the original Australian search engine
Web Wombat is Australia's oldest search engine, developed by Rod Ashcroft and co-founder and technical director Phillip Bertolus, and launched in 1995. In 1996 they had an index of more than one million Australian websites -2016 they indexed more than 30 million.au pages. The target audience is Australian users looking for Australian websites. In addition to web search, they also offered their search technology to companies. - [The site is still available, but no longer offers web search.]
|Developer||Ashcroft, Rod and Phillip Bertolus|
|Country of Origin||Australia|
|1995 - [...]||WebWombat Pty Ltd.|
|Crawler-based, algorithmic SeEn|
|Robot:||The Web Wombat (Source)|
|Older Version||Internet Archive / WebCite|
|»Not as widely used ... but is one of Australia's oldest search engines.« Source|
|Australasian Legal Information Institute : »The Web Wombat |
|OnlyMelbourne: »Australia's oldest search engine, Web Wombat provides search for 20,000,000+ Australian web pages.
Web Wombat has been awarded a patent as a result of its research and development efforts in the area of Internet search engine spiders. Named Mass Distributed Spider Architecture (MDSA) the invention provides a means of scanning Web pages at an unlimited rate.«
|Merging Universes: »Mr Ashcroft is a co-founder of Web Wombat Pty Ltd, which operates the WebWombat.com.au Australian search engine - one of Australia's oldest commercial websites. Developed in 1994, Web Wombat was one of the first search engines in the world, created shortly after Lycos, and about five years before Google. Mr Ashcroft raised seed funding in 1998 to commercially develop the Web Wombat online search technology and search portal.«
|IBM (2001):»In 1994, when the Internet was still in
its infancy, one enterprising engineer
and a visionary journalist from the land
down under hooked up their home
PCs in the garage to cobble together
a Web server and a search engine.
At that time there were no more than
100,000 Australian Web sites, and a
28Kbps modem connection provided
all the bandwidth needed to search
the Web. Today, that same search
engine has indexed more than 100
million Web sites in its data warehouse,
attracts more than 100,000 unique
users every month and, on average,
performs 30,000 searches a day.
Web Wombat, one of Australia’s largest search engines, may have begun
small, but its growth trajectory has been positively explosive. “We grew so
fast that we quickly began to tax our infrastructure,” recalls Phillip Bertolus,
co-founder and technical director of Wombat Technology, the company behind
the search engine. “Suddenly we found that we needed more—an enterprise
data management solution in place of our existing Paradox database, hardware
with much more processing power and a good deal more bandwidth.”
That was six years ago. The original database has since been replaced by a
one-terabyte data warehouse built on IBM DB2 Universal Database for AIX,
Version 5.2. One IBM RS/6000 S80 server and one RS/6000 Workstation 43P
(260) server give it all the processing muscle it needs, and a 10Mbps fiber-optic
link allows the search engine spiders to trawl the Web endlessly for more sites
“IBM technologies have allowed us to build an immensely scalable and
reliable e-business infrastructure,” remarks Bertolus. “How we use it is limited
only by our imagination and the market’s needs. Today, we’ve adapted it to
develop a new portfolio of integrated business-to-business (B2B) knowledge
management applications—targeting a new, and lucrative, market that will
help fuel our future growth.”« Source|
|WebSpark (2003): »Web Wombat is the leading locally-developed Australian search portal. It has the largest online database of searchable information on Australia, with references to more than 11.5 million documents.
The company is now developing an array of specialised vertical search tools, both Australian and international.
Web Wombat has been operating as an Internet search engine since 1994. It was one of the world’s first Internet search engines, established before Alta Vista, Inktomi and Excite. It was the first search engine in the world to introduce non-search-related content to its web site, making it the world’s first search portal. It was also the world’s first regional search engine.
Locally, Web Wombat was the first Australian search tool listed on the National Library of Australia’s web site.
100% Australian developed: Web Wombat’s search technology, which is unique in Australia, was developed by an Australian. All software used on the portal is proprietary software owned and developed by Web Wombat. The search software is similar in functionality to that of Alta Vista and Excite.
Fully Automated: Most of the technology on the Web Wombat portal is fully automated. The search processes are completely automated, deploying thousands of software robots. This is in contrast to the labour-intensive processes adopted by directories such as LookSmart and Yahoo, which employ hundreds of professional web editors to cut and paste web site addresses into their databases. Whereas LookSmart and Yahoo’s editors have been able to gather from 1 to 2 million web page addresses in three to five years, Web Wombat’s robots can gather tens of millions of pages in a single month. With the Internet now thought to contain more than 2 billion pages, robot technology is becoming more and more important in navigating the Web.
Other automated technology developed by Web Wombat includes a classifieds advertising system, jobs search database facility and ad serving software.
Parallel scanning technology: The spidering software developed by Web Wombat is referred to as “parallel scanning technology”. This refers to the deployment of thousands of software robots across tens of thousands of web sites. The result: millions of pages captured and indexed in a searchable database. Web Wombat references more than 11 million Australian web pages and almost 100 million global web pages. Its scanning computers presently “suck in” 1 million pages a day and will soon be optimised to “harvest” 2-3 million pages a day.
Boutique search engines: Web Wombat has recently coined the term “boutique search engine”. This refers to small “vertical” search tools that allow users to search within a specific area of interest (ie accommodation, loans, wine, football, finance). Web Wombat is the only company in Australia with the technology to fully develop this type of search technology and one of only a few companies in the world pursuing this type of development.
Technology edge: Web Wombat can adapt and modify its search and other technologies to suit customers’ requirements. Because it is located in Australia, it is geographically well placed to tailor and modify search solutions for Asian portals. The company is also well skilled to build portals for start-up Internet companies. Search Engines operating in Australia.
Web Wombat as a portal: Web Wombat is one of Australia’s oldest commercial web sites. It is the No.1 gateway to Australian content on the Internet, having more entry points to local content than any other web site in the world.
Web Wombat has developed the biggest database of newspapers on the Web – there are links to more than 10,000 newspapers around the world.
The portal also operates a global directory with more than 200,000 categories of information.
The company has started to build a series of online magazines, which it will integrate with its search technology. The first of these is GameBlitz, a fully interactive online magazine with built-in vertical search tool. This unique product has a dedicated games search engine that allows visitors to the site to search across 500 games sites across the world
|Wikipedia: »Wombats are short-legged, muscular quadrupedal marsupials native to Australia. They are about 1 m (40 in) in length with small, stubby tails. There are three extant species and they are all members of the family Vombatidae.« Source|
Features & Functionality
References & further Publications
|Wikipedia (EN): n.a.|
|Wikipedia (Others): n.a.|
|Australasian Legal Information Institute: The Web Wombat URL: http://www.austlii.edu.au/austlii/guide/current/20030315--9.html|
|IBM (2001): Web Wombat search engine accents the power of DB2 in B2B applications URL: ftp://public.dhe.ibm.com/software/solutions/pdfs/g325-1871-00.pdf|
|WebSpark (2003): www.webwombat.com URL: http://webspark.proboards.com/thread/226/www-webwombat-com|