February 20th, 2003

searchtools.com

Remote Site Search Services Reports: FreeFind

This is an off-site copy of the corresponding Product report page on the SearchTools.com website, and it is designed to allow you to comment on the product and/or the reporting. For more information about the topic of search and tools visit SearchTools.com where you can browse many articles, in-depth analysis and overviews of external resources.

FreeFind

FreeFind will crawl your site and store your info in a remote database. When someone enters a query in the search form on your site, the FreeFind server application receives the query, formats the results, and sends them back in an HTML form with links directly to the pages on your site.

Service Information

Platforms: all Internet-accessible web servers
Prices:

  • free (results pages will display advertising), no fixed page limit
  • Personal: 250 pages, $5 per month (infrequent indexing, low-priority support)
  • Small Site: 500 pages, $9 per month
  • Economy: 5,000 pages, $19 per month
  • Standard: 1,000 pages, $19 per month (daily reindexing, customized results pages, priority email support)
  • Enterprise: 2,500 pages, $39 per month
  • Enterprise Plus: 5,000 pages, $79 per month
  • High capacity and custom: contact company

Special Features

  • Setup wizards are easy to use
  • Allows you to index multiple sites
  • Indexing PDF files (paid versions only)
  • Adjustable spider speed to avoid overloading slow sites and quickly index fast sites.
  • Parallel indexing of multiple servers (paid versions only)
  • Handles complex links nicely.
  • Indexes pages protected by simple passwords.
  • The search form lets users choose to match "any words" or "all words".
  • Allows phrase search, Boolean operators, and wildcards
  • Includes links to site map, "what's new" page and Findia.net web search
  • Uses a simple term frequency relevance ranking algorithm.
  • Template option provides results page customization with any HTML layout
  • Search reporting.
  • Server farm with redundant servers, load balancing, dedicated NOC.

Reviews and Articles

  • FreeFind.com - customizable results May 21, 2001 by Philip Stripling
    Thorough description of the experience of installing and running the FreeFind search engine and coverage of the features. High points include the speed of signup response by email, associated features such as site map and content monitors, clear directions, excellent results customizing options, quick crawling and indexing of sites and reasonable results. Problems were: default query requiring all search terms matched does not indicate how many other pages have some search terms; result pages do not have links back to the originating site by default; banner ads with transparent backgrounds can look ugly on colored pages; search result items show extract text from the top of the pages rather than more useful content; search reports are "rather basic".

  • Finding: Site Search PC Magazine, January 31, 2001 by Troy Dreier
    Describes features of Atomz Search with praise for indexing, search forms, relevant results pages, hit highlighting and customization. Would prefer more reporting archives. For free search for sites over 500 pages, recommends FreeFind, praising its indexing scheduling and notification, What's New page, and emailed simple search reports, but faults its many wizard screens and problems with search results.

  • FreeFind Review TRC Webmaster Freebies (undated)
    Very positive review by a happy user.

  • SearchTools Review of Remote Search Services September 27, 1999 (updated October 2, 2000) by Avi Rappoport
    Thorough discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of using remote search services, how well their indexing robots handle standards and links, search and relevance ranking features, search features, results customization, maintenance and reporting.

  • An interview with Jim Douglas, co-creator of FreeFind.com theFreeSite.com, September 28, 1999
    Cheerful and friendly interview describing the technology and market for the service.

  • Add Search Capability to Your Site in Five Minutes -- at No Cost! WWWiz Magazine, April 29, 1999 by Don Hamilton
    Another friendly interview with a bit more technical depth.

Examples