"The Blog Search" – single exit strategy? Thinking outside the search (edit) box.
I see new start-up companies still working on new search engines and search technologies. I can’t seem to see the reason why and the need for it when it comes to searching web sites. I do see a business need for new ways searching blogs, under some conditions.
Google is more than good enough for me. Most time I manage to find what that I need on Google search.
There are many basic things that Google does great beside text search like finding address, directions, maps and telephone numbers. They have built a highly scalable spiders, data center, ad sense technology and many other essential capabilities.
Do you really think that everyone can afford to build it?
The only exit strategy that make sense for these companies is one contingent upon buyout by one of the search giants like Yahoo, Microsoft, Ask.com and Google.
If I’m right in this case I would suggest to these start-ups not to focus on the amount of data indexed by their new search engine because no one will ever use them under their origin brand name. They will not be able to wave with great statistics to convince someone to buy them because the chances for them to reach wide audience are slim.
On the other hand they should focus on building high technology that could be patent protected, alternatively they should find a niche or geography that Google is very weak in.
I can only offer them to walk directly to one of the large search engine companies, knock on the door and offer the new technology for sale and then to spend their effort in another technology front.
One place still worth making an effort in search technology is the blogsphere. Google is not so great over there as I wrote in here . Technorati is a fantastic blog search engine but it is mainly focused on English speaking blog readers and bloggers.
One blog search engine with promising future is Twingly. This is an example for a blog search engine that is strongly invested in other languages and have deep roots in European countries. See posts on TechCrunch here and here.
I recently signed up to the private beta and I like what that I see so far. I can’t speak much about the search quality but I can tell about few things that I liked. First is the spam free search engine approach. This is a working progress to find information based on few initial reliable sources and then spreading out using links from those known bloggers building a “white” links list to index. The second is the powerful support for multiple languages other than English. Yes, not all the bloggers are speaking English, there are more than 140,000 registered Swedish blogs, tons of French bloggers to name a few. So there is a need. Even in the US, the big melting pot, there is a great market for multi-lingual blog search engines(like in Spanish). What that I really liked in this beta is the TechPlan section where people can offer suggestions for product improvements features and then allow others to vote on them. This is a great way to collect feedback. I can’t see why not leaving it out there, even after the beta is done. There are more capabilities like voting on blog posts, prefix a search phrase with tags like link:, site:, blog:, lang:, tag:, and tspan: for qualifying target searches.
So, where should Twingly invest their effort?
I have few ideas:
Don’t try to be American. Europe has a classic culture that could be embedded in the search results. Alternatively Twingly can create countries’ specific web pages the same way that Technorati created the “what’s percolating in blogs now”. E.g. what’s percolating in [country name here e.g. Norway] blogs now?
Find a way to bring bloggers from around the world together. Match bloggers from different places by area of interest and create a place for them to interact. Create events centered in Europe for bloggers to meet. Use the Twitter like follow model for bloggers to find one another.
Be digital – build the best Blogsphere system-of-record
As I wrote in here strive to monitor and collect any available data about blog posts, blogs and bloggers, measures, profile information, area of interest, methods, preferred media, activities, patterns. Make sure to organize the data in a way that it is useful for both the general public and businesses.
Well if Twingly grows on their own or not they still have high chances for getting on Google radar:)