Three new search options

ITworld.com, Ecommerce in Action |  Development

Search options are increasing, as major search engines have introduce new services to capture more of the exploding search market, and newcomers introduce new technology to compete in an already competitive market.

Automatic Clustering

Vivisimo has introduced Clusty, a meta-search engine that combines search results from several types of sources, and categorizes them on the fly into topical clusters. The new search engine returns fewer results than many of the current search champs, but it organizes the results more effectively, making them easier to use.

For example, a popular search recently has been "hurricanes". Clusty automatically clusters search results into "topics" by default, which show up as navigation options on the left of the page.

A search for hurricane created topical clusters like "weather", "typhoons", "disaster safety" and "hurricane aid". This lets users quickly dig into the results. Cluster offers several other options for clustering, including "Sources" and "URLs".

In addition to the clustering of results, Clusty provides tabs across the top, which will be familiar to users of Amazon or Google. The tabs let you find different types of search results, still related to your query. The "hurricane" query returned these results:

* News - news stories about the recent hurricanes;

* Images - hurricane-themed photos;

* Shopping - logo merchandise for the Miami Hurricanes football team;

* Encyclopedia - entries about hurricanes, hurricane locations and their categories; and

* Gossip - light news related to hurricanes, including how hurricanes improve Weather Channel ratings.

You can customize your results, adding or subtracting tabs. Tab options include eBay, Blogs and Slashdot. In addition, you can create your own tabs. A few clicks was all it took to add a tab for eBay, and the results were clustered just like other search results.

While Clusty is no Google-killer, it has features which are very useful, and could help Clusty stand out from the search engine pack.

Search Gets Personal

Yahoo!, meanwhile, is adding personalization features to search. Yahoo's Personal Search lets you:

* Save search results that you like;

* Block results that you don't like;

* Share results that you've saved; and

* Search items you've saved, with a Search My Web feature.

Yahoo! links to search results differently than many other search engines. Yahoo!'s results link to redirects, hosted by Yahoo!, rather than directly to a site.

The redirects let Yahoo! keep track of what search results generate the most click-throughs. In addition, Yahoo! knows what you've clicked on, so they can present you with a history of sites that you've visited recently, and market to you more intelligently.

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