Yahoo, once the leader in the search business, decided to give up the development of search technology a few years ago and partner with Microsoft instead. The deal has not delivered the results Yahoo had hoped for. Without its own search technology, Yahoo’s options are limited. A report indicated that Yahoo may consider working with Google but that’s unlikely due to the potential monopoly concerns.
While Yahoo struggles to find a new strategy for its search business, a couple of startups are launching innovative technologies that will change how we search for information online. Bloomberg BusinessWeek recently reported on Zeebox and its app that “scans TV closed-captioning services for words related to a program and searches the Internet for related material.” As consumer’s online behavior is shifting from searching for things they already have in mind to exploring new things that are relevant but new to them, discovery tools like this will add values to existing search engines.
Consumers and companies now embrace content creation, Over 4 billion hours of videos are watched each month on YouTube. Although the search engines are doing a great job crawling and analyzing articles, they are behind in providing an easier way for users to find the video or audio contents they are looking for. Crawling the titles and descriptions limits the quality of the search results, especially for long-form contents. Veezio, a French startup, has technologies that can read text in the video, automatically generate keywords and tags as well as extract context, people and places mentioned in the content. Because it can help index videos down to the second, users can find the exact moment they are looking for instead of having to watch the entire program. Because it feeds the extracted text or expanded meta-tag to Google, it means that your videos or podcasts could have a better chance of been indexed or been found in the search results. French media companies are already jumping on the bandwagon and taking advantage of Veezio’s technologies.
It has been too long that we see a break-through in the search business. Veezio may be a great example of what is to come.