South-Western - Management  
Little Engines That Can; Even Google Can't Think of Everything
Topic Technology, Innovation and Change
Key Words Search engines, information, niche marketing
InfoTrac Reference A114568978
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News Story

Search for the phrase "apple tree" on Google and you will draw 2.4 million results. With the global revenue from search engines anticipated to grow to $8.9 billion in 2007, up from $2.6 billion in 2004, the success of the big names in searching like Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft, will leave room for new technologies to reap profits with new and innovative methods. Several entrepreneurs are looking to take this search to the next level and fulfill the need for more targeted and specific search results.

One new downloadable software tool called Grokker analyzes search results and organizes them into categories that are displayed on the screen as graphical circles and squares, so they can be easily sorted. Other start-ups include Eurekester, which mixes search abilities with social networking, allowing one to make online connections with friends and business associates, and to deliver results based partially on what these contacts found useful in their research. Nutch, an open-source search project, allows programmers from around the world to contribute to its ever-evolving code.

Another new horizon for online search is what is known as the "deepWeb," the databases of government sites, medical firms, and online stores. These websites may account for as much as 90 percent of the information on the web, but the big names like Google have no access to them. Dipsie, a new web crawler, claims to get to the hidden content like a human user would see it, one page at a time. Brightplanet allows public users to scan state databases. It also remembers the results of each search so a user can build on past research.

According to former Lycos CEO Bob Davis, other opportunities for new companies exist in the area of "search marketing." A company pioneering this technology called Quigo analyzes Web pages and uses the results to match the pages with ads. For example, if an online blogger writes about sodas, Quigo would match the page with a Coke ad.

Another startup, Mooter, tries to get more information about an initial search to provide more targeted results. If someone types in "Italy," for example, the search engine will try to find out what specific information about the country the searcher is looking for.


What niche in online searches are startup technologies looking to fill?


You are a manager who is hiring a new employee who is a citizen of India. List three specific ways you could use some of these new web search instruments to help you with your new hire.

Source "Little Engines That Can; Even Google Can't Think of Everything," Newsweek, March 29, 2004, p59.
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