Fast shows off near-real time indexing

Fast Search & Transfer ASA will launch an upgraded version of its search engine on Monday that offers near real time searches in over 3,000 online news sources.

Entering "Anthrax," for example, can bring up news stories that were updated less than an hour ago from both national and local news organizations from various countries, and in a multitude of languages. The advanced search allows a user to set language preferences and also to pick what sections of the news to search.

Fast has added a new search "vertical," allowing specific news searches. However, the most recent results from the news vertical are also displayed in a gray box on top of the general search results page.

"We want to show our customers that we can crawl fast, this is a subsecond index," said Rob Rubin, executive vice president and general manager of Fast's Internet division. "We are now continuously spidering and indexing over 3,000 news sources."

Crawling, or spidering, is the process whereby a software agent follows links from one Web page to another and collects information on those pages. That information is then indexed to make it searchable.

Fast sees crawling at high speed as its trademark. The general search index is refreshed every 9 to 12 days. Google Inc., Fast's main competitor, reports it refreshes about once a month and AltaVista Co. admits it is months behind with refreshing, resulting in outdated search results. "The news vertical is a significant freshness improvement," said Rubin.

Other new features on the site, which acts as a showcase for Fast's technology, are linguistic analysis of search queries, expanded customization options and Fast Topics, which uses the Open Directory Project, a human-edited directory run by volunteers, to bundle search results by topic.

Linguistic analysis, or antiphrasing, removes clutter from a search query to deliver better results. The query "What is the weather in Las Vegas?" for example, will be stripped of the "what is" and "Las" will be tied to "Vegas," with "weather" as an extra term.

Although Fast is not a widely known brand, it powers the search engines of Web portal company Terra Lycos Inc., Europe's largest Internet service provider (ISP), T-Online International AG, Europe's second largest ISP Tiscali SpA, eBay and many others.

Fast last month announced an enterprise product, Fast Data Search, that allows large businesses to search the content on their own servers. Fast Data Search has been integrated, for example, with BroadVision Inc.'s enterprise self-service applications.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joris Evers

Show Comments



Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?