Recently Hakia extended a call to librarians and information professionals to help them in their quest to bring credible search results to the web on all topics. Previously Hakia offered credibility stamped health and medical searches. Expanding beyond those topics to include all is obviously a very lofty goal, and one that most certainly cannot be realized without a lot of manpower.
This week Hakia launched a new search interface featuring a tabbed option. You can search the entire web, or you can click on one of the tabs to focus your search. Options on the tabs included “All Results”, “Credible Results”, “News”, “Images”, and “Meet Others.”
The interface and results pages are very clean, which I like. It very clearly takes inspiration from Google with muted shades of pastel blue, pink, yellow, and so on, and sponsored links along the right side.
As a library person myself, I admire Hakia’s goals. All too often we have to sift through crap to find the good stuff, despite our levels of expertise and training in this very matter. I can only imagine the frustration from those less familiar with the intricacies of search.
That being said, the chances of them pulling me personally away from Google are slim-to-none. If it exists, I can find it, and most of the time I can find it pretty darn fast with Google or any of the other research databases at my disposal. I assist everyone from the experienced researcher (I work at a public research library) to students, the casual web surfer, and the completely computer inept. **9 times out of 10, left to their own devices, people will gravitate to Google or Yahoo for their search. Occasionally I see someone using Live Search from MSN, but that’s only because they have a Hotmail account, see the search option there, and aren’t too familiar with other search engines.
Hakia is a nice niche search engine, but I doubt it will gain too much prominence. They don’t have the marketing budget of the big guys that would help them reach and win over the masses. Nor do they have the extra perks of the likes of Google and Yahoo to further rope in visitors. Sorry guys.
**Stats are non-scientific and based purely on my casual observance of behavior.
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