Snap, a new search engine from Idealab was unveiled last week at the Web 2.0 conference by the inimitable Bill Gross himself. Snap’s technology is founded on three core principles:
- User control — Refine by entering filter words in the field above any column, or click on any column to sort the results. The columns that appear vary depending on the search query used. For example, a search for “camera” returns a slew of columns, including: manufacturer, model, price range, resolution, max print, zoom, storage, weight, minimum focus, flash range, minimum & maximum apertures, and minimum & maximum focal length. Typing in 4 into the resolution column will narrow the results to cameras that are 4 megapixel and greater.
- User feedback — Rankings take into account the user’s behavior after they click through to one of the search listings. Through the licensing of Internet traffic data, they can learn what visitors do post-search (e.g. of those who searched for “walmart“, how many wanted to make a purchase from walmart.com versus how many wanted to check Walmart’s stock price).
- Transparency — They’re taking an ‘open kimono’ approach, which I expect will build a lot of trust and respect with their visitors. It’s all there in the open: advertiser revenues, searches, referers, visitor traffic numbers, conversion rates, and so on. You can even slice and dice the data by time period, by keyword, by advertiser, etc. According to BuzzMachine, Bill Gross, when speaking at Web 2.0, even committed to making all this data available through an API. (Good on ya, Bill!)
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