You’ve heard of search engine optimization on sites like Google, Bing, and now even Twitter; the question is, what’s next? Marketers in the digital age need data and content, and there are lots of innovative tools coming out to organize the vast amount of stuff that’s out there. Here are four search engines that will be making huge waves in search by 2012:
OneRiot – The Real-Time Search Engine
The Pitch: “OneRiot crawls the links people share on Twitter, Digg and other social sharing services, then indexes the content on those pages in seconds. The end result is a search experience that allows users to find the freshest, most socially-relevant content from across the realtime web.”
Why you should pay attention: OneRiot gets roughly half a million visits per month, according to data provided by Compete and Quantcast. That doesn’t seem like much, but it doesn’t count the traffic from Yahoo real-time search (which OneRiot built) and mobile real-time traffic through a service called Taptu. The company also recently launched an ad network that provides ads based on the trending topics of the moment.
How marketers can use OneRiot:
- Track keywords in real-time – One of my clients has two natural soda brands, so I use the term “natural soda” to stay up-to-date on news and trends in the industry and across the web.
- Find influencers – OneRiot shows you who tweeted the story first, indicating who the influencers for your keyword phrase are.
- Find publications to pitch – OneRiot shows you which publication published the popular story – you can use that information to create a list of publications you want to target.
- Follow your industry – Use keyword searches to keep track of breaking news about or from your competitors that you may need to respond to.
- Find information your fans/followers would appreciate – Use keywords to see what articles are popular and relate to your brands, then tweet them from the brand’s account.
- Create content people like – OneRiot is the ultimate source on how to write popular articles in your niche – you can learn a lot by studying the articles that are coming to the top and emulate the style and formatting.
Check out OneRiot at http://oneriot.com
Wolfram|Alpha – The Computational Search Engine
The Pitch: “Wolfram|Alpha’s long-term goal is to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable and accessible to everyone. We aim to collect and curate all objective data; implement every known model, method, and algorithm; and make it possible to compute whatever can be computed about anything.”
Wolfram’s Alpha version allows users to compute their search engine results, rather than find links that will give them the information. For example, you can use Wolfram to find the phase of the moon from the day you were born in just seconds.
Why you should pay attention: Wolfram gets about half a million visits to their website each month, similar to OneRiot. Their iPhone app is priced at $1.99 (formerly $50 because it can replace your graphing calculator, and then some). The computational aspect of Wolfram is powerful, and the visual organization of data is a great tool for any marketer.
How marketers can use Wolfram:
- Integrate visual data into your company blog, website, or presentations – Infographics are a great way to demonstrate a point, and Wolfram is capable of creating very pretty ones.
- Conduct market research and make comparisons – You can compute lots of information about various companies and products in seconds – for example, type in “Big Mac vs. Whopper.” You might be surprised how much data there is.
- Build separate website properties that are useful to your consumers – There is opportunity to partner with Wolfram to create a niche-based search engine for your company, or even a widget that can be embedded into your site. An application is if a company like Enterprise wanted to incorporate a widget that let users calculate the distance between two cities with one-click.
- Create an internal knowledge base of data – Wolfram’s corporate services include setting up an internal search engine that can store and compute company data. You could capture accounting data, marketing data, line production data, and more with this service.
- Analyze corporate information for faster, data-driven decision-making – If you had accounting, marketing, or line production data at your fingertips as an analyst, imagine how much faster and more in-depth you could do your job.
Check out Wolfram|Alpha at http://wolframalpha.com/
Book of Odds – The Research-Driven Content Provider
Pitch: “It is a destination where people come to learn about the things that worry or excite them, to read engaging and thoughtful articles, and to participate in a community of users that share their interests and ambitions. It contains hundreds of thousands of Odds Statements, from the odds of being the only one to survive a plane crash, to the odds of having a heart attack, to the odds of having ever eaten cold pizza for breakfast.”
Why you should pay attention: Book of Odds is a search engine three years in the making that helps people learn more about the odds of every day life. It’s not getting much traffic now, but I think the potential as both a research and credibility tool as well as a marketing too is quite strong.
How marketers can use Book of Odds:
- Brainstorm ideas for your company blog – Book of Odds takes you places you don’t expect to go. I hang out here sometimes when I’m stuck on ideas for my blog or when I just want to learn something completely new.
- Integrate visual data into your company blog, website, or presentations – Like Wolfram|Alpha, Book of Odds is a great place to find data-driven visuals.
- Find funs facts to incorporate into research and reports – For example, “The odds that an adult is a baseball fan is 1 in 2.22″ has to be useful somewhere in your career, right?
- Suggest odds about your company or brand – Can you imagine if this tool had been around during the Harry Potter craze, when everyone was trying to figure out the odds on various characters dying? You can come up with tons of ways to tie your brand to odds, and Book of Odds has a tool to submit the information directly to it’s search engine.
Check out Book of Odds at http://bookofodds.com/
Evri – The Contextual, Widgetized Search Engine
Pitch: “Evri’s automated content delivery capabilities will help you drive up user engagement, increase page views, and decrease costs. Our platform is designed to help you solve tough problems.”
Why you should pay attention: Evri gets roughly half a million visits per month and has partnerships with major news sites like the Washington Post. Evri also recently acquired the web semantics talent of search engine start-up Twine, which helps you “join groups based on what youÃre searching for and connect with people who are searching for the same things.”
How marketers can use Evri:
- Get a visual mock-up of all the latest news on one keyword – Evri is a bit like a newspaper that only talks about one subject – the keyword you give it. It incorporates videos, pictures, headlines, blog posts, twitter updates, and more into a mash-up that quickly gives you a snapshot of the subject you’re searching about.
- Get data on keywords over a 30-day period – for larger search terms like “Tiger Woods,” Evri let’s you browse through the keyword trend history for the past month.
- Put contextual results on your blog or website – Evri offers corporate and partner services to bring more functionality to your website and provide users more content value.
Check out Evri at http://evri.com
Have you heard of any other good search engines out there? As marketers, what other search engine tools do you want to see in the future?
Monica O’Brien is the author of Social Pollination: Escape the Hype of Social Media and Join the Companies Winning At It. She also serves as the Director of Digital at Fizz, a word of mouth marketing agency. You can also read Monica’s blog, Social Pollination.
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