Little-Known Search Engines
January 9, 2008
Here’s a run down of little known engines with links to their web sites.
As I work to complete “Beyond Search: What to Do When Your Search Engine Doesn’t Work,” I reviewed my list of companies offering search technology. I could not remember much about several of them.
Here’s what triggered my checking to see what angle each of these companies takes, or in some cases, took towards search and retrieval.
- Aftervote — A metasearch engine with a “vote up” or “vote down” button for results.
- AskMeNow — A mobile search service that wanted my cell number. I didn’t test it. The splash page says AskMeNow.com is a “smart service”.
- C-Search Solutions — A search system for “your IBM Domino domain.” The company offers a connector to hook the Google Search Appliance to Domino content.
- Ceryle — A data management system that generates topics and associations.
- Craky.com — Site has gone dark when I tested it on January 8, 2008. It was a “search engine for impatient boomers”.
- Dumbfind — An amazing name. A social search system. Dumbfind describes itself as a “user generated content site.” A social search system, I believe.
- Exorbyte — A German high-performance search system. Lists eBay, Yahoo, and the ailing Convera as customers.
- Eyealike — A visual search engine. The splash page says “you can search for your dream date.” Alas, not me. Too old.
- Ezilon — not Ezillion which is an auction site. A Web directory and search engine.
- IdÃ©e Inc. — The company develops advanced image recognition and visual search software. Piximilar is the company’s image search system.
- Kosmix — An “intelligent search engine”. The system appears to mimic some of the functions of Google’s universal search system.
- Linguistic Agents — The company’s search technology bridges “language and technology”
- Paglo Inc. — This is a “search engine for information technology on an Intranet. The system discovers “everything on your network”.
- Q Phrase — The company offers “discovery tools”.
- Semantra — The sysetm allow syou to have “an intelligent conversation with your enterprise databases.”
- Sphinx — Sphinx is a full text search engine for database content.
- Surf Canyon — In beta. The system shows related information when you hover over a hit in a results list.
- Syngence — A content analytics company, Syngence focuses on “e-discovery”.
- Viziant — The company is “a pioneer in delivering tools for discovery.”
- Xerox Fact Spotter — Text mining tools developed at Xerox “surpass search”. The description of the system seems similar to the Inxight system that’s now part of Business Objects which is now owned by SAP.
Several observations are warranted. First, I am having a difficult time keeping up with many of these companies’ systems. Second, text mining and other rich text processing solutions are notable. Semantics, linguistics, and other techniques to squeeze meaning from information are hard-to-miss trends. The implication is that key word search is slipping out of the spotlight. Finally, investors are putting up cash to fund a very wide range of search-and-retrieval operations. Even though consolidation is underway in the search sector, there’s a steady flow of new and often hard-to-pronounce vendors chasing revenue.
Stephen E. Arnold
9 January 2008, 11:00am