The Search Innovation Continues

SF Gate , Wednesday, August 20, 2008 12:30 PM
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So Cuil blew its big coming-out party, and Powerset's fanfare faded, despite being picked up by Microsoft. That hasn't stopped hungry developers and the VC firms that back them from continuing to craft the next "Google-killer," leading the charge of search innovation along the way. Case in point, Cooliris and BooRah, a pair of search startups chosen by Deborah Gage for their commentary on the search evolution race.

Cooliris lets searchers preview Web links, images and video results without having to click on them, while BooRah deals strictly with reviews (restaurant reviews at the moment, but the company plans to expand to hotels). Both offer new ways to search as well as new ways of processing the vast amount of info on the Web. But both companies' top brass also acknowledge that the entire search industry still faces many challenges.

"Guessing what a search query means is still an art," according to Cooliris' Chief Revenue Officer Shashi Seth. And he thinks mainstream engines only guess right about 40% of the time. Meanwhile, the processing power required by search--even for a subset of data like restaurant reviews--is a major obstacle, according to Nagaraju Bandaru, BooRah's CTO.

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