Will Mobile Search Apps Outperform Google?
Some of the most innovative search engines lately have been developed for mobile devices. Take the iPhone app search engine Summly, for example. We learn in this Forbes article about the 16-year-old entrepreneur Nick D'Aloisio who built the search engine, which last year raised a round of funding from Horizons Ventures, the private Hong Kong investment firm of billionaire Li Ka-shing -- a backer of Facebook, Siri and Spotify. The engine allows mobile searchers to gauge the content behind the search, similar to the way Google provides a view in Instant Preview.
Not too many fledgling search engines will compare with Summly, but mobile apps to search and ecommerce will become the next wave in search marketing when it comes to finding content. Some of these will rely on voice activation, such as Ask.com's mobile app. Flipboard for the iPhone, which launched in December, brings in links to create custom content based on what friends share on Facebook and Twitter. The app also locates other links from media sources and compiles them in a magazine-style layout.
Flipboard released Cover Stories for the iPad on Thursday. The app offers more room for tiles of favorite content, new typography and photo layouts, and a French-language edition. And for those looking for employment, JobMo alerts people about open nearby available jobs in more than 20 countries. Linking to Google Maps, it provides a view and compares salaries and trends. It also lets seekers discuss topics with others.
The Fiksu App Store Competitive Index tracks the average aggregate daily download volume of the top 200 free U.S. iPhone apps. The index measures 6.79 million daily downloads in January -- up a bit from the more than 6 million downloaded, sequentially.
Will these younger, more aggressive mobile search apps supplant long-time leaders like Google and Bing? Consider this: Asia and Europe built their telecommunication infrastructure on newer technologies compared with the United States, because residents did not have the luxury of easily and quickly installing landline equipment. The regions relied on mobile instead. Now Europe and Asia lead in mobile innovations -- not only in technologies, but legislation as well.
Experienced engineers at some of the leading companies around the world have also jumped in to develop search engines for business applications. NEC -- yes, the maker of computer screens and fiber optics -- this week said it developed a high-speed semantic search engine that analyzes and classifies the meaning of text by locating related keyword and references in synonyms, and broad and narrow concepts.
Since it rapidly searches through large volumes of data to help users understand the content of documents, NEC said this engine will enable services like call-center operators to improve efficiencies by quickly locating information that relates to customer inquiries, such as symptoms, causes and best solutions for a product's troubled performance.
NEC will use the search engine at the NEC Oracle Response Center, an NEC contact center. In early tests it reduced the average operator search time and increased the number of complete inquiry responses by 25% per month.
Features that help to achieve these efficiencies include a technology that compresses and saves index data for text that relates to a search term, and mapping technologies that classify and display examples, including cause and solutions. It also has a classification technology that identifies important words in the search to refine the searches.