22/11/2010

By Chris Marsh, Web Developer, Epiphany Solutions Ltd

We are all used to Google's ubiquity as a search engine, and the reason for its success lies in its ability to return the most relevant webpages for your search. Without this fundamental ability, Google would never have gained the market share it has.

A new search engine, Evri, whilst still giving search results, is not a direct competitor to Google. It is building a semantic web search, where a search for a person, place or organisation will return not just web pages that mention the search term, but a list of relevant blog posts, news articles, tweets and photos.

It's a different concept of searching, but it doesn't work for everything. If you're looking for information about a product, brand, person or company it's great, but if your search is less specific Google still does the trick.

So, does it work? Well, yes and no. Type in 'Barack Obama' and you get a drop down of choices, with 'Barack Obama - Country Leader' at the top. Clicking the result loads an excellent page of up-to-date news articles and tweets about Obama and the recent Midterm Election results.

Searching for a keyword (for instance 'tourist attractions leeds') and the results are still good. However, they don't have the advantage of Google's places results, and Evri will struggle to match Google's reputation as the best search engine.

But as a resource Evri is extremely valuable: it allows you to set up channels, a group of items to show in a single timeline; it allows you to follow these channels as an RSS feed; and it makes connections between news articles and blog posts in a sensible way that allows you to read more around your chosen topic than a single Google enquiry might.

Evri is currently not supported by paid ads, but I wouldn't be surprised, if its popularity grows, to see Google-style PPC ads appear on your search results soon.


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