Social Search

Thomas Hawk has a post up on Seeking Alpha about Yahoo! and social search.

To digress, I had no idea that Thomas posts at Seeking Alpha, a blog for wall street. That’s cool. And it shows that blogs are bridging worlds like stocks and investing and photography and digital media that have not been bridgeable (is that a word?) in the past.

Back to social search. Thomas says in his post:

The problem is though that Yahoo! has not done a very good job
integrating their various social network properties into the bigger
picture. Still today, almost two years after Yahoo! bought Flickr you
don’t have Flickr photos indexed into Yahoo image search.

I beg to differ Thomas. The problem is that Yahoo! has a killer social search service inside of its company and has been keeping it under wraps for reasons unbeknownst to me.

If you didn’t click on that link, then I’ll tell you. Its delicious search and had delicious stayed independent, I would have urged them to launch a niche search engine on the backside of delicious. Call it socialsearch.com, call it askus.com, call it oursearch.com, it doesn’t matter.

A URL, a search field, and an index that is created every day by people who find important stuff on the web that they want to remember and manually enter the keywords (tags) that they would use to remember it. That is social search. And it’s been available for well over a year, hidden at http://del.icio.us/search.

Let’s say you want to learn about slingbox. Here are three result pages.

Delicious Search:

Delicious_slingbox

Yahoo Search:

Yahoo_slingbox

Google Search:

Google_slingbox

Delicious search returns more links above the fold, it shows you the Slingbox community service (this is social search after all), and a couple reviews, and a competitor called Orb. The two problems I see with Delicious search is it has duplicates which need to be removed and it is too slow. Search needs to be fast.

Google and Yahoo! get you to Slingmedia (the company) and Slingbox (the product) and that’s about it above the fold.

Yahoo! should launch a social search engine. It should be nothing more than a search field. It should look like Google did at the begining. And it should use Delicious search results as the starting point. And then take it from there.