Previous Article WWWiz Home Next Article

COVER STORY A Search Engine For Business

by Don Hamilton

You've heard how everyone is doing business on the Web and "you can find anything," but have you ever felt like you must be the only one who doesn't understand how to find things because it never seems that easy? Have you ever searched for information on a competitor, or a lead on a new business opportunity, and found 5,000 Web pages, of which the first 50 were mostly porn sites? Buried in the list may have been the site you were looking for; on the other hand, you may have found the page you were seeking, but discovered the data you wanted wasn't there. Have you given up on understanding the Boolean logic used by search engines, and thought there must be an easier way to find the information you need?

Cheer up! There is an easier way. is a free business intelligence gathering and research tool that can be downloaded and installed on your computer in just a few minutes. It lives on your desktop. Whether you're playing the stock market, looking for a news tidbit about your company, or just using the Web for general business purposes, can help you find the information you need.

Your favorite search engine can be used in conjunction with Although you cannot add search engines to the list, the program is the first helper application for the major Web portals, and it works with Yahoo!, Excite, Lycos, MSN, Netcenter, Go Network, Altavista, HotBot,, and AOL. Just right-click on the small icon on your desktop, move the cursor to search engines, and click on your choice from the list provided. offers several search categories, such as General Search, Company Name, Ticker Symbol, or Product Name, and allows you to choose the industry in which you wish to conduct your search, from Aerospace/Defense/Aviation to Transportation and Freight. After selecting the criteria that pertains to your search, enter your search term in quotation marks (for example, "Ford Motor Company"). This will cause to search for your keyword as a single term. After entering your search term, click on Search or press Enter. A window will open, with clickable links to items you have found from their database, and the search window of the search engine you have chosen will open, displaying the results of that particular engine's search.

I can attest to the usefulness of the method. When I conducted a search on Internap, a company that is providing higher-speed Internet through intelligent routing, I got 435 hits, and all of the pages I looked at were right on target. Later I did a search on Talonsoft, an obscure game company that publishes historic war games. I discovered that they had been sold since I last checked on them, and the site was interesting enough that I spent some time looking it over. has won a list of awards and has impressive ability. It is the largest aggregation of business content on the Internet, featuring more than 32 million articles, profiles, reports, analyses, and other documents from more than 8,000 sources worldwide, including Primark, Financial Times, Find/SVP, First Call, Hoovers, Investext, Market Guide, and Zacks. From Agence France-Presse to Latin America Power Watch, from the Tokyo Financial Wire to Xinhua, a world of information is available through, including information about more than 11 million public and privately held companies in the U.S. and abroad. Free extensive summaries are available for all documents, which are organized in 20 industry segments.

The advantage of is that it allows you to see the first few paragraphs of the actual document that you are searching for. What that means is that sometimes you will find the information you are seeking without buying the document in question. Often the first few paragraphs contain enough information to answer your question, solve your problem, or lead you to the next best place to continue your search. The documents come from a variety of sources and cost can be $1 or more. Most documents are under $3.50, depending on the owner of the information. The cost is worthwhile. After all, when you need business information, would you rather pay a few dollars for a useful document, or pay an employee to search the Web for hours?

There are clearly search engines out there that you can pay for, which contain a wealth of information. In many cases, however, they cost more than a small company can afford; sometimes users are required to pay a monthly fee. The cost may prohibit potential users from signing up for a variety of search engines. Hoover's Online is an example of a subscription-only database of information on companies; the Wall Street Journal offers news on the same companies. The difference with is that you can do a lot of searching before you actually have to purchase, and you can do it all in one place. Until you make a purchase you pay no fees.

All businesses are looking for ways to make themselves more efficient. gives companies a tool that augments or even replaces the computer databases that must be purchased in bulk or as monthly services. Much like fractional T1 lines allow a business to buy T1 speed only as they need it, allows a company to buy information only when they need it, and in custom-sized increments.

In addition to the largest aggregation of business information on the Internet, also provides access to scores of "hidden" Web sites, a treasure trove of information that the major Web search portals can't access. These database-driven sites can't be indexed by the "spiders" the portals use to catalog the World Wide Web, but they can be searched in real time by's proprietary PowerLink technology. Among the hidden Web sites that are searchable through are the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office database, the U.S Securities & Exchange Commission's EDGAR database, and dozens of rich industry-specific sites such as Apparel.Net, Hospitality.Net, the Insurance News Network, and Manufacturing Marketplace. By searching only selected business information sources, extends the reach of the portals, giving the user a set of focused business search results that are dramatically better than the portal alone can provide.

With you can create a secure in-house information service for your organization-an intranet-based portal that enables users to conduct ad hoc research against multiple and distributed information sources, and create research agents that constantly monitor those sources for new and important information. empowers users to find the information they need, no matter where it is; decisions are made based on the best data in hand. It researches multiple internal and external information sources simultaneously, integrates and analyzes the query results, aggregates them, summarizes them, and presents them to the user the way they need to see them. The bottom line is that you can create an competent corporate portal to the widest range of internal and external information sources.

The founder and Chairman of is Edwin R. Addison, former CEO and founder of ConQuest Software, Inc. Edwin established ConQuest as a major player in the text retrieval market. Before founding ConQuest, he was the director of the Artificial Intelligence Lab at Booz, Allen Hamilton. Edwin recognized the need for a businesssearch engine that would search all of the aggregator sites. Since its creation, has arranged deals with these companies so users can find all desired data at one source. is a privately owned company.

Businesses need more tools on the Net in order to operate efficiently. You can stumble upon treasure buried within the Web, but finding information when you need it can sometimes be tricky. will not find everything that you need when you need it, but it will enhance your search, and very quickly find simple answers that can otherwise elude you forever. Increasingly more search-related products are being provided to the consumer and most of them are still free. By the same token, more of the products for businesses have price tags attached, but to make the transition of scale on the Web they will have to be cost effective to the users.


Copyright (C) 1998 WWWiz Corporation - All Rights Reserved
Phone: 714.848.9600 FAX: 714.375.2493
WWWiz Web site developed and maintained by
GRAFX Digital Studio

Previous Article Next Article
WWWiz Home