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Atomz stupidity

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I’ve been using Atomz to provide search services for this site for about 4 years now. The free service will serve search results for 500 pages; any more than that and you need to pay. I’ve been very happy with the quality of the atomz service. The search results were great, the customized templates allowed me to seamlessly integrate search results into the site, and I get weekly reports on what people are searching for.

But all that came to an end about six months ago when I broke the 500 page barrier. Suddenly recent things I’ve written aren’t being indexed. A search for “Zempt” for instance, returns no results. So it’s time to change my search strategy. I figure I have three options. I could sign up for another search service like Freefind. I could install a site search tool like mnogosearch. Or I could sign up for the paid Atomz service.

I looked into the paid Atomz search engine and what I found was pure stupidity. The product manager in me guesses that their free product is probably aimed at and used by primarily small publishers. This includes small businesses, individuals, and non-profits. So you would imagine that they would have a paid service that is also aimed at those users. Something to encourage people to upgrade from their free offering to their paid offerings. But they don’t. According to the Atomz sales guy who contacted me, their paid search service starts at $15,000 per year. That’s a big leap from free. It’s obvious that the product is targeted squarely at enterprise customers. So the marketing advantage they have from their superior free service is completely wasted. I don’t know many people who would jump from a free service to one costing $1250 per month just because they have a few new pages.

Don’t get me wrong. Atomz is a great service and well worth $15,000 for a larger business. The search results are stellar — much better than I’ve seen on most internal searches. But why would you offer a free service — something that is going to be used by people without money to spend — when your target customer is a large company with lots of money?

Tim Parkin
June 19, 2003 1:00 AM

Having tried quite a few search products for a client, I was most dissapointed by mnogosearch.. although seemingly a great engine, it looks badly supported now and their are major problems with their windows port. Moving to Swish-e however was brilliant. It's a little complicated but when it works it's fantastic. You can customise through filters, etc. Only pick up text in certain tags. yada yada.. read the documentation http://swish-e.org/

yowkee
June 19, 2003 2:29 AM

No wonder I didn't get any result when I came to search for Related Entries recently, end up I still get to there with google. Btw, what's wrong with MT's search function?

Ryan
June 19, 2003 7:01 AM

I ran into the same problem using Atomz on my personal site... I recently switched over to http://www.master.com/ which is run by Texis (the folks who make Webinator). It's free, has similar templating capabilities, and even adds a little flexibility in terms of "categorizing" your results. If you can get past the not-so-hot interface, it's a good alternative to Atomz.

jon
June 19, 2003 8:12 AM

i simply cannot believe swish-e is still alive!! i remember installing swish for eli lilly's public site waaay back in 1994..and at the time, i thought that they were about to stop supporting it. i'm glad someone picked it up--it definitely is excellent! j.

Adam Kalsey
June 19, 2003 8:35 AM

> what's wrong with MT's search function? To start with, not all my content is in MT, so the search wouldn't include the whole site. But even if it did, MT's search facilities aren't very robust. It doesn't to spell checking, word stemming, search thesauri, fuzzy matches, relavance ranking or most other things a real search engine does.

Phillip Harrington
June 19, 2003 8:45 PM

I had the same exact experience with Atomz. I read your post going "yup" every other sentance. I went so far as to sign one of my sites up for the Master service, but never got around to completing the setup and templates or installing their code on my site so I can't recommend it. It seemed like it worked except for the goofy interface they have. Atomz was slick and I miss them, but if they want to be stoopid then that's their call. It would almost be worth 25 bucks a year or something. Seems like they could reach out to us small publishers.

Adam Gaffin
June 20, 2003 9:14 AM

I'm really partial to Fluid Dynamics Search engine - http://www.xav.com/scripts/search/ It's a Perl script that does a really good job on mid-sized collections (up to several thousand documents), has some tags to wrap around stuff you don't want indexed (such as toolbars), lets you weight particular types of content (for example, meta data could be given a highter weighting than body content), etc., etc. And it's $40.

Adam Kalsey
June 20, 2003 12:17 PM

I've talked to Atomz about their pricing model and the reasons for the free search. You can read about it at http://kalsey.com/2003/06/atomz_responds/

pete
June 23, 2003 9:48 AM

I've been using ht://Dig http://www.htdig.org/ for a while now and I like it. I took a look at swish-e a while back, and it did look nice, but more of a pain to set up and configure.

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