OneRiot, the company formerly known as Me.dium, has launched OneRiot.com, a social search engine that crawls and indexes the pages viewed by OneRiot toolbar users. The idea behind OneRiot is to measure the “pulse” of the web by offering search results ranked by what searchers are actually viewing at the moment, rather than by more traditional methods such as link analysis.
“Pulse” is a measure of several factors, including popularity of a page, video, news story or other type of content. According to OneRiot’s FAQ: “If a website, video or news story is generating a lot of buzz and energy within our community, we consider it “pulsing” (which means it gets to go in our top search results).”
The idea is to offer a view of the web that shows what searchers are interested in, in near real time. OneRiot focuses on the content that’s currently popular and doesn’t worry about being a comprehensive source of information, as the traditional search engines do.
As such, OneRiot’s index is relatively small, and search results change constantly as new content is found and pushed to the top of search results while older content falls off in popularity and gradually drops out of the index. According to OneRiot CEO Kimbal Musk: “The size of the index is driven by a combination of time and size. At any one point, our index reaches back about 14 days and it is a rolling index (what comes in today pushes out what was in 15 days ago). We bring in about 15-20 million urls/day, so our index is around 250 million pages.”
OneRiot leans heavily on the viewing behavior of its users to determine whether a page stays in the index or not. According to Musk: “A page will stay in our index as long as someone in our user community visits it within the past 14 days. E.g. It could be an old page, but it’s still popular, so it will stay in our index until it no longer has a pulse.” The company also uses Yahoo’s BOSS search results as backfill for long tail queries that have little representation in OneRiot’s index.
OneRiot has refined its ranking algorithms since the alpha launch of Me.dium search last July. It has also added the ability to browse popular topics, and now also includes snippets labeled “More info on” that are similar to chronological blog posts, so you can get a sense of how a particular story has evolved over time.
The site also allows you to browse using a tag directory, giving a categorized view of what’s available.
Musk said that OneRiot plans to add a number of community features to the site over the coming months, including the ability for users to add their own comments or annotations to results.
For more info on OneRiot and how it works, see the post I wrote when Me.dium debuted, Me.dium Launches “Real Time” Social Search.