Yippy buys HighBeam Research

Yippy, the family-friendly search service, will be buying HighBeam Research.  This announcement has prompted me to look at Yippy again. Has it improved in the last year and will this acquisition make it even better?

Yippy prides itself an Internet search engine and environment that is “family-friendly” – safe in all respects (no “adult” material here), and private (no tracking), highly suitable for the education field, and especially K-12.  To many it may be chiefly  known for its meta-search engine, formerly called Clusty, which it bought from Vivisimo a few years ago and is open to all. To avail oneself of the fully protected area, it is necessary to register and install a customized browser (described at Yippy Hub).  This interface provides webmail, file storage place, video games, video conferencing and chat.

It has  announced an agreement with Gale to purchase HighBeam Research, a for-fee subscription service for access to magazine and journal publications and diverse databases with information on companies and industry information.

Quoting from the press release  Yippy, Inc. (YIPI) to Purchase HighBeam® from The Gale Group, Inc (Dec 24)

Edward Noel , the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, stated, “This is an acquisition that makes sense on every level.”  He continued, “Yippy wants to provide its users with the best and most trusted tools to educate themselves on the web.  With our clustering search technology and Highbeam’s extensive archive, we believe this will take us to the next step in becoming the featured destination for online research and learning.”

Yippy has been picking up content from HighBeam Research and linking searchers directly to the article along with HighBeam’s offer for a trial subscription.  With this purchase, Yippy will be able to provide its users the full research package – and, one presumes, generate an income stream.

One problem, however, with HighBeam has been that articles are generally stripped of images – it’s just the text.  And judging from its list of Canadian newspapers, there is a problem with the indexing.  One of the serious challenges HighBeam has always faced is that the savvy searcher will connect online with the local public library to access databases – mostly from Gale – for free.

But what has it been doing to the search engine?  Not much.

Search on Yippy about plastic polution (dec 2012)

Search at Yippy showing clustering and results

Yippy does not name all the web search sources it uses. It will list Gigablast, a lesser known web search engine, and HighBeam Research as two sources.  Open Directory is still on its list – though the directory is seriously out of date and poorly maintained. Reuters will show on current topics.

Yippy has two generically named sources – Yippy Sources and Additional Sources.  I suspect that Additional is mainly Bing.  Yippy Sources might be their own robot – but this should be stated somewhere.

Other signs of trouble:

  • The Preferences for customizing tabs no longer works.
  • Cached links are broken.
  • Breakdown by time periods is dubious – but may be correct for News.

We should check later to see how well HighBeam’s collections are integrated into Yippy,  but I suspect that there will be very little change.