July 28th, 2004


SLI Learning Search Report Updated

S.L.I. Learning Search, the remote service which powers search on NBC.com and busy ecommerce sites, has an effective "learning" system to adjust search results weights based on previous search user click statistics. It provides extensive search analytics, a robot that can follow links in JavaScript and VBscript, sites with frames and cookies. Works with its own index, other search engines, and databases, can metasearch other sources and combine results.


Blog Note: AP Working On Enhanced News Search

Associated Press recently announced that it is "taking the initiative" (whatever that means) to improve both search and digital rights protection. The board of directors approved the plans to develop both tools and standards for these purposes, using AP's "unique understanding" of news, it looks like they want to be a central distribution service.

I wouldn't mind if they came up with some standard field names / metadata and encouraged newspaper web sites to use the headlines as title tags and make everything accessible via robot crawlers.

Product Report: S.L.I Systems Learning Search

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.

S.L.I Systems Learning Search


Available as a remote search service which uses a web crawling robot to find pages for indexing, stores the index on their server and responds to queries by performing the search there and sending pages with results.

The technology behind SLI Systems was originally developed by GlobalBrain and powered the search on Snap.com and NBCi.

Product Information

Platform: any web-accessible server
Price: Contact company (one month free trial available)


  • Local or remote robot spider locates pages by following links.
  • Indexes static and dynamic HTML, text, Microsoft Word, Excel, PDF and Flash documents
  • Supports sites using JavaScript, VBScript, cookies and frames.
  • Generates titles for untitled pages.
  • Metasearch option to query several sources and combine results.
  • Works with its own index or indexes from Verity, Ultraseek, Microsoft Index Server, Lotus Notes.
  • Can interface with other databases.
  • Results can show database or field content, such as price and pictures, in results.
  • Results items show match terms in context
  • "Learning search" - adjusts search results relevance based on user behavior, by tracking clicks.
  • Search suggestions - alternate vocabulary for related topics.
  • Manual recommendations for specified search queries.
  • XML search results available for complex customizations such as price, categories and pictures.
  • Scalable to millions of searches per day, millions of documents (tested at NBCi)
  • Multiple datacenters and network providers
  • Comes with search analytics - activity, quality metrics, lists of queries with poor results.
  • Regular reports written by company search analysts.

Reviews & Articles