Expect Labs Offers Free API: Google Now In A Box

Expect Labs Expect Labs, which is behind the MindMeld consumer application, has announced a new developer API. The new API brings the company's "anticipatory computing" platform to third parties in the cloud. Use of the API is free. Expect Labs is trying to get it "out there" and see how developers deploy the company's technology on their applications. As a practical matter what Expect Labs is offering could be likened to "Google Now in a Box." Developers and publishers will thus be able offer predictive or contextual search and more sophisticated recommendations and content discovery to users. [...]

Samsung, Intel Invest In “Anticipatory Search” Startup Expect Labs

Expect Labs Expect Labs, which is a small startup in the San Francisco Bay Area, has a very impressive list of investors. Today the company announced a new funding round, though the figures weren't disclosed. Investors are the venture or investment arms of Intel, Samsung and Telefonica. Telefonica is the world's fourth largest telco and owns mobile operator O2 in the UK. Previous investors included Google, Greylock, Bessemer, IDG Ventures, KPG Ventures, Quest Venture Partners. The company has one product called MindMeld. It's sort of a (video) chat app but really more of a technology demonstration.  [...]

Yandex Launches Personalized Search Results For Eastern Europe

Yandex logo 2 Russia's leading search engine, Yandex has launched an approach to personalizing search results for users in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, affecting 75-80% of search queries and potentially all of the search results a user sees. Yandex has been testing the approach throughout the last year and found that users click 37% more often on a top result which is personalized and save around 14% of the time they normally spend on the SERPS. They claim this means that the average user saves some 8 minutes a week. Deputy CTO Grigory Bakunov launched the approach at a press conference in [...]

Foursquare Takes On Yelp With New Homepage Search Box

foursquare-map-featured Perhaps it was always inevitable that Foursquare would shift its emphasis from location-based social networking to local search. Indeed, the site has been moving in this direction for quite some time, and very self-consciously for the better part of the past year. This afternoon the company is rolling out a new PC homepage for users who aren't logged in: it prominently features a search box. In doing so Foursquare takes aim at Yelp as its chief rival in the local space. And in some ways the move completes Foursquare's evolution from a more narrow and novelty oriented friend finder, game and [...]

Pew Report: 65% View Personalized Search As Bad; 73% See It As Privacy Invasion

personalized search Personalized search? Both Google and Bing will tell you that it provides better results. But two-thirds say they don't care. They view personalized search as a "bad thing," a new survey finds. Nearly three-quarters also view gathering data to personalize results to be a privacy invasion. The findings come out of a survey from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Around 2,000 adults in the US were questioned between January 20 and February 19 of this year as part of a wide-ranging poll about search engine use, though fewer may have answered particular questions. Personalized Sea [...]

Trapit Aims To Be Your Search “Personal Assistant”

Somewhere between the "precision of search and the serendipity of social media" lies Trapit. Trapit is a "personal discovery engine" based on the same underlying technology that forms the core of Apple's Siri virtual assistant. From the outside, however, it looks something like a cross between StumbleUpon and Flipboard or Zite. Co-founders Gary Griffiths and Hank Nothhaft are quick to rebut each of those comparisons by pointing to Trapit's underlying technology as the differentiator. Users input keywords or entire URLs and create "traps," which are content modules drawing upon approxima [...]

Bing Gets More Personal With Adaptive Search

bing-search-featured Bing has announced at SMX East today a new personalization feature named adaptive search. It seems a lot like Google's previous query feature but supposedly, it goes well beyond just the previous query. Bing said the "more you search, the more Bing can learn" and thus adapts the search results for YOU based on your past searches - not just your immediate previous search. Here is a video that explains it, we hope to have more information on this new feature soon: Video: Adapting Search to You Note, it is rolling out slowly over the next few days in the US. Stefan from Bing add [...]

Walmart Buys Former Search Engine Kosmix To Power Social And Mobile Shopping

walmart-kosmix-featured For those who follow search it was initially one of those "WTF moments": Walmart acquiring erstwhile Google challenger Kosmix. However AllThingsD reports that the price was $300 million-plus vs. $55 million raised. So the founders and investors get a seemingly nice exit. Kosmix will now become part of the newly established "@WalmartLabs." When it launched in 2006 Kosmix was building a better search engine that organized results by category and added numerous filters allowing users to drill down for more relevance and control. Below is an early Kosmix search results page (via DailyTech [...]

Search Technology Behind iPad Magazine “Zite”

Discovery Engine Worio has taken its search technology and reinvented itself as an iPad magazine along the lines of Flipboard. Called Zite (after Zeitgeist), the iPad app uses the same search and machine learning capabilities developed at the British Columbia-based Worio to create a personalized magazine that "gets smarter" as you use it. (CEO Ali Davar says the company's servers "are getting crushed" right now because of the publicity the app has received.) It starts by taking Twitter and, curiously, Google Reader feeds -- though not Facebook because of the "noise" in that feed -- to creat [...]

Hunch Tweaks Home Page, Focuses On Recommendations

Hunch has announced what it calls a "streamlined and simplified" home page, but the changes really reflect a slight change in focus, too. When the site launched last year, we referred to Hunch as a "personal decision maker;" Hunch itself used the term "decision engine." The new home page, though, presents a change of emphasis; logged-in users are immediately presented with a group of recommendations. The previous home page was more of an activity stream that seemed geared toward funneling users into existing decision topics. The difference between decision-making and recommending [...]

Google Video Now Offering “Personalized” Video Recommendations

The Google Video Blog announced the launch of personalized video recommendations based on your search history. To see them, make sure you are logged into Google and visit video.google.com. In the middle of the page, you should see, "Recommended videos." Google uses your past search history and your past video viewing history to compile your personalized video recommendation list. You can view up to six recommended videos at any time, and there is a next button to see more. Here are my recommended videos: Notice a couple from Matt Cutts, one on Linux and then a few on Jewish topics. [...]

Google Expands Edit My Search Results Feature?

The Google Like/Don't Like feature, where you can move up results, hide search results, or remove search results, seems to have been expanded to a group of test searchers. We have reports from TechCrunch, Google Operating System, and Justin Hileman, with reports of users seeing this feature in the main search results. Justin does an excellent job taking us through each feature with screen shots. I personally have never seen an implementation of this on any of my searches. But I know Google has been testing this over the course of the year. [...]

FAST Buys Recommendations Engine AgentArts

Enterprise search provider FAST Search & Transfer has acquired personalization platform and recommendations engine AgentArts. The technology will be folded into FAST's various enterprise search offerings, which include a range of site search and monetization options for online publishers. The company also has a mobile search partnership with InfoSpace. FAST has positioned itself as a complete platform to help publishers of all stripes essentially compete with Google and avoid dependence on AdSense and other third-party contextual ad networks. [...]

Yahoo Travel Adds Personalization, New Maps

Yahoo Travel has redesigned and added a range of features, including personalization and new mapping tools to the site. It's also seeking to more deeply integrate travel properties FareChase (its fares and rates "meta search" engine) and Trip Planner (its user-generated content site) into Travel. Flickr is also well represented throughout the redesign. I'm not going to be able to capture every nuance or aspect of the upgrade and all the new features, but I'll highlight the main ones. The new home page displays personalized recommendations, as well as more "social features" from Trip Plann [...]

The Pros & Cons Of Personalized Search

In the past two weeks I've had the opportunity to talk to both Marissa Mayer and Matt Cutts about the impact of personalization at Google. While the initial storm following Google's announcement seems to be dying down somewhat, the ripple effects can still be felt throughout the SEM industry. In future columns I'll probably be coming back to the personalization angle on a semi-regular basis because I really believe it's fundamentally important to the next evolution of search. But in the next little while I'll probably move on to other topics. Before I do move on, however, I did want to [...]

Will Google Remain ‘The Start Page For The Internet’?

This subject is worthy of perhaps a 10,000 word New Yorker article. But this will just be a relatively short post based on some thinking following a meeting with Netvibes CEO Tariq Krim in San Francisco the other day. Google has been dubbed the "start page for the Internet." Cynics would protest that it's become a kind of toll-booth. But that exalted position most recently enabled Google to turn in a stunning $3.2 billion quarter. The Internet (and search in particular) is more dynamic and arguably more competitive than any other industry. Even so, it is very difficult to predict (or perhap [...]

Google Ramps Up Personalized Search

Google is stepping up the push into personalized search results. A new change announced today should cause many more people to take up the service. In turn, the growth of personalized search should have a dramatic impact on search marketers as the days of "same results, all around" eventually come to an end. For searchers, the change means needing to be more careful about when you sign-up to use a Google service, if you're concerned about having your search history recorded. More about both issues, in the story below. NOTE: See Google Now Personalizes Everyone’s Search Results for [...]

Dan Cohen, Ex-Yahoo Lead, New CEO of Pageflakes

Ex-Yahoo Exec now Pageflakes CEO by Om Malik reports that Dan Cohen, who was the Head of My Yahoo business unit, left Yahoo to become the CEO of Pageflakes. Gary Price recently reviewed Pageflakes, describing it as an easy and free way to "build a dynamic personalized home/start page." It is a lot like Google Personalized Homepage, Netvibes and Microsoft Live. So Dan Cohen has a lot of work ahead of him to compete with some of these brands. [...]

Improved Information Retrieval – Looking at Context with Susan Dumais

Desktop and file search can be very different than web search, and the user's context plays an important role in what is valuable when creating a search algorithm. But understanding context may be helpful to web search, too. Microsoft's Susan Dumais has done an extensive amount of research on how users interact with search applications for the desktop and for Microsoft's Vista. She recently visited Yahoo, as part of their Big Thinker Series. The presentation was at their Yahoo! Mission College location on Tuesday, December 12, 2006.(via Gary Price.) A Microsoft patent application from thi [...]

Decipho Personalized Search Engine

Decipho officially launched on December 14th after having been available since October. It's an interesting search engine because it takes the concept of social search another stage further, while at the same time offering very useful personalisation. There are lots of things that you can do with it, but I would recommend registering and then uploading a list of your bookmarks to start you off. Unfortunately these have to be from your browser, rather than any other bookmarking services at the moment. Once you've done that, take a look at the search interface itself. Very straightforward, fol [...]

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