The quest for the next big thing in search is never-ending. Existing search engines are constantly revising and updating, and new search engines are popping up every day. Today I’d like to introduce you to a new socially connected search engine by the name of Delver, which was discussed at Demo 08.
Delver will be in private beta beginning this month, February, and will open to the public in May. The way the search engine works is that it utilizes public profiles from social networks to improve the relevancy of search results.
Search results are prioritized based on an user’s network by indexing information from various social networking profiles, blogs, photo sharing sites, video sharing sites, and other services. Think MySpace, Blogger, WordPress, LiveJournal, Flickr, YouTube, etc. Registered users can “claim” their profile to verify the data sources, but whether you claim it or not, we’re pretty sure they’ll still be crawling and scanning your publicly available profiles to compile data on you and everyone else.
So, when you conduct a search, Delver will first display any social connections/contacts that it was able to find in a graphical layout. Then, the search results are ranked upon the strength of the social connections, so as a result, the wisdom of friends, friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends (and so on!) are revealed, giving users a custom results page that reflects their social connections. Friends closest to you have higher weight than the friends of friends and those further down the line.
Delver, which is funded by a company in Israel, will make their money off advertising.
Personally, the idea of a third party company compiling all my “publicly available” profile data is unsettling. I know it already occurs, but I’m not keen on encouraging any more newbies to jump into that game. Regardless of that, I still don’t understand why I’d want my friends to be considered in searching. Even still, it’ll be interesting to see if others find something like this useful.