I wrote about this a month or so ago, but it’s ready for media prime time – Eurekster launched today. There’s got to be a better name for socia-networking-driven search (er..Searchster?). What’s news: Eurekster has a deal for search results from Overture, but as MediaPost notes, So far, only the “natural” search results a user clicks on are added to the list of sites recently visited by the user’s community of friends. “The current version of the product offers no re-ranking of sponsored search results,” notes Steven Marder, Chairman, Eurekster Inc.
I’m going to quote liberally from the Eurekster “about” page for you, then ask a question:
See how eurekster personalizes search results
Type in a search term e.g. your name
Click on a search result that you think is best (this can be on any page of the search results). Stay at that website for at least 1 minutes (or we will assume that it wasn’t useful for you). Repeat this as often as you like.
In 3 minutes do the same search again and you will notice that the results you preferred will be at the top of the list of search results (excluding sponsored search results).
We remember the result you liked so you never have to repeat trawling through a long list of search results again!
How this helps other eurekster users
* After you sign up to eurekster and get your friends using it, when one of them does the same search as you then your preferred result will appear higher up their list of results. So everyone can learn from the search activity of people they know and trust.
* eurekster takes care of sharing the quality results around social networks to allow groups of people to learn from each other, while protecting identity and allowing the option for complete privacy.
* If users try to boost poor or inappropriate results they will not be spread to other users. The only people affected by this will be their direct contacts that they have invited to join their personal network. This social network filtering of search results works just like word of mouth that we count on in everyday life.
My question: is search a strong enough attractor to get folks to create new social networks, outside of those they may have already created with LinkedIn or Friendster? Put another way, isn’t it easier for Friendster or LinkedIn to add search, than for search to add Friendster or LinkedIn?
Now that Eurekster has launched, I guess the answer is: we’ll know soon enough. (Let’s not forget the raging rumor some months ago that Google tried to buy Friendster, but was rebuffed…..)
PS – I am not sure that delimiting a site’s usefulness by forcing someone to hang out there for a minute or more is a good idea (though I do like the idea of tracking the path folks take out of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) and rearranging subsequent searches based on that input). Many folks who come to blogs, for example, stay for less than a minute. It takes about 35 seconds to read a blog post. Except this one, of course, which has gone on for too long…..