Gigablast

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Gigablast Screenshot
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Gigablast Screenshot

Gigablast is a relatively recent search engine. Its objective is to be more efficient and to scale better than other search engines. The search engine is run by Matt Wells. This engine demonstrates that it is possible to deliver relevant results without the backing of a massive corporation.

Matt Wells was employed by Infoseek until 2000. After he decided that he wanted to run his own search engine, Wells wrote the code for Gigablast from scratch. The engine runs on a cluster of eight standard desktop computers, enhanced with large harddisks and plenty of memory.

Gigablast guesses related keywords from a search query. This is called GigaBits. Using this technology, one can enter a query like Who is the president of the USA? and the GigaBit with the highest percentage - standing for the highest relevance - is President Bush. This technology works well in many cases.

Gigablast indexes HTML, PDF, MS Word, MS Excel, and MS PowerPoint files. Although Gigablast is free of any kinds of advertising, Matt Wells is able to live on Gigablast. He does so licensing his search results to meta-search engines and by selling the Gigablast technology to businesses who then run it on their own networks. Gigablast is particularly attractive for this, because its demands on hardware are significantly lower than competing products.

There has been some speculation concerning when, if at all, Gigablast would attract major funding to allow it to enlarge its operations. Speculation intensified when a link appeared on the Gigablast homepage (around 16th March 2005) explaining that it would be offering shares in the company, effectively valuing itself at US$34M. The link disappeared within days, prompting further speculation that an offer of funding had been immediately forthcoming.

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