Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

Search engines are evolving very rapidly these days, and Google is certainly leading the race. But look closely at what Google has recently announced. The recent “Universal Search” initiative is very interesting in what it tells us about what Google is having a hard time doing, namely, having users take advantage of the many specialty search engines and services that they have to offer (image search, video search, book search, google scholar, etc.).

In more ways than one, what Google is trying to do is to introduce some form of serendipity between their specialty searches, so that people looking for something on the Web discover, for instance, that there are videos or books about that topic. This is the clearest indication that the very “linear” user experience that Google has imposed as a de-facto standard for search is about to reach a hard limit.

But as Exalead users know, Search By Serendipity (R) has been at the very heart of Exalead’s technology since day one : between different vertical search engines through the little “Exa mascott” that suggests audio or video results in the Web search, and in the more unique way within each vertical Exalead search application using a tag cloud of concepts to navigate in the search results (of our Wikipedia search for instance). It’s a better way to search that Exalead has developed and invested significant resources in to evolve.

We certainly find this process of searching by serendipity the most natural user experience for search, and we are very flattered to see the market leader validate that vision.

On a similar track, we are very pleased to see that Exalead’s latest innovations (image search with face recognition) has also been introduced (although still in a hidden form) a few days ago by Google. Maybe they had to release this ahead of schedule? Who knows…