CareerBuilder Passes Up Google For Another Search Engine

The online job-board firm is going with Fast Search & Transfer.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

January 22, 2003

2 Min Read was preparing to expand its recruitment and job-finding service to accommodate listings for hourly workers, and it needed a scalable search tool. Specifically, it needed the ability to distribute search functions among an increasing number of servers, as well as supporting an ever-growing volume of search queries.

After considering search engines from a handful of vendors, CareerBuilder chose Fast Search & Transfer ASA, deploying Fast's search technology to support both its job-search engine and its power resumé search. The company had been using a Microsoft indexing server that was bundled with its Internet Information Services architecture, but scalability had become an issue as the job site's membership grew, resulting in restrictions on CareerBuilder's business model.

CareerBuilder could also have gone with a vendor such as Google Inc., but chief technology officer Eric Presley says he wanted a search technology that would automatically return matches from pay-for-position clients rather than only returning results based on traditional search-term relevancy. Fast met Presley's requirements and offered speed far beyond what CareerBuilder had experienced, making it unnecessary to cache pages. "We can peak at up to 130 to 140 searches per second," Presley says. He declined to specify the amount CareerBuilder spent on the deployment, but he called it "a major investment."

He also says Fast's ability to accommodate real-time updates is letting CareerBuilder make new information available to the search engine within 30 seconds. All of this despite the fact that the company asked Fast to do things a little differently: Whereas Fast typically hosts the servers and manages the apps for most of its customers, CareerBuilder wanted internal control of the entire search deployment. Says Presley, "They're having to train us to work with it so we can stroke it the way we want to stroke it."

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