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Thursday, July 31, 2003

HotBot Changes Names to Protect the... Useless?

You know it's a slow news day when HotBot gets a full-length article about how they changed the names of the search engines they draw their metasearch index from:

"We have continued to do usability testing to refine the product and one of the things that keeps coming back is that users don't know Inktomi, FAST, and Teoma," said Tom Wilde, general manager of search services for Lycos and HotBot. "But when tested against the brands HotBot, Lycos, and Ask Jeeves, almost all users recognize the names."

To Mr. Wilde's credit, that's probably a true statement. But doesn't it just seem, um, wrong to say you're providing one thing, when you're really giving something else? I mean, Inktomi is not HotBot, FAST is not Lycos, and even though Ask Jeeves does own Teoma, they're not the same thing.

Speaking of Jeeves, I had the displeasure of searching the butler's engine today to do some client research, and I nearly went blind after seeing Jeeves' jumbled mess of text that they call search results. I mean, if you're gonna be a second-tier search engine, the least you can do is make it easy to read your darn search results, right?

Posted by Cory Kleinschmidt




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