Search With Blekko? Or Enhance With Infoaxe?

Screen shot of Infoaxe demo video

Screen grab of Infoaxe demo

Normally he nails it in his own “cranky geek” way. But yesterday’s PCMag.com column by John C. Dvorak on new search engine, Blekko, was wide of the mark.

Recommending the engine, Dvorak says: “It’s the best out-of-the-chute new engine I’ve seen in the last 10 years, seriously.” High praise, indeed, for someone who is generally skeptical.

Outlining his approach to testing Blekko, Dvorak said the first thing he does on new search engines is to Google himself. He was happy. But I wasn’t. Google currently has me ranked fifth behind a better-known rugby player of the same name. But Blekko doesn’t even know I exist. After three pages with 20 results per page, I still could not find my site and just gave up. Even Bing, which I consider to be an inferior search tool, put me in 9th place.

I did find myself by using my middle initial, but, even then, the top result was bad. It was for my original WordPress site that was discontinued at the end of May. This site was second on Blekko’s list with an August date. That’s also old, and it is nowhere near the frequency with which Google’s indexers trawl the web.

In fairness, it does have a lot of other features that are nice. It can tell you who you share your IP address with. Loads of sites, in my case. It can also show you traffic information, and allows you to tag sites or mark them as spam. Perhaps this use of human input will improve the experience over time.

Meanwhile, Infoaxe also works with user input. I met one of the founders, Jonathan Siddharth (@jonsidd), on a recent trip to Silicon Valley. He is set up in the Plug And Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale, Calif., and recently raised $3 million in his first round of funding.

Infoaxe works in conjunction with existing search engines, and across multiple devices, to remember your search history. Results are shown in a separate pane in your browser right beside the search engine’s original results.

It also customizes searches to what is relevant to you. For example, if you want Chinese food and Google restaurants, you will get plenty of results. These could include those that are famous and have won awards, or the guy in another country entirely who happens to be good at search engine optimization. However, Infoaxe will remember the restaurant you clicked on and the next time you key in “Chinese food,” your local eatery will show up.

Infoaxe also serves as a bookmark tool. So, for example, if you looked something up at work, and wanted to track it down at home, Infoaxe will allow you to look up your history. You can also share your history or reading with others. You can find a video and intro here.

Infoaxe makes money off advertising much the same way Google does. However, it still relies on a search engine running in the background because its goal is to complement the existing technology rather than replace it. All in all, it was impressive tech from an impressive guy.

2 thoughts on “Search With Blekko? Or Enhance With Infoaxe?

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Search With Blekko? Or Enhance With Infoaxe? « John P. Muldoon -- Topsy.com

  2. John- We would love you to review our attempt at Surfmark to solving one very important aspect of search. We believe that search engines just provide the ‘raw’ information but humans ultimately have to put a lot of effort in processing that information before they can use it. Currently there is no easy way to preserve all aspects of that effort and reuse it or share it (bookmarking preserves only a very small aspect of that effort).
    Our offering is still very much a work-in-progress but hopefully you will get the idea.
    Please visit our site, which has a short concept video and for more pseudo-intellectual rationale (we can’t claim any rigour) please read our blog posting:
    http://blog.surfmark.net/2010/09/13/why-surfmark/

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