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1. Difficult words. Test your knowledge. Read each sentence carefully before you decide on the best answer. Write it down before you check it.

1.1. I have papers to write than last year.
less
fewer

1.2. they were swimming in the sea, I was packing.
During
While

1.3. The boxer flat on the ground.  
lied
lay

1.4. it here.
Take
Bring

1.5. Mom the car violently.
broke
braked

1.6. The boy the dinner plates.
broke
braked

1.7. Believe me, if you do it like this you'll need paper.
less
fewer

1.8. the manager a cup of coffee.
Take
Bring

1.9. our annual holidays our services won't be available.

While
During

1.10. He to me .
lied
lay

 

2. Mixed tenses. Match the phrases. Choose the letter of the phrase on the right that matches the one on the left.

2.1. I haven't seen Arthur

a. for it is large enough for my family.

2.2. She is playing the flute b. as if I were her servant.
2.3. Sunday is the day  c. while you wait.
2.4. It rained a week d. at the moment.
2.5. After I have come back e. during which time I stayed at home.
2.6. Repairs done f. you may go home.
2.7. This villa suits me well g. when we go for a walk.
2.8. She treated me h. since Christmas.











3. Articles. At http://www.samizdat.com/google.html you find the original article. You are advised to completely read before doing this exercise.

Google's weakness and AltaVista's strength

by Richard Seltzer, http://www.samizdat.com/google.html
 

Some people love results they get at Google, others are often disappointed. To large extent, both

pluses and minuses derive from Google's ranking system, which (as folks at Google explain

http://www.google.com/technology/) depends largely on number of links to particular page and relevance of

content on those linking pages to content on target page, and quality of pages doing linking.

Thanks to that complex and brilliant system, over time, best pages often rise to top of search lists. But that takes

time -- lot of time.

It works great for old established sites to which many other old established sites have linked. (It works great for my site :-) 

www.samizdat.com/span> ). But new sites, regardless of quality of their content, get short shrift.
It takes 2-3 months for new pages to get into Google index. Then it takes time -- perhaps years -- for

other "important" sites to discover new site and link to it; and then months more for new versions of those
pages with those new links to get into Google index.

So f I'm looking for content that is likely to have been on Internet for year or more, Google is great. But if I'm

looking for fresh content, I'll go elsewhere.

For me, for years "elsewhere" meant AltaVista -- for two reasons. AltaVista used to add new pages to

its index, for free, within two days of submission, while other search engines typically took weeks or even

months. That meant they had freshest content. In addition, AltaVista provided you with set of

very precise commands that couldn't be matched anywhere else.

Over last year, as AltaVista has struggled to become profitable, they have destroyed their beautiful free submission process,

trying to force Web sites to pay for submission. free submissions (which typically come from kinds of

content-rich sites that I'm interested in) now seem to take three months or more -- no better than other search engines and often worse.

Fortunately, powerful commands remain -- for instance, ability to exclude as well as include terms in your query.

They let you use minus signs and plus signs to indicate what you really don't want and what you do want. And for some specialized

searches exclusion is essential.

For instance, say you want to know what Web pages outside of your own site have links to your pages. At Google,

I can do search for link:samizdat.com
or get same results by going to their "Advanced" search and using their "page specific search" to find pages that link to

particular page. But my results are then littered with pages from my own site -- information I don't need and don't want.

At AltaVista, I can search for +link:samizdat.com -host:samizdat.com and get exactly what I want -- finding out who thinks enough of my

pages to have linked to me without my having contacted them: valuable list of well-wishers and potential partners.

Similarly, Google lets me restrict search to particular Web site. For instance, if I include in my query

term site:samizdat.com or in Advanced search under Domains I choose to restrict search to that domain, yes I get

results only from that site. But to use that command, I need to have additional query terms. site:samizdat.com alone generates no results.

At AltaVista, however, I can search for host:samizdat.com and get complete list of all pages at my site that are in

AltaVista index. Or I can search for url:samizdat.com/isyn and get list of all pages in that directory at my site that are in

AltaVista index.
Or I can search for url:samizdat.com/consult.html to see if that particular page is in index.

In other words, AltaVista provides higher level of precision and ability to get information that is

particularly valuable to people in charge of Web sites and Web-based marketing projects.  And if they'd just

fix their free submission process and provide service they used to, they'd kick Google's ass for searches for

current information.

PS -- folks at Google are very proud that their system defies human tampering. In fact, what they've done is

encourage development of bizarre business models structured to take advantage of their link-based ranking system.

For instance, Webseed Publishing now has over 1000 sites, all with different domain names. These content-rich

sites are each run by different dedicated individuals. (I'm one of them :-) In many cases, content deserves high

rankings for its quality. You might wonder why umbrella business for all these sites bothers to maintain over thousand different

domain names, when it would be far simpler and cheaper to have them as directories under single domain. But because

domains are different, many thousands of links these sites have to one another all count toward automated calculation of

their popularity and quality at Google, giving them all boost in rankings and hence bringing Webseed

more traffic and hence more revenue.

PPS -- AltaVista appears to be making comeback. Six years ago, when I was in Internet Business Group at

Digital and Digital owned AltaVista, about third of traffic to my Web site came by way of

AltaVista. Whenever AltaVista had glitch, I saw it immediately in my traffic stats. In fact, I sometimes was able to alert

engineers at AltaVista about problems before they had noticed them themselves. Over years, due to

increased competition from other search engines and also due to business folks at AltaVista making bad decisions

and jettisoning great capabilities/services (like 2-day free submissions, their affiliate program, LiveTopics, and

newsgroup search), number of people finding my pages by way of AltaVista plummeted. By January

2002, only 1% of my traffic was coming by way of AltaVista, despite fact that as long-standing fan and also as

co-author of book AltaVista Search Revolution, I had lots of information about AltaVista at my site. I

was actually getting twice as much traffic from International Atomic Energy Agency (part of UN), when I had no

information at all related to atomic energy. But in recent weeks traffic from AltaVista has climbed sharply.

It now amounts to 6% of my total. I wish I knew why that was happening. In any case, I hope that trend continues.
 

from: http://www.samizdat.com/google.html

 
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