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Uncover the Net > Blog > Uncover the Net Blog: April 2005

Friday, April 29, 2005

Robots & More Robots

After checking some of our search results in Yahoo, Google & MSN, many of the pages we have indexed seem to be our /keyword/ (search results) pages. I guess that's not good. :) So, we added a robots noindex, nofollow tag to all the keyword pages. Hopefully we haven't p'd them off too much by leaving them fair game to be spidered. :)
Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Look! Baby Pictures, Well Not Quite

In the next few weeks we'll be adding more detailed bios of our staff. Here at Uncover the Net, we believe in being as up front and personal as possible. So we want you to get to know us! It reminds me of an e-meeting I had for the World Wide Web Consortium. One of the administrators said that at MIT they require all instructors to submit baby pictures of themselves to show they are nice and friendly. I thought that it was actually a good idea. It kinda makes you feel like you can warm up to them more.

Amyway, recently our associate editor, Michael added a more detailed bio of himself.

"Michael Lorenzen has a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University in philosophy, a Master of Library Science degree from Kent State University, a Master of Education degree from Ohio University, an Educational Specialist degree from Michigan State University, and he is currently working on a doctorate in educational administration at Central Michigan University where he is also employed as the Head of Reference at the Park Library." Read More...

And check back in the next few weeks for more detailed bios of our staff!

Hmm, Now What Category Should I Look In?

Ever do a search and not find what you're looking for? Well, you can try to navigate directly to the category by doing a category search. For example, now you can do a category search for kitchens and find all the categories that have the term kitchen in them! You can do this from any search results page by simply clicking the category tab to refine your search to only categories. Fun stuff! :)
Monday, April 25, 2005

What's My IP Address?

Ever wondered what your IP address is? Now you check it from anywhere using Uncover the Net! Just do a search for "ipaddress" and it will display your IP address. :)

A Customer's Word: Just Wanted to Let You Know...

I have to say that it's very reassuring when a customer goes out of their way to say thanks or job well done. Here is a testimonial from a webmaster:

Just wanted to let you know, that one of my clients who have a listing with you has done alright from it.

We submitted this listing for the Langtry Manor Hotel about a month ago, admittedly nothing much (in my experience) ever comes through directories so it was more of a scope for dragging some much needed rank onto the website.

But, something happened... this is a website that takes a hell of a lot of traffic for a hotel we push it hard as a result they do quite well.

But... they actually took in the last two weeks three bookings from your site. One English woman who was on your site clicked through and booked a room for her and her husband, and the other both Americans who are going to be in the UK during the Summer booked by clicking though and booking.

Great stuff mate.. good investment.

Vincent

Thank you for the note Vincent. Hopefully we can send you many more bookings to come!

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Page Rank & UTN, Part 2

I just want to add to what Tim has written.

It is great to see UTN assigned an 8 and to see PR running though the whole directory structure. However, this directory is not about PR. We are working to build a resource useful to those who surf the Web. PR is not important to that goal. 99% of the additions to the database are selected and added for free by editors. You can compare this to those PR selling directories that have the majority (or all) of their additions via the paid submission route.

We at UTN are in this for the long haul and we are going to achieve a directory with several hundred thousand useful sites in the next few years. We are not DMOZ, or Yahoo, or Zeal, or Joeant, or any other search resource. We are creating our own identity and our own unique contribution to the Web.

But as Tim wrote, this increase in PR is certainly exciting!
Friday, April 22, 2005

Page Rank & UTN

Well, after 111 or so days of waiting for a PageRank update from Google, you can imagine the excitement of all of us involved with the UTN site/project, when we realized that UncoverTheNet had been assigned a PageRank of 8!! That puts us in the same league as DMOZ.org and the Yahoo! Directory.

It just goes to show, with a great product/service, and a lot of hard work, one will be rewarded. The PR in itself isn't overly important to the strength or longevity of the site, but just a visual symbolization of how good this directory already is, and how great it will become.

Congrats to Shawn, my fellow editors, and all those involved with UncoverTheNet!! We done good. We will continue to do better.

Interview with Aaron Wall

I recently had a friendly interview with Aaron Wall of SEO Book. He has finished editing and he published the interview of his site now. Anyway, thanks for the opportunity Aaron!
Thursday, April 21, 2005

Feeling Like Football at UTN

I notice that where I edit at UTN in many cases depends on what I am feeling and what I am interested in at the moment. This works out OK because a growing directory like Uncover the Net can use new sites just about everywhere. I have noticed that I am going through major football withdraw right now. I haven't seen a game since the Super Bowl and it will be months before the NFL and colleges kick off again. What am I to do? I decided yesterday to do some major work in the football categories for UTN. I added every team site for the NFL, NFL Europe, and Arena Football League as well a variety of other football related sites. It looks like the Recreation and Sports catgeory can use some work so I will focus on building this up for a while. I don't want to wish the summer away but I could sure go for a good football game right now...
Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Progress & Updates

Well, last night I got an invite to Y! 360 from my brother in law (who works at Yahoo), although I'm not sure what to do with it yet. :)

I just checked our stats, and here they are:

Total Sites Listed: 10725 Categories & 12653 Websites
Total Music Lyrics: 256 Artists & 7404 Music Lyrics

On average our editors are adding between 1,000-3,000 sites per month. We've been working on ther music lyrics section for the past couple weeks to try and populate that as well. I think it's awesome that we can now search for a popular phrase in a song and find out what song it is and who it's by! For example... a search for whatever Makes Me Happy And Sets You Free returns Christina Aguilera's "What A Girl Wants". Well, I think it's cool :)
Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Search Engine Rebuild Progress

Well, it's still beta, but we're making progress. We've only got a fraction of the pages indexed so far, but we'll be dumping the updated index to the live version every 4 hours. Anyway, some cool new features that I didnt mention yet are:

  • Url input. - If a customer searches for say www.yahoo.com, it will automatically provide a quick link that users can click to visit that site directly. Example: Here.
  • link:domain.com command. - Now a user can see how many (and what) pages of the site link to a certain page or directory. Example: Here.
  • Last Indexed Date. - Much like a "fresh date" on Google, this tells users when the file was spidered. Note: generally speaking, the more recent the date, the better.
  • Advanced Search Commands. - If you want to find an exact phrase, use "double quotation marks" around the phrase when you enter words in the search box. Example:To find lyrics by the King, type "you ain't nothing but a hound dog" in the search box.
And more features to come :)

Search Function to be Rebuilt

We're currently using the default search appliance that came with the directory script with just a few modifications to it. And suffice it to say that it leaves a few things to be desired! So anyway, Im indexing the site now with a different search utility and hopefully this will make our search feature more reliable.

Some cool features that it will have is the ability to refine your search by

  1. Sites Listed
  2. Categories
  3. Forum Posts
  4. Blog Posts
  5. Music Lyrics
  6. Maybe Another
So hopefully it will be better :)
Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Uncover the Net - Online Store

I think this is pretty cool. I've always liked the idea behind Cafepress. So, I got a new online store with them where you can buy Uncover the Net merchandise. I dont think there is a markup on the items set, so you pay the same that I would pay. We just want people to wear our cool t-shirts, or our super funny thong underwear. :) I think I'll buy the neato mousepad!
Sunday, April 03, 2005

Accoona Search Engine - A New Player?

I recently found on some other sites talk of a new search engine Accoona. So after hearing about it, I looked at it's Alexa rating. Today, it's Alexa rating is 256. That's just a little bit better than Ask Jeeves. How is that possible? Well, they launched in December, and apparantly they hired Bill Clinton himself to come to the official launch party of the site. They also have something with the Chinese Government that allows them and only them to be a search engine of the Chinese people.

But the new question is, looking at the Alexa rating and the buzz on the internet, does search relevance really matter to the end user? I ask because after looking at the search engine, I can't find anything there that can't be found at the other big boys. But what's worse, is all the 'natural' results are provided by Overture. So what's going on?

I've also read that Accoona has been spamming blogs lately. Now I think it's fair that we give them the benefit of the doubt on that, hence maybe it's not actually them, just someone who wants to ruin their rep. But anyway, seems there are more players in the search business now. :)
Saturday, April 02, 2005

A Second Server Added

Well, last night you might have noticed some lag time at about 3am. We were adding a second dedicated server to the site to help with the high traffic days that put a huge load on the server. So hopefully things will run smooth even when we have 20k+ uniques per day :)







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