Feb 22, 2006
A search engine spun out from the Australian research organisation CSIRO is already powering the Australian Government Information
Management Office, Westpac Banking Corporation, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the University of Sydney, National Research Council of Canada, University of Staffordshire, and the Scottish Care Commission and could soon offer users from multinational down to SOHOs a way to search their websites, intranets, file-shares and databases that side-steps the security risks associated with other desktop search engine software that has recently come to light.
“Funnelback is a better search engine because of its superior ability to
help users find the information they are looking for quickly and
accurately,” says Dr Stephen Kirby, Chairman of Funnelback Pty Ltd. [That has to be one of the most trite press release statements ever, Ed.]
Nevertheless, the “new” search engine could improve the lot of scientists who only see so much spam and commercial garbage when searching with the more commonplace SEs.
According to the Funnelback development website, however, the SE “offers a better search experience based on its high-quality ranking algorithms.” These it claims take into account many factors when ranking a document. So far, nothing new, the likes of Google have been doing that for years.
Indeed, the Funnelback site spells out exactly what it uses to rank a webpage:
* The anchortext pointing to the page
* The number of incoming links from other pages and sites
* The length of the page address (URL) and the presence of query words in the URL
* The number of times your query words appear in the page and in the collection, and the length of the page
So, basically, it ranks pages in pretty much the same way as Google. Of course, we’re not going to be “Funnelbacking search results” like we “Google” them in our everyday searching. “We’re not tackling the global web search market dominated by Google, Yahoo and MSN,” Funnelback’s Francis Crimmins told us. He adds that “we have a strong story in the enterprise and hosted search space.” One additional interesting aspect of this SE is that Funnelback, as well as carrying out basic web ranking, supports a “free-text + metadata search”.