11 thoughts on “Two Sources: Lycos May Have Laid Off Search Team”

  1. What would they need a big search team for:
    There are up to 12 sponsor links BEFORE the SERPs
    They are using Ask.com SERPS.

    There are ALWAYS valuable lessons to be learned…
    Lycos started out in 1994, One year after the World Wide Web became Public!!!!

    So much could have been done…think of Excite, AltaVista, InfoSeek, WebCrawler, Northen Light, Magellan — All with early head starts in a NEW MEDIUM, and BRAND NEW INDUSTRY.

    Was it OVERALL bad management?

    What separates a Google, OR a Yahoo from those that just wither away????????

  2. Google invested wisely in its technology and infrastructure, not to mention hiring top-notch people. They also resisted the urge to go public and earn the big bucks quick, which enabled them to ride out the dot bomb. Yahoo realized that it was important to come up with a competitive search strategy, so after failing to acquire Google they acquired other search engines (AV, AllTheWeb, Inktomi) on the cheap.

  3. What separates a Google, OR a Yahoo from those that just wither away????????

    It’s worth reading John’s book on this but (to generalise) two main elements make the difference: better management and a large dose of luck.

  4. It’s true, the head of Search for Lycos went to Media Contacts (www.mediacontacts.com) as VP of Search. MC is part of the MPG agency network.

  5. I believe that at any moment from now and into the end of this half of this century, it will be possible for a team of programmers/linguists/philosophers/artists/neurologists to come together and create a search engine that far exceeds what google or Yahoo can provide.

    What will prevent divergence away from Google is [self] enforced loyalty by way of our laziness and apathy in the face of convenience. Not only is that related to the slew of services and the pathways to registration/personalisation, think what is the most important thing when an airline goes bust that customers don’t want to lose: Air-miles!
    What google is doing is applying that model, in a way.

    We’ll have invested so much, that we won’t want to go any where else, also just as Amazon knows that it can charge a bit more or more slowly lower prices due to its “ineternal universe of convenience”.

    In the UK Lycos isn’t the least popular search-engine, and it also has a large geographic spread of operations. It provides some more specific services and has advantages in communication.

    It probably is too late for Lycos to become a top 5 player, but it has assets beyond the general ones listed above, also hotbot and wired.com, etc; If a good management team were to take-over for a quick turn-around, including cleaner pages, less desperate ploys for income (too much advert dilution), then I genuinely believe a swift turnaround and financial success coud be achieved.
    It would certainly be able to operate ahead of the 2nd-tier companies such as infospace, looksmart, mamma, etc.

    Kind regards,

    Shakir Razak

  6. It is too bad. Lycos’ Retriever project was just launched on the Web (www.lycos.com/retriever.html). It was an innovative approach: an “information fusion engine” that sits on top of search and generates a coherent topical summary out of paragraphs and images extracted from documents found on the Web. There was a lot of natural language processing going on behind the scenes to construct something like the first draft of a Wikipedia page on a topic. Not clear that Lycos will do anything with this. It is just (barely) a beta now.

  7. lycos.com/info/web-desing.html

    Web Desing
    Retriever > Computers > Graphics > Web

    This spelling has been on Lycos Retriever for the longest time – finally wrote them about it

  8. As you know, Lycos/hotbot have been a meta search engine with goolge and askjeeves for a long time. They must focus on gathering useful informations for users based on other search engines and user generated contents. Maybe ther do this.

  9. Just another middle market search death John. We’re going to see quite a few buyouts and deaths in that area over the next year and a half. All of these engines made a fatal mistake of relying on each other for traffic and revenues. Now that the bigger players have scooped up the major portion of the content sites with decent traffic there is nothing left for the middle market level players.

    They all forgot a very important item. To make money off of traffic – long term – you have to OWN that traffic. Meaning capturing and holding the interest of your end users. Too many players reliant upon each other’s “network’ for thier traffic only spells disaster.

    I’ve been saying this a long time now. The middle market’s finally starting to feel the pinch! Lycos is just another example.

  10. Joe Holcomb has it right – this is the first of a wave of buy outs and deaths of the second tier companies.

    These companies didn’t get the right people to join and didn’t get quite so lucky. The result is they can’t adapt to the market as it changes.

    What I’m curious about is who’s going to do the buying and who’s going to benefit from this shake up?

  11. Lycos still seems to be carrying on looking for new innovation in search and use of w2 standards – try out the iQ project for example.

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