Wikia Search To Close Up Shop reports that Wikia Search is giving up and closing up shop. Search Wikia launched an alpha release in January 2008, where Chris Sherman gave it a poor review. Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikia, told "It was going to take at least an another year to two before it's usable by the public, and we can't afford that right now." Due to the economy and the need to get to "profitability" right now, Wikia Search needs to shut down. Two full-time employees will be out of a job due to the decision. Wales said that Wikia Search only had 10,000 unique users a month over the past six mo [...]

Wikia Search Releases Third Party Search Enhancement Platform

Wikia Search, the "open source" search engine that launched to great fanfare earlier in the year, has introduced a new platform (Wikia Intelligent Search Extensions or "WISE") that allows third parties to provide an enhanced search result—known as a "WISEApp"—for specific keywords. WISEApps allow publishers or searchers to enhance search results, in a similar way to Yahoo's Search Monkey or Google's SiteLinks enhancements. For example, the Washington Post WISEApp provides people searching for specific information, such as "Barack Obama" or "John McCain", with relevant news stories fr [...]

Wikia Introduces “Evolution” Toolbar To Expand Reach To Other Search Engines

Like many before it, most recently Mahalo, Wikia Search has introduced a Firefox toolbar, called "Wikia Evolution," to expand the site's reach and engage more users in the process of adding and annotating search results. In the notes, it suggests that Google is taking a page from its community playbook: "Already, we’re the cutting edge when it comes to incorporating user feedback into our search results, so much so that Google is experimenting with eerily similar features." The new Wikia toolbar allows users to add URLs/pages to the Wikia index (from wherever they are online) and edit or [...]

Search 4.0: Social Search Engines & Putting Humans Back In Search

Previously I've covered what I dubbed Search 3.0, how search engines have evolved toward blending vertical or specialized results into "regular" web listings. Today, the step beyond that: Search 4.0, how personal, social and human-edited data can be used to refine search results. The Search Evolution So Far Before going ahead, let me summarize what I covered in my past article, in terms of how search engines have changed over time to create and rank the results you get when doing a search: Search 1.0 (1996): Pages ranked using "on-the-page" criteria Search 2.0 (1998): Pages [...]

SMX Social: Just What Did Calacanis Say About SEO & More Recaps

At our SMX Social Media Marketing conference this week, we had a great panel on the future of human powered search. Jason Calacanis of Mahalo, Jimmy Wales of Wikia Search, and Steven Marder of Eurekster all took part. Jason had some remarks on SEO that set off the usual wave of upset. But as I commented to those who weren't at the panel, by the end of Q&A, Jason -- along with Jimmy Wales and Seven Marder -- were agreeing about the usefulness of SEO. It's all down to the definitions. Below you can hear Jason's presentation yourself, then you can hear the Q&A portion that covered search [...]

SMX Social: Mahalo To Do Microformats, Search Wikia Adds Alpha 0.2 Features & More

News from the first day of our SMX Social Media Marketing conference. Mahalo is now doing microformats as a way to enhance its search results and allow local businesses to be added to your address book. Wikia Search has gone to "Alpha 0.2" with new features. And other conference coverage, below. Jason Calacanis of Mahalo, Jimmy Wales of Wikia Search, and Steven Marder of Eurekster all spoke at the end of the day on our Social Search: The Human Challengers panel. Lisa Barone provides live blogging coverage in her Keynote - Social Search: The Human Challengers post at the Bruce Cla [...]

Search Wikia: Not Even A Remote Threat To Google

Search Wikia, the open source search engine from Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales' Wikia, Inc. organization, launched today in an alpha version. Widely hyped, typically portrayed as a heroic David vs. Goliath struggle, it's really just yet another crappy search service that may, potentially, if all goes well, eventually turn into something useful. For now, though, Search Wikia is essentially useless as a search engine. What makes it interesting are some of the ideas and approaches that the service is exploring. I'll not bother bashing the search results that even Search Wikia itself admits ar [...]

Wikia Search Launches Alpha Version

Wikia Search has launched their Alpha version at, and boy is it an Alpha launch. Chris Sherman is writing up our long review of Wikia Search and it should be live shortly. Even Wikia said the "quality of the search results is low." There is not much I can add to that than simply pointing out glaring examples of the poor results. For now, you can get more coverage at Techmeme, but Chris's review will be live soon here at Search Engine Land. Postscript: Chris Sherman's piece is up, where Chris concludes Search Wikia: Not Even A Remote Threat To Google. [...]

The Google Challengers: 2008 Edition

Rich Skrenta -- who, aside from creating the first computer virus, is more notable to search as a cofounder of the Open Directory Project and the Topix news search engine -- has announced he's founded a search start-up. A stealth one, as TechCrunch puts it. Don't we already have several stealth search start-ups? Yep. Here's a guide to who's who. Blekko What we know so far about Blekko isn't much, and TechCrunch has the most details in its The Next Google Search Challenger: Blekko post from yesterday. Apparently Rich founded the company in September 2006, along with five othe [...]

Search Wikia Launches In 2007 With Private Beta

Wikia Search Launches Private Beta; Public Launch On January 7 from TechCrunch has an email sent to a limited number of beta testers, announcing that Search Wikia has launched. Jimmy Wales, cofounder of Wikipedia and driving force behind Search Wikia, said in the email that Search Wikia is "going to be letting people in slowly over the next few days and we are aiming for a January 7th public launch." Technically, they launched just before 2008, which makes for a 2007 launch. The public launch is expected January 7th. For more coverage on the Search Wikia launch, see Techmeme. For our past [...]

Search Wikia Gets Open Source Categorization Software

Hot on the heels of last week's acquisition of the Grub open source crawler technology, Wikia announced today that Intellisophic has agreed to make its categorization software available via open source in conjunction with the Search Wikia project. From the press release: Categorization is the process of organizing information based on a common set of characteristics or concepts, which in terms of Internet searching helps to increase accuracy. By understanding the vocabularies, terminology and relationships of concepts in different categories of content such as finance, gaming, or news, the [...]

Search Wikia Takes Steps To Crawl; Acquires Grub

Wikia, Inc., the for-profit company developing the open source search engine Search Wikia, has acquired Grub, a distributed crawler platform, from LookSmart. Distributed crawler? Crawlers are software programs used by search engines to roam the web to discover pages that are then downloaded and indexed for searching. The crawlers operated by the major search engines are highly centralized, operating out of massive data centers, and are capable of finding and downloading millions of pages per minute. Grub, by contrast, taps into the spare power of thousands of personal computers connected to [...]

PreFound Relaunches, Tries To Rise Above Social Search Din

The term "social search" is kind of a catch-all category now for a range of companies that are bringing people back into the algorithm. Not only are these companies seeking to improve search results with humans, they're trying to differentiate vs. Google from a marketing standpoint on that basis as well. Eurekster, ChaCha, Jimmy Wales' Wikia Search and PreFound are just four among many examples. These companies are all doing interesting things but there's a kind of "noise" now that creates a marketing challenge for anyone competing in the space. Trying to rise above that din, PreFound relaunc [...]

Wikiseek: Leveraging Wikipedia For Web Search, Poorly

The Wikipedia search engine has arrived -- Wikiseek -- but it's not the Wikipedia search engine you're thinking of. Wikiseek is completely different than the Search Wikia project backed by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales that I wrote about last month. Below, a look at the disappointing new service along with a revisit to how it is different from Search Wikia. The idea behind Wikiseek is simple. Crawl only content referred to within Wikipedia itself, which the site boasts will make it better: The contents of Wikiseek are restricted to Wikipedia pages and only those sites which are referenced [...]

Q&A With Jimmy Wales On Search Wikia

News came out earlier this week that Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales had a new project in mind, to build a community-driven "Google-killer" search engine. I've just finished talking with Jimmy about his plans. Here's a rundown on his vision and what may come as his Search Wikia project grows over the course of the next year or two. Note that in the Q&A, I've had to recreate my questions as best I remember asking them. I was focused more on getting down Jimmy's responses. Q. Since the news emerged, there's been some confusion about Amazon and Wikipedia in relation to Search Wiki [...]

Wikipedia Founder To Launch Wikiasari Search Engine Early 2007

Founder of Wikipedia plans search engine to rival Google by The Times unveils a new search engine named Wikiasari. The new search engine has investment backing from Amazon and others of over $4 million in capital. The "exclusive screen capture" Techcrunch has nothing to do with this new engine, according to the Wikia group. But this search engine seems to be based on community involvement. With a provisional launch in the first quarter of 2007, it will be interesting to see how quickly a search engine with real community trust evolves. What makes this engine different? "Essentially, if [...]

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