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ICSTI: Alta Vista & Allthe web to 'go pay for rank'??

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <epc-l@iucr.org>
  • Subject: ICSTI: Alta Vista & Allthe web to 'go pay for rank'??
  • From: Pete Strickland <ps@iucr.org>
  • Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2003 09:13:14 GMT


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From: "mahons1@mail1.eircom.net" <mahons1@MAIL1.EIRCOM.NET>
Subject: Alata Vista & Allthe web to 'go pay for rank'??
To: ICSTI-L@DTIC.MIL
Precedence: list
X-UIDL: gkk"!ZWk!!Cd;"!lN#"!
Status: R 
X-Status: N
>From Peter Suber's FOS News:

You've probably heard that in the last two weeks Overture
<http://www.overture.com/ > has bought both Alta Vista
<http://www.altavista.com/ > and
FAST's AllTheWeb <http://www.alltheweb.com/ > .

Overture leads the search category that it calls "pay-for-performance", but
which should be called "pay-for-rank","money-before-relevance", or
"lucrative distortion". Until now, Alta Vista and AllTheWeb were two of the
best uncorrupted search engines, but definitely under the shadow of Google
<http://www.google.com/ > .
In today's Information Today, Barbara Quint makes clear
<http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/nb030303-1.shtml > what many of us
feared, and what earlier reports couldn't confirm, namely, that Overture
will not only merge Alta Vista and AllTheWeb but convert them to the
pay-for-rank model. This will make them as good as useless for research,
and reduce the competition among objective search engines. Fortunately,
Google is financially secure and publicly committed to resist the
pay-for-rank model.
Of course, serious scholarly search tends to use
specialized search engines, such as those customized for OAI-compliant
archives <http://www.openarchives.org/tools/tools.html > . But Google and
its former competitors were the best hope for the billions of pages not
within the scope of the specialized search engines. More coverage
<http://news.google.com/news?num=100&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&safe=off&q=overture+
fast+altavista&spell=1 >

Bye, Barry Mahon

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Best wishes

Peter Strickland
Managing Editor
IUCr Journals

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