Friday, September 5, 2008

SearchCloud - A New Search Engine Set To Beat Google!

searchCloud search engineAlmost everyone, including me, turns to Google for all our search queries; and though some of us have always been cribbing about a better search engine than one that just focusses on keywords, semantic search is not yet mature enough to compete with Google! However, looks like has gone one step further in enhancing keyword-based search. It uses weighted keyword search so that the results one gets are focussed more on the 'weight of the keywords' rather than the type or frequency of the keyword. It looks promising, but does it deliver? Read on to find out!

SearchCloud, a new search engine that launched on July 17, has a new take on search refinement that it hopes will make it a useful alternative to the likes of Yahoo and Google. Instead of simply entering multiple keywords, users can rank how important each term is to the search. Each term is placed in a "search cloud", where its weight is indicated by the size of the font.

The Homepage is a clean layout with a huge cloud box, and a bar to enter your keywords. For first-timers, there is a HO-To video at the end of the page. For example, you could enter the words "iPhone" and "Ideas & Gadgets" with the latter more strongly weighted to find articles about iPhone on this blog. Try this and it shows my site in the 3rd position (hooray!!:)) You can choose a "Standard" or a "Grid" view, but the Standard is much better!

To further refine the search, you can Edit your search cloud by adding or modifying search terms, e.g, you could enter other terms like "iPhone-apps", or "Free" with smaller font size to find more focussed articles, which are then displayed on the top of the search results, alongwith the other related results following them. Each listing displays the "relevancy" of the result, which helps you know how the search query was executed, and what you could revise to get better results targetted to your search. it is good that you can "edit" your weighted keywords rather than having to start a new search. But on the downside, I tried comparing a few queries between SearchCloud & Google, and the latter performed better 75% of the time!

SeachCloud uses Yahoo!'s BOSS technology, which allows an ordination of results, before returning them to users. The techology provided by Yahoo! is not, in fact, totally free of charge, as SearchCloud has to display some of Yahoo!'s ads without receiving part of the revenues.

Weighting keywords has the role of filtering the best results, which the team from SearchCloud assures the search engine does. "Your results will be better than with Google because the search terms were prioritized the way you wanted them to be," says one of SeachCloud's affiliates in a tutorial meant to show people how to use the new search engine.

It’s a nice concept that clicks as its more user-friendly, but then again, it works on a similar concept as Google (keywords-based-search) rather than a Semantic search, and hence, is not a huge leap! in fact, has been providing similar features via their search engine facility too. But there is room to grow, and like any other new venture, it would be fair to cut them some time to enhance their tool as they expand their features and algorithm.

It is definitely not easy to challenge a tried-and-tested search giant like Google (or Yahoo and Microsoft would've done it by now!), but SearchCloud has gone one step further to make keyword-driven-search a more relevant and user-friendly experience. If it kicks off, Google may have to re-think its search-engine strategy too!


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