I was wondering why it’d been quiet for so long. Gigablast ( http://www.gigablast.com ) announced a relaunch today with a couple of new features. It’s beta, natch.
The front page has been redesigned in a lovely orange and blue that reminds me of the University of Virginia. You can search Web pages, Images, Video, and a Directory. There’s also a new feature called Freshness Dating.
The Freshness Dating feature (which is turned off by default) allows you to search Gigablast only for pages that have been generated or updated in the last day, week, month, or year. How do it know? It uses what Gigablast describes as “patent-pending ‘freshness dating’ algorithms”.
I was lukewarm on this feature — you can get similar at several other search engines — until I saw that it has a custom option. In other words, you can enter a date span and Gigablast will search only for pages generated or last updated in that date span. And you don’t have to bother with Julian dates!
Very cool. I did a search for obama costume in the year 2006, and though it didn’t work perfectly — I found plenty of pages that were published after 2006 on the front page — it did cut down my search results from over 24,000 to about 1,400. (I’m sorry for using a political search, but it was really good at finding current Web pages.) Good deal. I now have a search engine to go to when I want to research something that has a lot of “search noise” due to a recent story, blog post, fad, etc. It’s not clear how far back the custom search goes, however.
Gigablast is no longer putting up its Web index size, but on its environmentally friendly page, it mentions that it uses less than 500 machines worldwide which are capable of maintaining “over 10B web pages”. The last number I remember Gigablast putting up was 10 billion, so around that would be my guess for its current index size.
I’m going to play with this freshness dating feature…