As a well known columnist and an active blogger, I get press releases from PR companies every day saying the same old thing. I almost never respond: but this one caught my eye: the subject line of the email that got through Gmail filters:”New search engine opting for quality over quantity”I had to click:”NowRelevant.com Launches WebsiteAs Faster, More Robust Search Engine Alternative to GoogleProvides Only the Latest Information on Search Terms, Minimizing BrowsingTime and Providing the Most-Pertinent Information to Users and Advertisers AlikeMiddleton, MA ‘” NowRelevant.com has formally launched the full, free version ofits search engine following a nearly three-month beta test….”Ok I bit: and I just got through interviewing the CEO and founder, Curt Dalton: and it was interesting enough to write about:It started out as a program to predict trends, 8 years ago: it was called (and it is still there) http://theinternettimemachine.comThe idea was to predict trends; to see where things are going, rather than where they have been: you see a lot of media and the search engines in particular are driven by pack mentality:
- Everyone looks at what words everyone else is targeting
- They all compete and bid up the cost of the words
- All the profits stays with the search engine
The only way to make real money is to find the words that people are searching for before there is a supply of content to address the search, and then produce that content. Being a visionary myself, I must compliment Curt, his team, and his investors for seeing this all coming 8 years ago! They definably saw the future, and they have made an effort to build a time machine that allows the rest of us to predict it.As I am sure you can imagine, that has been a big project, and midstream they decided to launch a full search engine based on the premise of only recent relevant stuff.Unfortunately, the concept is much better than the reality. The company is in beta and only gets 1500 searches per day – and I cannot tell you that I was impressed with the search results for topics I tried – this is always a chicken or egg situation, and they wil not be competing with Google any time soon; but I like the concept of more relevant results with less pre-paid corporate spam;The original prediction machine is interesting: you can try it out here:http://theinternettimemachine.comusername: test10 password: test 10The concept of being able to only search recent results has value, but I am sure that Google will be able to provide this whenever they wake up: however, I do believe that http://www.nowrelevant.com could succeed if they would do one thing differently: they need to abandon the PPC revenue model: it is terrible for the advertisers.They would be much better off using a compensation plan based on the actual participation of the content producers, where the advertisers pay the content producers to create content that feeds traffic to them. A working example of that is live here (a compensation system based on merit: called a Meritocracy):
In the meritocracy model, we compensate collaborators on a project, and we divide revenues from that project based on participation. Everything they do pays in a currency we invented called NODS (natural overtures of distinction)
In my opinion, this new age approach to search will not succeed on any scale, until, unless they abandon the old revenue model – which is based on PPC (pay per click) and an affiliate program – and they need to embrace a system that rewards content production (like ActiveRain.com), to create better content, and therefore better search results. AR is younger, and much more succesful, because of teh points for participation, in my opinion.
(In other words: it is about the content, stupid! related article here)
Your thoughts? I would love to see trends in unsaturated coming trends, wouldn’t you?!