Analysis of companies or products focused on structured or faceted search. Related subjects include:
Danny Sullivan thinks blended vertical search — which he’s calling Search 3.0 — is a game changer. (In this context, “vertical” search denotes alternate result types such as video, image, map coordinates, or product listings.) In saying that, he’s focused on search marketers, who now have a lot more ways to try to get their messages onto Google searchers’ top result pages. But I presume what he’s really saying is that there will be a feedback effect — if Google tells all web searchers about videos and product listings, then internet marketers will be more motivated to post videos and product listings, and hence there will be more interesting choices of videos and product listings — which Google will naturally wind up featuring more prominently in its search results. And so on.
Given the Youtube explosion, I find it hard to argue with his claim.
|Categories: Google, Search engine optimization (SEO), Search engines, Specialized search, Structured search||Leave a Comment|
The folks at Progress claim huge conversion rate benefits to EasyAsk, although unfortunately so far I’ve been unable to drill down and see what those numbers really mean. (Flagship customer = Land’s End.) Baynote makes more modest but still large claims. (Flagship customer = no big names that I’m aware of.) Endeca is clearly the market leader. (Flagship customers = Wal-Mart, Home Depot.) Mercado and Inquira are important players, at least in certain verticals.
I think it’s safe to say that e-commerce site navigation aids constitute a really important product category.
|Categories: Baynote, Endeca, InQuira, Mercado, Progress and EasyAsk, Search engines, Structured search||1 Comment|
InQuira and Mercado both have broadened their marketing pitches beyond their traditional specialties of structured search for e-commerce. Even so, it’s well worth talking about those search technologies, which offer features and precision that you just don’t get from generic search engines. There’s a lot going on in these rather cool products.
In broad outline, Mercado and InQuira each combine three basic search approaches:
- Generic text indexing.
- Augmentation via an ontology.
- A rules engine that helps the site owner determine which results and responses are shown under various circumstances.
Of the two, InQuira seems to have the more sophisticated ontology. Indeed, the not-wholly-absurd claim is that InQuira does natural-language processing (NLP). Both vendors incorporate user information in deciding which search results to show, in ways that may be harbingers of what generic search engines like Google and Yahoo will do down the road. Read more
|Categories: InQuira, Mercado, Natural language processing (NLP), Ontologies, Search engines, Structured search||2 Comments|