As of January, 2012, this site is no longer being updated, due to work and health issues

Search Tools Survey - Product Ratings with Fewer Responses

This page lists search engines which have one to five responses in the survey: not enough for even a rough average. However, we find the user comments on advantages and disadvantages to be fascinating and enlightening -- just be sure to check the date reported (new versions may have addressed the problems) and note how long the program was in use on that date.

See the Survey Summary page for information on other search engines and the survey methodology

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.

Listing of Less-Common Search Engines

Sorted by Name, Rating, How Long (length of time used), and Date Reported

SearchTool rating how long date reported What about this search shortName works well? Any problems or issues with this search shortName?
Alkaline 5 1 year 08/2001 Easy to install and configure even for a non technichian. Searches PDF:s. Good up-to-date documentation. Accurate answers from the help-desk. Developments and improvements has been done and are being done. Released versions are now almost bug free. Its very inexpensive for professional companies and free for the rest. It index other sites or even parts of other sites. You could set up several applications on the same machine. It does a fast job indexing in the background, catching changes made to pages real fast which in turn makes the index up to date and the users satisfied. I don not think its relevance ranking is the best. However, in the 1.5 version I believe there will be possibilities to manipulate with term weight and the relevance of metatags.
5 6 months 07/1999 It does what I want and does not pretend to do more. It's easy to install and it's free. -
2 1 year 11/1999 Fast searches Handles PDF files well Timeouts in some versions Bugs in current version Support agreement not forthcoming
2 3 months 10/1999 - -
AltaVista 4 2 years 09/1999 AV currently provides a broader search than SWISH-E Am somewhat distressed that it does not recognize Dublin Core meta tags.
2 5 years 07/2001 - old version
2 3 months 04/2000 indexes pdf files -
1 3 months 01/2000 - we have not been able to optimize it for our site. we have multiple feeds (news, weather, entertainment) and these always surface before any real meaty relevant pages
2 1 year 07/2002 - Difficult to integrate because we need to pull content from a database (as well as spidering our discussion boards) and separate it by content type.
Apple e.g. 2 3 years 03/2000 Very good stemming, intelligent searches, high quality returns It crashes; not supported, but we can't find anything better. We're looking and all of the Mac products have problems.
1 1 year 06/2000 serves up pages reasonably closely related to the query crashes the machine
1 ?? 01/2000 - It takes a very long time to return any pages, and when it serves up the page, the url changes nightly, so that pages are not bookmarkable
ask jeeves 3 4 weeks 11/2001 gives good results no yet
ASTAware SearchKey PRO 5 4 months 07/2002 Vwry easy to install and administrate. I tested it both on Windows and unix, on PDF and HTML files, it can index both formats. Due to the fact that .html files load faster in the browser, I chose to restrict the index to this format. The results are generated very fast, it behaves excellent when concurent queries are launched against tha database. No problems occured so far, and the price it's reasonable if you look for a solid product & customer support.
Autonomy 5 1.5 years 08/2001 Integration between etherogeneus Info (Web pages, Data Bases ....) Customisation for Intranet use -
3 1 year 11/2000 - -
beseen 4 4 months 04/2001 great customization for look and feel just started including "featured" search results which are NOT on my site
2 6 months 05/2000 It is easy to find on the site and customizes the display of the information in order of relevancy. It slows down the download of the pages considerable and sometimes will not load at all or create a backup and will information is lost.
2 3 months 12/1999 - I have to specifically instruct it to reindex when new information is added and it can only be reindex once every seven days
bravenet search 3 - 06/2001 good speed to much advertising
cfm.index 1 2 years 11/2001 - manual indexing only. only searches by section
CNIDR Isearch 2 5 years 11/2000 it finds the relevant documents. Isearch returns only the URL and title of relevant documents. This isn't very useful on our site--our documents are huge--average between 500K and 1MB each. I'd like the results page to display excerpts from the document that show context.
Database 2 2 months 03/2002 simple. works well with simple search not able to handle searches with multiple key fields
2 1 week 10/2000 The amount of content is small enough so that it performs reasonably It is a temporary solution, much functionality is needed and when sote load and content increase it will not work.
DBtextworks Intranet Spider 3 2 months 04/1999 You can add fields and edit information in the database itself, eg. value added indexing terms and abstracts which aid retrieval. Total control over design of query screens and report formats. Every searching feature known to mankind (except proximity)- boolean within and across fields, field specific, range searching Will spider documents in a file directory too if asked to. Not yet
Delphes 4 4 months 07/2002 Results are very relevant. Includes also local file indexer. -
DioWeb 5 9 months 07/2002 Excelent relevancy module with a very nice results presentation. No
5 3 months 01/2002 Easy to install and integrate and a very attractive price. I fully tested this product and after 3 months of usage I considered it as the best search engine on the market. It does not index Flash animations.
5 10 months 07/2002 Very easy to install and administrate. My users are coming to mention how well it performs to find faster their info. Nothing so far...
divine Participant server 1 6 months 07/2002 - Doesn't catalogue four languages, poor performance, no ranking, no spell check, no synonyms
Domino 2 5 years 01/2002 - -
1 5 years 07/2002 automaticm, advanced tool uses native metadata Inflexible
1 2 years 06/2002 - Searches full input string Not easily customisable Results prioritisation poor
3 3 years 06/2001 - It meets our business needs of being able to search based on field level. ie: language=english - It is free with the domino server. - It has limitations on how to narrow searchs, therefore, making it less effective because it returns too many hits.
1 6 months 09/2000 - -
exploit7 2 - 07/2001 - -
Fast Site Search 5 1 year 06/2001 relevant results, good performance, native xml indexing, and its pretty easy to use no
Fluid Dynamics 4 1 week 08/1999 Good output, that is very important. No problems with administration. Easy to do, fast to crawl. -
2 3 months 02/1999 Records details of searches in a file. Has peculiar case sensitivity - doesn't always find pages containing words in a different case. Only searches the site it is running on, would like it to also search other web sites that I specify.
1 3-4 months 03/2000 Easy set up and template design. Multiple directory levels cause problems and number of directories slows it down.
Freesite 2 3-4 months 03/2002 automatic updates paid positions, ads
Fulcrum 2 2 years 02/2001 - -
2 2 years 08/1999 fast, has vendor API hard to maintain, not many new features, vanilla keyword searching, low throughput/not scalable
2 1 month 07/2000 - -
google 5 4 months 05/2002 - -
3 2 years 02/2001 typing -
3 1 month 10/2001 Familiar name; fairly deep indexing; includes other formats such as PDF; low cost. Infrequent refreshes; little control.
2 1 month 04/2002 - inability to run regular updates
Harvest 3 3 years 03/2000 Searching performance is good! Very flexible can't do fuzzy search,only keywords
2 4 years 03/2001 good indexing slow search
2 4 years 11/1999 - -
2 4 years 04/1999 - will no longer cope with newer developments, specifically can't cope with http v1.1 on server so much of site no longer indexed
HitBox Search 1 1 year 09/2000 fast they don't re-index pages
HomePageSearch applet 2 5 months 08/2000 Free, easy and works Much too slow
Hotlinks 4 1 month 12/1998 - -
Hyperseek 1 1 year 11/1999 - complicated to install and update - complicated user interface - to expensive
IBM NetQuestion 1 6 months 09/2000 Very little Many symbols (eg. UK pound sign) not searchable. Differences in results returned between browsers. Keyword search only (limited to 5 words). Slow. Limited information about returned results. Ranking of results cannot be modified and seems random.
iCat 1 4 weeks 05/1999 - questionable returns, obscure syntax, lack of insight into indexer
ICE 3 not yet 06/1999 it will be fast. It requires a keyword index; I'm trying to come up with a way to pick out proper people and place names to also treat as keywords. [adaptation using ASP (perlscript, vbscript) and SQL DB] Difficult and time-consuming to implement
2 2 years 01/2000 Reasonably fast Prefer more options for user
2 8 months 04/2000 Fast, easy to install & Customise, Free Not terribly accurate, too dependant on titles and META tags, lack of configurablility
iFilter 4 6 months 07/1999 indexes CONTENT of PDF files periodic incompatibilities between Adobe and Microsoft
Inquery 5.0 4 3 months 01/1999 - -
Intelligent Miner for Text 2 1 year 07/2000 - no Java API not enough sort criteria
Lycos Site Spider 1.0 2 8 months 02/1999 Easy to configure, returns results quickly will not do "Fuzzy" or "Like" searches. Seems to be case sensitive.
Namo Web Search 3 3-4 years 07/2002 simple, easy to use, cheap, easy to install doesn't handle multiple collections
NetIS 5 2 years 09/1999 Full text search with advanced search options (wildcards, proximity, boolean etc.) Hit highlighting + pinpoint navigation Ability to fully customize the looks & feel + data display (for the user as well) through usage of CSS Ability to deal with super big databases Ability to do web-publishing through our engine Abiloity to perform page-sensitive banners and many more NO.
nsearch 2 6 months 03/2002 - -
OfficeVision/400 4 10 years 07/1999 Combined search of content and object descriptions IBM are withdrawing support
Oneworld Search engine 1 2 years 02/2001 Not much Very slow, not accurate results
OpenFTS for Postgres 2 6 months 01/2002 Speed (but have not tested scalability) Exact matching Stopword exclusion Only a framework really, needs a lot of customization on the interface side Maybe scalability issues with more search load
opentec 2 6 months 05/2002 It does a good general job Lacking more advanced features.
Oracle ConText 1 1 year 03/2000 No special entry rules Need to search content of pages (HTML), not just titles.
Oracle InterMedia - not yet 05/2000 - -
Perlfect 4 1 month 09/2000 Simple to install (also on more virtual servers) and easy to configure nope, but maybe too little features
3 6 months 09/2001 Very good Mailinglist Installation is a little bit difficult
2 1 Year 01/2000 Ease of use Too generic the results returned.
Phantom 4 1 month 03/1999 Robot not yet
3 3 years 12/1998 Easy to customize Multiple logical indexes Crawling is slow Data file is fragile- not robust
2 don't know 12/2000 poorly bug
1 don't know 10/2000 - -
PicoSearch 2 1 year 09/2001 Internet based -
2 1 year 06/2000 quick and easy no longer works
2 1 week 06/1999 quick never updated
- 1 day 08/1999 - -
Pinpoint 4 2 years 09/2001 ease of use, Self timed re-indexing n
PLWeb 1 3 months 03/1999 template configuration big probblems creating a large index, data can only be added incementally
Qfinder 1 2 years 11/2000 - slow and doesn't work well in client/server environment.
ResourceMiner 2 3 years 08/2000 It can do a content, natural language query and opens the PDF to the exact page of the hit. The hit words are highlighted. Biggest problem is it only searches PDFs. It is hard for people to understand a natural language query when they are used to simple word matching.
Sambar 2 1 month 08/2000 - can't spider other sites
Scout 4 2 years 09/2001 multilingual -
Search Light 3 2 months 05/1999 - -
Search Maestro 4 3 years 11/2000 Most things are OK. Frozen development
search maker Pro 4 1.5 years 07/2002 Automated database building It offers page(s) with highlighted terms - I need to be able to go straight to the term rather than just to the top of the page 1 3 years 03/2002 Easy request entry waaaaaaaaaaaaay too slow
SearchCSV 4 4 months 06/2001 Results returned CGI Pathnames
SFE Search 2 1 year 08/2001 Good basic search functionality Doesn't provide the ability to index pdf's, Word, or Excel documents
4 2 weeks 01/2001 either exact or close results. clean uncluttered index pages. Its free. a bit difficult to implement for a nvice
Sinky Search Engine 1 2 months 07/1999 Nothing I does not display any thing expcet the query in in the address bar
SiteMiner 2 1 month 11/1999 - -
1 1 day 03/2000 Ease of set up. Includes www search as well. This site does not combine an index that includes my 4 different URL's.
Sun i-Planet search 2 2 years 05/2002 It indexes all of the pages. Results are awful. There is no search abstract with search results. Search results don't produce hits that are often expected.
Surf Map 2 9 months 11/2000 Includes site map with search function Very slow, doesn't always find content it should
web-search/dataeasy 2 2+ years 02/2001 - Difficult to make it see the diference between "kansas," and "Arkansas"
WebBoard 4 don't know 10/2000 Over all the Oreilly's WebBoard is a good package, but the search tool doesn't search document attatchments. search tool doesn't search document attatchments.
WebIndex / WebFind 1 5 years 06/2000 It doesn't work very well at all. It returns a very long list and often the list of items is irrelavent. Doesn't provide enough information about the file. Doesn't search the mega tags.
1 3 years 05/1999 can run on schedule, allows us to exclude files based on file names contains, file title contains takes too long to create and merge indices, not always accurate
WebSTAR 4 5 years 03/2002 user-friendly, powerful natural language and boolean searches, good relevance rating, summarization of documents, "more like this" links difficult to combine indexes, cumbersome customization of results displays, unreliable external indexing, limitations in handling pdf files, poor administrator controls to configure indexing
4 1 year 02/1999 Natural language query results are very accurate (usually the answer I am looking for is in the top 3 results) People don't understand how to do natural language queries, bad PDFs can corrupt the entire index.
3 2 years 07/2002 - Boolean operator default "or" (want "and")
2 3 years 09/2001 - Support for scandinavian letters
WhatUSeek 3 1 year 12/1999 Keyword search Lack of updating
2 6 months 04/2000 it's there. has soundex... cannot sort by date. indexes different number of pages each time spidering done.. no help link... no email contact for help.
1 6 months 09/2000 - I suspect there is some limit, but I have no documentation or statement from the search provider.
yahoo store default search 3 1.5 years 03/2002 finds what customer is looking for doesn't display it in a format that I like & no control over how it does searches


July 2001 Survey Results

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

This survey is copyright © 1998-2003 by Search Tools Consulting, and all rights are reserved. The survey was designed, analyzed and reported by Avi Rappoport. Personal information in the survey will be kept private at all times. For reprint permissions or survey aggregate data purchase, please contact Search Tools Consulting.