We’ve been very happy to see the prominence of search in the classifieds market grow so quickly. We believe that search is a vital element to making online classifieds a great medium for both buyers as well as classified advertisers. Another search engine for classifieds launched yesterday. We welcome Vast to the crusade.
I have received a bunch of questions in the last 24 hours. Thought I'd post some of my replies here:
How many sites does Oodle reference in it’s index?
We index both ends of the long tail and point to over 50k sites.
How many listings does Oodle index?
In our current coverage area (just over 100 metros), we have 10M active listings. This only includes listings that are fresh and relevant: we keep track of all the listings we’ve seen and auto-expire old ones that are still online and exclude things that look like listings but aren't (reviews, spam, etc.). This number also doesn’t include listings currently in our index but outside of our coverage area. In next month, we’ll be rolling out millions more listings as we expand our footprint.
How old is your index?
Our index is refreshed every few minutes. From the time we first see a listing online, clean/tag/rank it, and push it out to our index is usually under 5 minutes (and we’re working hard to reduce that number).
It’s essential for a classifieds search engine index to be fresh. Unlike auctions, where you want to be the last person to respond, with classifieds you want to be the first. That’s also why we offer alerts, so people can be notified in minutes when something they are looking for becomes available.
How does your crawling technology work?
We use a hybrid approach. Some crawlers look for sites to crawl. We also have a farm of "micro-spiders" that target collections of similar sites. We also get data feeds from a large number of partners.
When will you offer an API?
This is mentioned in my previous post. We have an API that we've deployed with a few partners. It will be publicly available in the near future. If you're interested in using it in the meantime, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also offer RSS which has always been available.