Verity's UltraSeek 5.2

This Web and network data search engine provides relevant results that rival those of market leaders.

May 9, 2004

2 Min Read
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Ultraseek processed 5,000 URLs per hour, a figure close to the average for other search engines. During indexing, processor usage averaged 28 percent and never peaked above 60 percent, with light memory and disk usage. In fact, average network usage remained below 65 KB per second, even though I was able to retrieve pages from NWC manually at upward of 500 KB per second. The index could be searched during compilation, but I encountered big swings in search results when spidered URLs were reindexed.

To test Ultraseek's search results for relevancy, we entered some of the same queries used by Web site visitors. In one scenario, we keyed in "Internet threat level," hoping to see the NWC AlertCon page ( listed. The AlertCon page showed up fourth in the results. The three listed above it contained only links to the AlertCon page, but had higher estimated "document quality" within the index, which may have influenced the ranking. AlertCon came in first only when we used the actual term.

However, Ultraseek scored a direct hit for the keyphrase "techquiz answers" ( index.html), and a second-spot hit for "editorial calendar" ( docs/editcal.html). When searches yield multipage articles or sets of related pages, users can display them together using the "group by location" feature.



VERITY ULTRASEEK 5.2, starts at $6,000. Verity, (888) 328-7335, (408) 541-1500.

We were able to select documents from the index and add them to a topic. For example, the* URL string captured all the biographical pages for NWC's staff and put them in the "People" topic we had defined. Thanks to a keyword field, the topic can also be summoned by normal searches.

Clean Interface

Administrators configure the style of the interface, making it easy to use. They also get detailed reports on user queries, along with information on document distribution within the topic hierarchy.

Unfortunately, server logs are raw text files generated from a syslog facility. If you don't have a syslog server running, it's difficult to determine when a collection started or stopped indexing. Additionally, logs can't be summoned through Internet Explorer, given known issues with "nonstandard browser behavior."

Overall, Ultraseek is solid. Its indexer isn't exceptionally fast, but its search-result relevancy is on a par with that of other search engines.Michael Kuszczak-Bielecki is a network administrator and freelance technical writer in Hayward, Calif. Write to him at [email protected].

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