Frequently Asked Questions
What does Dwindal really do?
Dwindal scans websites you choose for keywords/terms you are interested in and then reports back to you with results. Dwindal keeps doing this so that you never miss anything on a site. For efficiency, Dwindal lets you group your keywords/terms together and connect them to collections of websites you create. See What Is Dwindal for more.
Where does the name Dwindal come from?
We wanted to give people a way to narrow the Internet down to what is useful and interesting to them. Many systems try to find everything on the Internet and we see that as trying to boil the ocean. So we invented a method to dwindle down the Internet. Hence, Dwindal.
Why does Dwindal bring up so many results the first time?
When Dwindal scans a website, it digs deep looking for everything that matches your phrases. Often the first result set is huge. Subsequent monitoring brings back fewer results. Dwindal puts the best results at the top. For example if you are looking for "Newt Gingrich" a web page that has him many many times will appear first. Pages with passing reference to him will appear later.
Why does Dwindal bring up old articles in my new results?
Dwindal is designed to show you web pages that have changed. The tricky thing about the Internet is that people want the search engines to think of all their pages as fresh because they add and remove ads all the time. This makes the date modified value for the page look new. We are working on methods to detect substantive change in a web page.
Is Dwindal case sensitive?
No. Dwindal does not see the difference between HUGH JACKMAN or Hugh Jackman.
Why does Dwindal seem to have duplicates of the same article?
Websites try to make themselves look bigger by catering to different countries and different interfaces. For example on one site they had a US, UK, and Canada version of the same webpage, which had only minor differences. Plus there were print and mobile version of the article. We monitor for this situation and suppress duplication where possible.
Why does Dwindal sometimes wait a day to show me results?
Dwindal continuously crawls sites for new information, picking up new RSS feeds. Every night we run a batch job that pulls new info from RSS feeds as well as scans of our index to show results against your keywords and terms.
Why are do the headings for the articles look the same, but go to different pages?
Dwindal compiles the link text for each page based on the Title and Header tags from the pages. Some sites use very repetitive words in these tags.
Why do I continue to get hundreds of results from the same site every day?
When you first initiate a scan, Dwindal does its initial crawl of the website looking for all its pages and indexing them. If you have picked a keyword/term that's commonly found in the site, you can have a lot of results. If the site updates the content frequently the pages Dwindal will flag the pages as changed and re-display them.
If you have questions you wish added to the FAQs, please email firstname.lastname@example.org