Pat Condo, a 35-year search veteran and founder of Seekr Technologies, believes his team has developed a search engine and scoring system that will provide a higher level of trust and reliability for marketers buying advertising that serves up across the internet and on websites.
Seekr Technologies, an internet technology company, launched the beta version of its search engine, Seekr, this week. The goal is to provide access to reliable information for people searching for answers, as well as a place for brands to advertise products and services alongside trusted content.
The engine will eventually support advertising, but it initially launched with what Condo calls the Seekr Score for news.
The Seekr Score rates each news article’s quality. Individual news articles containing political content are rated as right, center, or left through the Political Lean Indicator.
The AI technology does this by extracting and analyzing the text for expressions, words, and semantics typically associated with a political position.
“Our content rating, filtering and other things we will launch in the future has become very interesting to brands,” he said. “Their biggest concern is the suitability of the content the ad falls alongside, keeping their brand identity [safe], and not being deemed political.”
Reports will support advertisers and publishers. It will, for example, include ZIP code-related information such as the percentage of people in the area that leans left or right politically, or what type of content they like best. It should help brands better understand the demographics, he said.
Seekr has processed an estimated 9 million queries since January 2022 -- when the company opened its Alpha testing.
Media rating systems from companies like NewsGuard that look for bias and misinformation exist, but the Seekr Score, in the future, will automatically evaluate the reliability of information across the web, from news to video, as well as from individual journalists.
The platform, built on an independent index, uses what the company calls Lite-Web Technology to serve news and the best web search results.
It provides a scoring and filtering system to help brands as well as people searching make informed decisions on what they buy, consume, trust, and share. The goal is to have a common rating system that provides advertisers and consumers with a way to evaluate all web-based content.
Today, Seekr’s engine returns the majority of the queries. For long queries, it aggregates answers from search engines such as Microsoft Bing. “We pull back queries from them if we cannot answer them with our own index,” Condo said. “Over the next six months, a greater number of answers to queries will come from us, between eighty and ninety percent. The remainder will come from others.”
Seekr’s technology crawls the web, categorizes news content, and by analyzing the article, applies an algorithm built on machine learning to determine the score.
The score looks for a variety of behaviors using the ML modeling. For example, the score indicates credibility.
Condo founded Seekr Technologies in March 2021, built on a “great percentage” of the search technology from NTENT. Seekr built the scoring and filtering technology, and the two combined in the fourth quarter of 2021.
In the future, Seekr may offer its technology to media companies that want to capture and filter content to provide more accurate information to their readers.
Several years ago, Seekr developers examined variety of studies on best practices in journalism, with the help of experts in journalistic principles, to help create an initial set of algorithms targeted at “high-value signals," with dozens more planned to come.
These signals would determine the quality of an article’s content -- looking for things such as whether or not the headline matches the body copy, whether sources are cited, and whether bias is present. The technology would also determine whether the quote was accurate, as well as looking at other biases.
Pattern matching is a major part of the process. “We know satire, parody, comedy and opinion are complex, and there’s a chance they can be mis-rated,” he said. “Eventually, we will learn all the patterns and scoring will continue to exceed, at a human level, analyzing it better than we can.”
Condo also has plans to ramp up marketing efforts through a variety of social and paid media including influencers.
With his many years of expertise, Condo feel confident when ads launch on the platform, brands will advertise in search and news sections.
In the 1990s, Condo founded Excalibur Technologies, one of the first search companies to go public on Nasdaq. Within five years, he sold it to Intel for about $1.2 billion. The two companies formed a new company called Convera, a supplier of search technology for the defense industry. The technology enables content owners to produce and securely sell their audio and video online. Pieces of the company were later sold to Lockheed Martin, and Microsoft. Vertical Search Works came next.