Search Startups to Watch Out For

To many Internet power users and early adapters, the online search experience has gotten slightly predictable lately. It’s almost as if users have come to expect the same results from the big three search engines: an official page for term searched towards the top, followed by a Wikipedia page, some news results, a blog or two, some text ads, and a heap of spam pages. 

Isn’t it time for a new and enticing search experience? After all , the Google-Bing-Yahoo trilogy is starting to look a bit long in the tooth. Thanks to a few innovative startups, the online search experience is being reshaped into a fresh concept. 

The following search startups are paying attention to the way people behave online. The use of social media and real-time interaction is a powerful trend that search engines must follow in order to remain interesting and competitive. 

It is important to note that all projects mentioned below take advantage of the Firehose Application Programming Interface (API) from the leading source of real-time social media: Twitter.

1 – Ellerdale

“Like drinking from the firehose” was the analogy used by Arthur Van Hoff to describe the overwhelming process of extracting meaningful search results from Twitter’s massive daily feed. Mr. Van Hoff’s prior experience at high tech outfits such as Sun, Marimba, and TiVo brings a lot of insight to the Ellerdale Project. In July of 2010 the project was acquired by Flipboard, the leading social media application for the Apple iPad.

2 – Collecta

The ongoing wisdom of the crowd seems to be the underlying concept behind Collecta’s search results. The sources of information queried by Collecta aren’t limited to Twitter. Photo sharing sites such as Flickr and major blogging platforms like WordPress are constantly monitored by Collecta.

3 – Kosmix

For a new search startup, Kosmix has quite the pedigree. The company is located in Mountain View, California (also home to Google headquarters). Jon Miller, former Chairman of AOL sits on the board. Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos is a private investor. The Kosmix approach to social media is to neatly summarize, organize, and categorize search results by topic. This tidy approach has caught the attention of WalMart. The retailing giant recently announced its intentions of acquiring Kosmix.

4 – CrowdEye

Making sense of the massive stream of Tweets spilled forth by Firehose is the main goal of CrowdEye. The progressive search engine indexes 14 days worth of Tweets and ranks them according to sentiment, geolocation, relevance, and rank. The team behind CrowdEye has recently decided to take down their search page while they concentrate on perfecting their real-time search ideas.

5 – Twazzup

Performing a Twitter search is easy enough; the hard part is to make sense of it all. Twazzup does a great job of handling real-time updates from Twitter. By highlighting notorious users and properly identifying hot trending topics, Twazzup arranges search results in a structured manner that is mind-pleasing and easy to digest.

Dan Petrovic, the managing director of DEJAN, is Australia’s best-known name in the field of search engine optimisation. Dan is a web author, innovator and a highly regarded search industry event speaker.

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