Searching for Public Companies Around the World

A new search engine focuses solely on investment-related information from more than 12,000 companies around the world.

The Scannery currently contains info about more than 12,000 companies in over 50 countries. The focus is on investor-specific targets, organized by country and industry sector. Content for the database is gathered by a custom crawler, which indexes html, pdf, ppt, doc, and other format types.

The service offers numerous search options. For example, you can limit by inclusion in a particular index (SP 500, Global 1000, Euro 400, etc.) country, and/or industry.

Boolean connectors along with a proximity operator (within a certain number of terms) are also available. Wildcards, stemming, natural language, fuzzy match, and synonym searching also add to the database’s potential usefulness.

Joseph Pols, developer of the database, is committed to rapidly improving the service. “A very significant development is the addition of a new ‘sister’ website to The Scannery,” he writes in an email. “We found that some users were getting confused when they searched, for example, FORD but did not find the Ford Motor Company ranking near the top of the results.

“This is because not all companies allow their websites to be [fully” indexed. Ford is one of them, as is IBM and Proctor and Gamble, among others. Therefore, the only results would be those documents on other websites which contain the search phrase.”

In some cases, this may be because a company has used the robots.txt file to exclude search engine crawlers. Other large company web sites use dynamic content management systems which cause problems for crawlers.

To help overcome this problem, Pols has created a new ‘sister’ website called TimBuckOne. This site, which requires free registration, allows a user to first choose a country, then navigate to a specific public company within that country. You can then perform a search restricted to that company’s local country website. In addition, the user can choose to expand the search to all public companies in that country.

Let’s watch The Scannery closely. Complete documentation for using the site is available here.

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NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication’s search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.


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