Wowd Enters Next Phase In Search To Uncork Ideas

The real-time Web has been thought of as a dumping ground for all information, but some analysts believe this next phase of search will unlock some of the most innovative ideas people have seen in years.

Wowd, a real-time search engine, unveiled services Thursday based on real-time tag cloud and real-time streaming features. The site updates as people search across the Web. It relies on a cloud network, full-page text history search and tagging to pluck out the relevant stuff and serve up the content.

The real-time tag cloud relies on hot topics that people customize by downloading Wowd's browser application or use a basic tag cloud based on the most popular pages people visit. Summarizing the search results, it connects to other topics across the Web that the person might find interesting.

Wowd's SearchStream feature continually looks for new information related to search queries. Results roll in automatically from across the Web, including blogs and news sites. It could become a handy tool as more marketers rely on tag cloud structures to research interest in keywords for paid-search campaigns.

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Mark Drummond, chief executive officer at Wowd, describes the engine as a "real-time directory" that people can search inside. He explains that the cloud network relies on people to nominate the content, implicitly, by visiting a public page. That visit signifies that the page contains important content and interest.

"We're not trying to find the word 'apple' in a stream of tweets in real time," Drummond says. "By real time we mean if a page changes on the Internet, and our system becomes aware of it, you will have that page no more than 60 to 120 seconds later anywhere on the planet. We designed this to scale up to trillions of URLs."

Hadley Reynolds, search analyst at IDC, believes the world has begun to enter another phase of Web search.

"We saw that today with Google's acquisition of Aardvark, and during the past year as more companies began to release search tools that address the flow of information in social networks like Twitter," Reynolds says.

This movement brings social content into the search experience for the first time. Wowd is another experiment in leveraging social activity and algorithmic technology to find better filters that can reach into the best information possible -- most of it in people's heads, Reynolds says.

"There is a lot of information that people can't necessarily express in documents," Reynolds says. "This information gets trapped inside people's heads, but social search has begun to uncork the ideas."

Venture-backed Wowd launched in public beta late last year. Within a few months, the company will introduce the paid-search features that tie to real-time search features. The ads may appear in the right rail or in the search query listing, Drummond says.

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