Website Optimization for Zapmeta
The ZapMeta search engine went live September 19, 2003. The main headquarters for Zap is at Houston, Texas, but they have employees situated in different parts of the world. Kind of like the secret service
ZapMeta is a deep but easy to use meta search engine that performs web, directory, shopping, and job search capabilities. It offers flexible options for the user, while the interface is clean and straightforward.
ZapMeta draws its information from well-known engines and directories. The search engines it combs include AOL, Google, Yahoo!, Ask Jeeves and Wisenut, while product searches are provided by PriceGrabber. Directory listings are presented by the Open Directory Project, or DMOZ, and job related info comes from Beyond.com.
The beauty behind ZapMeta is the way it displays results. Not only does it provide a text summary for returned listings, it also displays images to the user. All returned results within the search engine results page (SERP) have a ‘Quickview’ option beside them. By clicking ‘Quickview,’ a small framed window appears with the website inside that frame. Users have full access to the site within this window. This is perfect if a user wants to compare results without having to access each site individually in full sized windows. The size of the Quickview window can also be increased for a larger display. Aside from Quickview, there is a ‘Snapshots’ feature that displays a small thumbnail of each site to the left of the text description. This can also be turned on or off within the SERP.
Default is set to sort by relevance, but users can also sort by domain, popularity, title or source. These options can be selected at the top of the search results, or via ‘Advanced Options’ or ‘Set Preferences.’ ZapMeta’s algorithm removes duplicated results when grouping is selected.
In the SERP, users can explore a site’s traffic, ranking, and user ratings, by clicking the icon ‘View Information about this Site,” which takes the user to Alexa Rank. Users can also view past versions of a page, by clicking the icon ‘View Past Versions of this Page,’ which links to the Archive Wayback Machine.
The only set back is that sponsors are listed first on the page. Fortunately, they are well marked.
There is some cross over between Set Preferences and Advanced Options. Here is a break down of both.
- Time Out: Is the maximum amount of time ZapMeta waits for results to come from its sources. This value can be set between 1 and 20 seconds.
- Grouping: You can group results to remove duplicates. Otherwise duplicates will be displayed.
- Results per Page: The minimum is 10, the maximum lets you see all results on one massive page.
- Sort by: As per above, you can select to sort by Relevance, Domain, Popularity, Title or Source, by ascending / descending order.
- Result Snapshots: Lets you turn snapshots on or off.
- Highlight Keywords: Your search terms will be lit up like a Christmas tree within the results.
- Open Pages: You can have websites open in same window or in a new window.
- Display: You can check off any combination of: Description, Sources, URL and Quick View.
- Sources: You can check off results to come from any combination of AOL, Google, Wisenut, Yahoo Directory, Ask Jeeves, Overture and Yahoo Web.
When all is ready, you can save your preferences or set them back to default.
Advanced Options has many of the same features found in Set Preferences. Notable differences include:
- Advanced Web Search: You can enter a search under Must Contain the Words, Match the Exact Phrase, or Exclude the Words.
- Domain Filter: Lets you conduct searches from a combination of region, domain and host.