluding content is cumbersome
2 6 months 11/2000 works well for small site but we will be growing exponentially now reporting is problematic and inadequate
1 5 years 07/2002 - -



Free open-source software indexes meta tag information, XML.
SearchTool rating how long date reported What about this search tool works well? Any problems or issues with this search tool?
SWISH, Swish-E, etc. Average rating: 2.2, Number of responses: 15
4 4 years 01/1999 small index size, html tag aware, nice interface to front-ends, so we can do custom interfaces not really. i hear that people who try to do spidering via swish
4 8 months 04/2000 Implemented Swish-E only against specific content collections to date. We have plans to get more ambitious with Swish-E since we've just installed the most current version which supports meta tags and, my tech expert assures me, can handle cross-database searching. -
3 10 years 08/2001 - -
3 2 years 04/1999 does simple minded indexing well hard to control how far it goes from a local page
3 1.5 years 01/1999 It indexes doesn't handle phrases well, at all?
2 5 years 03/2000 cros-site indexing not enough info...
2 3 years 05/1999 fast indices take a long time to build for large sites
2 2 years 09/2001 simple -
2 2 years 04/2000 It finds the file within the site where the keyed terms reside. It can't show me WHERE in the located files the keyed terms are found.
2 1 year 08/2001 very fast The index is now broke, so is the front end.
2 6 months 11/2001 Not too hard to configure. Easy enough to put a front end on the results. Our site got big enough so that indexing it nightly crashes our server. Swish-e just can't handle big sites. There's also no way to update an index. It has to be created new each time. Quoting entries is not supported, so something like "Pentium III" will not work, and "Pentium 4" will just not turn results as "4" is treated as a separate word. Swish-e is fine for small non-technical sites. Otherwise it's junk. Very outdated. No web interface.
1 3-4 years 03/1999 Swish is nice, free, does one server well. Harvest is free, handles multiple sites. Swish can only cover our one server, and I want to index about 20 throughout the School of Medicine. Harvest is no longer supported, and the AIX ver. I can install can't handle newer servers, frames, databases, etc.
1 2.5 years 01/2000 Easy to update index, quick results. Provides links to pages containing the search string, but not to "bookmark" tags within those pages. Does not display context in which the string was found.
1 14 months 07/2002 it was an improvement over the previous java based search index. administration, resulting appearance of index
1 3 months 09/2000 It finds the documents, but presentation of the results is not very user friendly It is limited - freeware

SUN ONE iPlanet Portal Server Search (formerly Netscape Compass)

Complex search engine with automated classification and categorization.

SearchTool rating how long date reported What about this search tool works well? Any problems or issues with this search tool?
SUN ONE / iPlanet / Netscape Compass Average rating: 1.94, Number of responses: 17
3 2+ years 08/2000 Quick search, handles volume, good stability, good advanced search Had problems with categories, heavy on system resources, unavailable for Linux (which we are moving to from Solaris)
3 1 year 01/2001 easy to administer flakey behavior
3 3 months 01/1999 very fast and customizable bad reindex algorithm, bad documentation
2 4 years 07/2001 Fairly self-sufficient once installed and configured properly. Subject directory doesn't work.
2 3 years 07/2002 It does its job, but we don't use it to its full potential Licensing costs, and out version is out of date
2 3 years 10/2000 - -
2 2 years 10/2001 Allows for sub search collections like within specific directories of the site. yes
2 2 years 12/2000 - Limited subset of Verity features. Results set stored on front end server makes load balancing difficult.
2 2 years 07/1999 full text search you manually have to create and the collections
2 1 year 02/2002 It allows both directory and keyword search. Pages can be included in categories by using rules that automatically include the pages When the site becomes very big the administration tools cease to work, the y don't escalate.
2 8 months 02/2002 It provides content trees and adequate search capabilities It does not scale very well and administrative tools
2 8 months 01/1999 Personalized newsletters. for users. In additon to Netscape Compass, we also use SemioMap Text Mining Erratic with known catagorization bugs
2 3 months 05/1999 - -
2 2 months 05/1999 The search allows users to search multiple repositories of information with a single command or search entry. Categorization is manual and labour-intensive. A simple search is not necessarily the answer to finding a specific technical answer within a large volume of information. That is, the tool consolidates a search, but most searches return too many results.
1 4 years 09/2001 not much. We are using the pared down version that came with our server, it's not very flexible.
1 1 year 03/2000 It does basic indexing fairly well Yes, Compass server doesn't filter on metatags very well.
- - 06/2002 - -

Glimpse and WebGlimpse

Widely-installed search engine from the early days of the Web.

SearchTool rating how long date reported What about this search tool works well? Any problems or issues with this search tool?
glimpse Average rating: 2.14, Number of responses: 7
3 5 years 04/1999 - -
3 1 month 05/1999 Well, it generally works rather well. Problems with umlauted characters
2 3 Years 04/1999 Proximity searching (search strings), searching for regular expressions, boolean queries Ranking of hits, searching in html tags
2 2 years 02/1999 It's currently running Relevance ranking, boolean searches, approximate searches, etc. all missing
2 1 year 02/2001 Full text search indexes unstable
2 1 year 05/2000 fast, accurate poor format coverage
1 3 years 04/1999 It's installed... Terrible features

EWS (Excite for Web Servers)

One of the first free site search engines, does only local server indexing (no web crawling spider). No longer developed or supported, had some significant security vulnerabilities.

SearchTool rating how long date reported What about this search tool works well? Any problems or issues with this search tool?
EWS Average rating: 2.0, Number of responses: 28
5 2 years 11/1999 Very easy to maintain with a web-based (CGI) GUI. Newest version not available on AIX. AIX version doesn't allow you to control summaries (but newer version allows you to use description meta tags). Not as customizable as other tools. Doesn't seem to be supported by Excite anymore (I think latest version was in 1997)
4 3 years 01/2002 quick, easy, configurable, private lack of support, no new versions projected
4 3 years 11/2000 indexes fast produces search results fast "all option" gives excellent results for my site Allows "collections" ... a must for my site No product support. No "exact phrase" capability. Big problem: treats singular and plural words as totally different terms, so people don't find info we really have.
4 1 year 12/1999 The cgi portion of the program is easy to modify and it's include and exclude options are solid complicated instructions, assumes more about the user then it should
3 2.5 years 04/1999 Fast, supports multiple collections, ranking system is OK; version we're using is free Can't search for fixed phrases in quotation marks; no Boolean capabilities.
2 5 years 01/2001 Free. Relatively easy to configure. Doesn't search the DB, so must create ugly workarounds. Doesn't support multiple languages. No support from vendor.
2 4 years 09/2001 - Doesn't index pdf files
2 4 years 01/2001 - -
2 3 years 09/2000 - -
2 3 years 06/2000 - We don't like the way it displays the results. The search is only for part of the site-for a specific set of text files.
2 3 years 04/2000 quick. cost effective. primitive
2 2 years 10/2001 - It came installed with our old web hosting; we're changing hosts and need to replace it.
2 2 years 01/2001 - -
2 2+ years 01/1999 It's free, provided we use company specific meta tags, the search results is pretty good. It's free w/ little to no support, have to reindex each server
2 1 year 04/2002 Pretty much everything Yes, I'd like to customize the result pages and translate it into French for the French section of our site.
2 1 year 12/2001 Thorough. Difficult to re-index, has to be done manually and v. v. slow. Doesn't allow for advanced searches.
2 1 year 05/2000 It searches HTML faily well Complex and does not support PDF format
2 1 year 08/1999 - Can't index PDF documents. Can't crawl multiple servers.
2 1 month 04/2000 - -
1 5 years 06/2002 index only a few pages didn't turn up proper results
1 4 years 05/2001 (Architext) It can't search numbers or citations of legalese.
1 4 years 01/2001 Easy and Free Security. Limitations.
1 4 years 01/2000 - -
1 2 years 07/1999 Easy to administer, stable results are not useful and often don't retrieve what they should at all
1 1 year 07/2001 simple (Architext) Doesn't index numerals (we're a transit agency, with route numbers).
1 1 year 06/1999 nothing doesn't find many pages!
1 - 03/2001 - lack of support for different file types
- 2 years 04/2000 config, run, search not very powerful, not configurable L&F


Microsoft Index Server (included with IIS server pack)

SearchTool rating how long date reported What about this search tool works well? Any problems or issues with this search tool?
Index Server Average rating: 1.75, Number of responses: 40
5 don't know 11/1999 - -
4 1 year 05/1999 Very customizable - can search by boolean or natural language - multilingual - can search/sort by numerous types of data (author, title, date, etc.) - FREE poor documentation included - must go to Microsoft site for in-depth info on use and customization.
4 3 months 01/1999 Easy to program (version2) -
3 1 year 06/2002 Search inside databases Has no crawler
3 don't know 02/2001 - -
2 10 years 11/2000 - Want to make whole intranet comes under one web search engine with various categroy marked and must be user friendly
2 4 years 08/2001 Was installed as part of the NT web server and is therefore integrated. Option to create custom searchable fields from meta tags. Server out of memory error messages, sometimes lose the cached properties of the custom fields. Have to write custom search scripts.
2 2 years 04/2001 - -
2 2 years 03/2001 - -
2 2 years 09/2000 supposed to work well with Boolean searches doesn't work as well with natural language queries; can't read metatags unless you use @DocKeywords; apparently doesn't search across multiple servers well (that's what I was told)
2 2 years 02/2000 - -
2 2 years 09/1999 Easy to install and use -- low maintenance Does not give us the advanced features we desire
2 1.5 years 05/2000 It is integrated with IIS and NT's MMC. There is an inherent "bug" that is documented in Microsoft's knowledge base, that when the site is deep, as ours is, it searches _vti_bin and other FrontPage configuration directories.
2 1 year 03/2002 It does find some things Need more intelligence of similar topics and words, similarity rankings, better navigational formats Needed only for a limited audience.
2 1 year 08/2001 it works but very slowly Error messages
2 1 year 01/2000 It indexes the files... Add-ins for e.g. PDF. OK performance. Free! Crash monthly. Bad hit ranking. Bad documentation.
2 3 months 08/1999 OK for searching product data poorly configured, hard to optimize
2 3 months 03/1999 - -
2 2 months 11/1999 customisable result page (no branding) reasonably quick no off-site indexing
2 1 month 03/2001 hit highlighting Bit of a pain to set up and customise, editing .idq and .htx files, etc.
2 2 weeks 08/2000 Searches for words and phrases in documents stored on the web server Does not update search results in real-time - must catalogue the web site.
2 don't know 06/2000 - -
1 6 years 07/2000 it's simple sometimes it lose the data
1 5 years 04/2001 Everything but the inability to index external documents (other sites)- -
1 3 years 04/2002 nothing hard to configure
1 3 years 08/2001 Free Misses a lot of stories; doesn't seem to index deep into the page; can't search by date
1 3 years 10/2000 instant indexing larger numbers of documents make it hard to tune the index
1 2+ years 12/2001 It finds most of the relevant pages it does also find too much not relevant pages it only supports simple search
1 2 years 12/2001 - very limiting with document formats
1 2 years 10/1999 Very Little Very awkward to configure. Does not include many features that we would like
1 1 year 02/2002 Filtering HUGELY CPU expensive...the index catalogue alone is 70% of the total size of the site.
1 1 year 11/2000 Automatic, a no brainer to use Slow, can't index many of our document types (PDF).
1 1 year 02/1999 managing frame any classification about pages
1 6 months 04/2002 - Our implementation doesn't allow indexing of .asp files
1 6 months 06/1999 It retrieves the correct documents Very difficult to configure, documentation is very poor.
1 6 months 01/1999 pulls out any reference to query words in search. offers links to page as well as summary doesn't have any summary info on search result page, slow, often pulls older articles over more recent, pulls out any reference to query words in search. In members only section, search function adds abstracts, but includes the hidden java script instead of the document abstract.
1 2 months 03/2000 Response time Doesn't find all word documents (.doc)
- 2 years 01/1999 automatic updates, support for multiple formats, integrated management of index, ability to customize the search and output only works on local server (no spiders/robots)
- don't know 04/1999 haven't been able to check it webmaster turned it off; probably because it is suspected that it has impeded server performance



Search engine and service now somewhat obsolete.

SearchTool rating how long date reported What about this search tool works well? Any problems or issues with this search tool?
Muscat Average rating: 1.71, Number of responses: 7
3 2+ years 08/1999 ranks pages for relevance ISP is about to withdraw this service
2 3 years 10/2000 Search only within the website Graphics and search results display is poor
2 2 years 06/2001 Ranks by relevance, indicating degree of relevance Does not search pdf files
2 2 years 03/2001 suggested terms slow, doesn't cope with duplicate results very well
2 2 months 10/2000 - -
1 2 years 07/2000 It's probabalistic Doesn't find things well, not query from database, doesn't search e-commerce areas and directories, and results are not sorted in date order
- 2 years 07/2001 - -


WAIS Search Engine (FrontPage)

Early web search engine not updated recently, included with the Microsoft FrontPage web management package.

SearchTool rating how long date reported What about this search tool works well? Any problems or issues with this search tool?
WAIS Average rating: 1.59, Number of responses: 27
3 4 years 03/1999 fast, easy to administer, contols of "look and feel" with templates, etc. limited search results display options (i.e. it returns a "headline" which cannot be fielded or otherwise specified, except in terms of no. of characters.; no option to search within a search, or save searches.
3 5 months 02/1999 - searches only the entire intranet. Need one that searches only certain folders or files.
2 4 years 01/1999 - slow
2 3 years 01/1999 - we don't have the budget to customize it properly (i.e., utilize our documents' inherent structure, properly leverage the documents' keywords which come from controlled vocabularies]
2 2 years 07/2002 - not always accurate
2 2 years 03/2002 - -
2 1 year 06/2002 finds what it's supposed to. Free with FP2K We're getting site redesigned. Designers recommend we not use Frontpage.
2 1 year 04/2002 Easy to implement Not thorough enough. Not powerful enough search
2 1 year 11/2001 It works, that's about all I can say about it. Gives too many irrelevant results
2 1 year 10/1999 Fast retrieval Maintenance; basic problems retrieving information due to bad indexing; number of hits indicated doesn't match number of docs retrieved
2 6 months 05/2002 It will search all files in the web and sub webs. Yes. constantly.
2 3-6 months 05/2000 Fast, easy to use, easy to set up Doesn't handle single character querry strings. Uni-lingual (language depends on language of FP2000 installed.) Doesn't search for super-strings (ie: Searching for "env" won't find "envy".
2 1 Month 09/1999 It searches I need to limit searches to particular directories (movie listings).
2 7 years 04/2002 flexibility, SDK Cannont index microsoft products
1 2 years 11/2001 it's fine for small sites (100-500 pages) over 500 pages it crashes every 2 or 3 days
1 2 years 11/2001 nothing index crashes often, doesn't complete searches
1 1.5 years 04/2000 - -
1 1.5 years 02/1999 fast, simple not powerfull enough (file formats, possibilities in general, e.g. to define queries at a given time oder e-mail results of queries on a regular basis like in Hyper-G/Hyperwave)
1 1 year 04/2001 - our site is divided into many folders because there are many organizations and thus webpage authors -- only the folder for the main site has search and it is FrontPage; that only works on the main site folder and doesn't search the other folders. We need a search tool that will search all of our domain (, including every folder under that domain.
1 1 year 10/2000 It is simple Does not provide any abstract information about documents.
1 1 year 03/2000 nothing! yes!
1 1 year 08/1999 It finds stuff Don't like the report generated--only brings user to page, not reference within page.
1 3 months 05/2002 set up extremly easy dosn't do any thing but Html search Can't get rid of unwanted results. Ordering is almost impossible
1 3 months 02/2000 Easy to implement Relevancy seems skewed
1 3 months 10/1999 free. sloppy results, no duplicate removal.
1 2 months 05/2000 it works lists everything at the site and I want soemthing a little more sophisticated that will allow th visitor to select specific areas and databases.
1 don't know 10/2001 - -


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