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  1. #1
    khn
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    Please Review ZapMeta - New Search Engine

    Hello Everyone,

    We recently released the official version of our meta-search engine, www.zapmeta.com, after being eight months in beta. Please provide us your input on the following factors:

    1. Speed - Fast? Average? Slow?
    What do you think of ZapMeta's speed comparing to other meta search engines?

    2. Advanced Search and Preferences - Useful or Useless?
    Advanced search enables users to restrict their search and the ability to customize the output of their results. Preferences were made to work in conjunction with advanced search. In other words, if you change a value in preferences, it will also be reflected in advanced search if the value is present.

    3. Design - Visually appealing or overloaded with graphics?
    What do you think of our effort in trying to put a distinction between ZapMeta's design and the plain html design of most search engines?

    4. Result Relevancy - On the mark or not close at all?
    We wanted ZapMeta to return relevant results, so sponsored links will never be included in the actual results (unless selected in preferences). Along with our smart algorithm, ZapMeta is able to produce more relevant results than most meta search engines. Or at least that's what we think, let us know your thoughts.

    5. Bugs and Errors
    Please report any bug or error if you encounter them.

    Anything you dislike or like? Please let us know, all feedback, comments, and/or suggestions are highly appreciated.

    Regards,
    Kevin

  • #2
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    Wow! Mad props! <Ahem...> That site is really good! Great design, looks awesome! This would definatly be my prefered search engine, if there were some minor changes:

    1)After you type in your search, be able to push enter and have your search begin.

    2) When I ran a search for WEB Properties, Inc - The first page that came up was a result that only shared the Inc part, and it was the fist part of the word "Included". It had nothing to do with what I wanted. Try to make sure that the words that are being searched for are not part of other words.

    Other than those small details...that thing kicks! Quick results, great looking interface! You guys sure put some work into this sucker!

  • #3
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    LOL Gotta like it. My site is in the top 10.

    MNS

    ps...

    sponsored results suck....buy your way to the top of the list????
    Last edited by MotherNatrsSon; 06-24-2003 at 02:40 AM.

  • #4
    Supreme Overlord Spookster's Avatar
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    Written in Perl huh? Okayyyyyy.

    On the results page I would put the related searches box up at the top instead of in the middle of the page.

    The text on the buttons and tabs graphics is difficult to read.

    Color scheme and layout are cool.

    Runs a bit slow and i'm on a cable modem.

    On the results page the search box area looks strange up above everything including the logo. I would put it below the logo but above the results.

    On the main page I would put the two links for advanced search and set preferences in the same place as they are on the results page. They look good there.

    The quick view is a pretty interesting feature I have not seen before. I would add another option to it though to open the page they are viewing in quickview mode in a new window. So you would have Maximize Minimize Open in New Window Bookmark Site.
    Spookster
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  • #5
    Senior Coder Nightfire's Avatar
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    There's no ranking system, it seems the results are all random. Sometimes my site is 1st, refresh the page then it's at the bottom of the 1st page, refresh again and it's nowhere to be seen, refresh again and there I am with 5 links all exactly the same in the top 5

  • #6
    jkd
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    Quickview didn't do anything in my 1.4 RC1 build of Mozilla.

    Where's google? Google is the search engine, and I don't see it anywhere. You could use some simple SOAP stuff and get Google results even more easily than by parsing out the search results page...

    Other than that, I love it. I used to use Highway61 as my metasearch engine, but not in a long time...

  • #7
    khn
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    Ben@WEBProp,

    First of all, thank you for the kind words. Secondly, I would like to address your concerns.
    1)After you type in your search, be able to push enter and have your search begin.
    I checked in IE6 and was able to push the enter button to search with all forms. Are you experiencing otherwise? Please let me know your browser and version so I can check.
    2) When I ran a search for WEB Properties, Inc...
    ZapMeta is designed to look for ANY word in a search query. So when you type in WEB Properties, Inc, any results containing one of the three words will be returned. However, if you place quotes around your keyword (e.g. "WEB Properties, Inc"), then ZapMeta will only return results contain all three words. Check out this search, I think this will return your desired result.

    Spookster,
    Written in Perl huh?
    Perl is our best option, we tried php but search time was extremely slow since it can not fetch all results at once.
    I would put the related searches box up at the top...
    We are still testing a couple of things and will take your idea into consideration.
    Runs a bit slow and i'm on a cable modem.
    Search time of a meta-search engine is slower than a standard search engine like google because it has to wait for all results to arrive before they can be ranked and collated.

    should not take longer than 3-4 seconds, and should be less than 1 second if the keyword is cached in our server.
    I would add another option to it though to open the page they are viewing in quickview mode in a new window.
    This option is already included, when you click on this icon next to quick view the page will open in a new window.

    Nightfire,

    We do have a ranking system and what you described shouldn't happen. Can you please let me know the keyword you used.

    jkd,
    Quickview didn't do anything in my 1.4 RC1 build of Mozilla.
    Currently, Quick View only works in IE and we suggest you use IE for best experience.

    Thank you for all the feedback so far please keep them coming.
    Last edited by khn; 06-24-2003 at 05:12 AM.

  • #8
    khn
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    opps... double post.
    Last edited by khn; 06-24-2003 at 05:06 AM.

  • #9
    Supreme Overlord Spookster's Avatar
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    Originally posted by khn
    Ben@WEBProp,

    This option is already included, when you click on this icon next to quick view the page will open in a new window.

    Oh ok cool. Might want to consider using text intstead of that icon as it definitely wasn't obvious. I would either use all icons for the options or all text links or both.
    Spookster
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  • #10
    jkd
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    Originally posted by khn
    jkd,
    Currently, Quick View only works in IE and we suggest you use IE for best experience.
    Not everybody can use IE. Nor does everybody want to. And considering your Quickview code only needs upwards of 2 lines modified to work in Mozilla (from my quick appraisal of it), it seems rather unreasonable not to support a superior rendering engine (Gecko) that is gaining in popularity every day.

  • #11
    Senior Coder Nightfire's Avatar
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    The keyword was blinded.org.uk, it also showed an out dated version of my site that hasn't existd for about 6 months as I've changed hosts since then

  • #12
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    It looks good, and is pretty fast. Nicely done indeed.



    There are a lot of adverts, which aren't very pleasing.

    <edit>A lot of the images aren't showing where they should be... Opera 7.11 WinXP Pro.

    Mainly here: (Top images)

    http://www.zapmeta.com/directory/

    </edit>
    http://www.mudsplat.com - Web design, print, and marketing solutions.

  • #13
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    Dear Architect...
    (Ya I know, dumb Matrix thing, but give me a break as it's 8:00 AM...)

    I do know about the "Search" quotes thing. However, does the average user? Does granny put everything in quotations? If that is how your search engine works, don't change it. Instead maybe you should put a notice somwhere if you want that informs people about the use of quotations. If you want to, I mean.

    I'll talk to you later!

    -Ben

  • #14
    Regular Coder Skyzyx's Avatar
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    Currently, Quick View only works in IE and we suggest you use IE for best experience.
    WTF! Uh-oh, we have another one of those people around. "Works better in [ browser-name-here ] browser!"

    For that reason alone, I would never use the engine. I should be able to use the site regardless of my browser preference. Granted advanced features require modern browsers, but between Gecko (Netscape 6+, Mozilla, AOL-Mac, CompuServe, Camino, Firebird) browsers, Opera, KHTML (including Safari, the now-default Mac OS X browser) browsers, and Internet Explorer for Windows, Internet Explorer is #3 or #4 (depending on where you hold Opera).

    This whole "we suggest you use IE for best experience" BS has no place on the web.

    Creator of SimplePie and Tarzan AWS, co-founder of WarpShare, co-built the Y! Messenger website, usability-focused, and an INFJ personality.

  • #15
    khn
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    Skyzyx and jkd,

    I will look into the problem with my developer, for some reason earlier he was unable to make it work in mozilla so we'll see.

    Ben@WEBProp,

    We are planing to post a help guide on qoute, boolean, and field searching.

    ionsurge,

    I investigated your claim in Opera but images seam to load fine on my side. Are you still experiencing otherwise?


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