Thumbshots Changing the Face of Search Engines and Directories

Quebec, Canada (PRWEB) January 8, 2004

The world’s largest Web directory,, adds previews allowing users to visualize links and go deeper into the directory with the help of

The Open Directory Project ( now includes a red toggle ball on all its pages to activate thumbshots or screenshots of Web pages in thumbnail sizes. is a charitable initiative by that contributes its technology back to the Internet community.

Since the official launch of the in December 2003, hundreds of Web sites have already integrated thumbshots into their search engine, directory and content pages. “I’m surprised by the rapid adoption of thumbshots. Our traffic has shot up through the roof. We have sites using thumbshots for their search engines and content sites even though we originally intended them for the Open Directory, but we are pleased to welcome them all”, said Stephen Lim from

The ODP is used by millions of people everyday and powers the core directory services for Google, AOL, Lycos, Netscape, HotBot and hundreds of others. Stephen hopes that one day all search engines, directories and software, such as Yahoo!, Looksmart, Overture, Superpages and Grokker, will incorporate thumbshots so that millions of users can benefit from previews.

Thumbshots increase search productivity and improve user satisfaction because users are able to find the results they want faster and accurately. Users feel more confident because they know what to expect when clicking to a site, hence the expression “seeing is believing”.

In a recent online poll, 8 out of 10 users would want to see thumbshots made available in their favorite search engines. “[…] most people like this [thumbshot] function. We put it in beta test and launched a discussion about it on our forum”, said Olivier Andrieu from

ODP editors are praising about thumbshots. “I think that the display of the thumbshots adds value in a similar fashion to Google’s display of pagerank and sorting”, posted by an editor at Resource-Zone (, a public forum used by ODP editors. Editors are using thumbshots to help review links for inclusion, maintain the categories, remove broken links and spot duplicates sites in ODP. Since the implementation, thumbshots have already increased the productivity of ODP editors and improved the quality of the directory.


The Open Thumbshots Project ( is an open and non-profit initiative by that contributes back to the Internet community. provides free thumbshot preview images available for download and by direct request. is made possible through community efforts and donations.

About Smartdevil

Smartdevil Inc. ( is the leading provider of thumbshots for Internet search and directories. Smartdevil provide and manage some of the world’s largest document and imaging repositories.

About Open Directory Project

The Open Directory ( is the most widely distributed database of Web content classified by humans. Its editorial standards body of net-citizens provide the collective brain behind resource discovery on the Web. The Open Directory powers the core directory services for the Web’s largest and most popular search engines and portals, including Netscape Search, AOL Search, Google, Lycos, HotBot, DirectHit, and hundreds of others.


Stephen Lim


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