The search widget goes up against similar rivals Eurekster, Lijit, Searchme, and another more successful competitor geared toward the enterprise market, Google. Supporting the company's efforts is patent No. 7,437,370 B1, a search engine graphical interface that uses maps, images and neural networking technology on the back end. The patent, submitted last year, was granted on Oct. 14.
The neural networking technology makes Quintura unique. It extracts words and phrases from a framework of neurons connected as a network or search cloud. More frequently used keywords receive greater weights. All keywords are interrelated in the network. "Once a search is made using Quintura, the keywords or search terms are highlighted and the respective neurons are excited, giving rise to related keywords--neurons that are displayed in the cloud," said Yakov Sadchikov, cofounder and CEO, Quintura, Alexandria, Va. "The tool is based on many years of propriety search technology."
The widget is free to publishers for a share of the click-through ad revenue served through the tool. About four lifestyle magazines have been testing the service with ads, which Quintura pulls from a variety of search-specific networks. A monthly subscription fee applies for sites that prefer not to serve up ads.
Consumer magazine Web sites Maxim in the United States--as well as Russian Newsweek and Cosmopolitan in Russia--have been the first to implement Quintura's visual-based search tool. So far, more than 1,000 publishers have registered to use the site search solution, reaching an audience of 10 million visitors.
Publishers who register and download the site widget on blogs and Web sites allow their site visitors to view related tags of the entered search term. Searchers can mouse over any term in the search cloud to change the results in the search window, or hover over and delete non-relevant terms.
An option to prepopulate the cloud with specific terms aims to drive search users to specific content on the site. The ability to see related search terms prompts site visitors to explore content they may not know exists. So, the search tool can help drive revenue from the discovery--as well as banner ad placements--and sponsored links by delivering ad impressions driven by user behavior.
Quintura's U.S. entrance into the site search market also introduces analytics, search term rankings and trends, and analysis for identifying new content requirements based on search interest, adds Dennis Szerszen, Quintura CMO.
Tools built on tag clouds need to focus on search and discovery. "We're seeing a widgetization of the web," said Michael Boland, senior analyst at The Kelsey Group. "There are lots of great tools, but many have found difficulty gaining adoption because the companies don't have deep pockets to market thesm, so they have to spread virally."
Consumers will see increased adoption of widgets, Boland said, but for now there are lots of challenges any time a company adds a step such as downloading or setting up a file, which slows adoption.
In the coming year, the focus turns to increasing the monthly audience of Quintura's 50 million site users--up from 10 million today. European venture capital investor Mangrove Capital Partners has funded Quintura, but the company intends to look for a new round of funding in third-quarter 2009.