Social Search Engines Having the Answers?
The LA Times is featuring an Associated Press article which addresses the question of social search & social media and whether the human powered suggestion and citation model will grow to become more useful than, or a cherished and fact checking partner to more ‘traditional’ bot & link based search algorithms.
At PreFound, launched this year, users contribute to the knowledge pool by submitting clusters of websites that they believe would appeal to like-minded people. As an incentive, the largest contributors even get a share of PreFound’s advertising money.
A visitor looking for information on, say, New Jersey beaches can get the user-recommended sites, grouped by users. One user’s cluster gives you restaurants, Internet cafes and other information on the coastal town of Ventnor City, N.J.
The more people contribute sites, the better the results.
The article also discusses the adaptation of social search over the last year by Google and how Yahoo has repositioned its search offering and presence to a mantra of Social Search. Recently Yahoo launched what might be their most user friendly, revenue building and relevant social media product to date, Yahoo Trip Planner which is chocked full of searchable travel blogs, photos, ratings and suggestions.
More on Yahoo:
Eckart Walther, vice president of product management for Yahoo, said that although traditional search technology could be refined, it would probably remain best for fact-based searches. Social search, he said, provides the promise of answers to more subjective questions.
“If you asked me what the best hotel in San Francisco is, we’re different people, have different friends and different opinions,” Walther said. “Search engines are terrible at answering these kinds of questions.”