A Search Engine About Nothing

By Ben Charny  |  Posted 2006-06-05 Print this article Print

The popular sitcom "Seinfeld" is, rather famously, a television show about nothing.

Now comes a search engine about nothing.

New products from Baynote, in Cupertino, Calif., lets Web site operators tap into the collective wisdom of their sites' visitors to steer them toward better results.

What Baynote says sets it apart from Google, Yahoo and other competitors is Baynote's doing all of this "without asking the crowd to do anything." Usually, these kinds of features force consumers to take some steps, rather intricate ones sometimes.

For a lot of people, the workload is not a problem. For others, it's a turnoff.

Baynote's new features are examples of the surging interest in social search, which generally refers to features wherein users provide the content, or allow habits to be noted and shared to sharpen future search results.

The latest example of the social search rage comes Tuesday, when Yahoo's set to unveil an upgraded version of its MyWeb features for sharing Internet Web browser bookmarks.

The MyWeb makeover itself is aimed at making the whole process easier.

Yet regardless of how simple things get, argues a Baynote rep, there's still a segment of the population that will find it to onerous, or above their comfort level.

To attack this problem, Baynote on June 13 will actively begin distributing its new feature, which it says is the first to use behavioral technology to "crack the community code."

As a Baynote rep put it in an e-mail, Baynote studies what visitors find useful, what they cut and paste, and what they print or bookmark to "ensure the useful content appears in the first results of a query."

Baynote surfaces after about two years under wraps.

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