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A Focused Way To Search Discussions

Israel-based startup Omgili has developed a specialized search engine that strives to helps users research topics based on Web discussions and other forms of user-generated content.
Israel-based startup Omgili has developed a specialized search engine that strives to helps users research topics based on Web discussions and other forms of user-generated content.The four-person company maintains that because of its highly focused crawler, it can do a better job than Google of identifying this content, helping companies find out what those on the Web are saying about them, and helping consumers and business conduct research efficiently. Omgili was recently named Search Engine of the Month by AltSearchEngine.

Here's the company's strategy and positioning straight from the horse's mouth, in the form of a podcast interview with Omgili CEO Ran Geva by Read Write Talk's Sean Ammirati.

Given this company's early stage in development (it recently received its first round of venture financing), it shouldn't be too surprising that its search results are a work in progress. I tested one of its prepopulated and home page-promoted searches, on "Best Digital Camera" and got links to lots of sites I'd never heard of, including Wet Canvas and Knitters Review.

Then I attempted what I thought was an equivalent search at Google, for "best digital camera discussions." Today, Google has superior results, pointing to Cnet and Digital Photography Review, as two major examples of sites with vast amounts of comments and discussion.

I asked Ran Geva about this discrepancy and whether his crawlers are capable of searching only forums that are submitted directly to Omgili. His e-mail reply:


We try to crawl as many discussion-based resources as possible. We add them to our indexes from user submissions and by an automatic system that finds new sites. We try to cover a growing range of resources from boards/forums to news-groups/mailing lists, review sites and QnA sites... Sometimes our crawlers need better guides when they encounter a proprietary forum software that they weren't able to analyze properly. This is the case with the boards you mentioned. Believe it or not -- these boards are on our list and will be added soon :)

If Omgili can build out its index and cover the range of sites it needs to, it could have a very compelling value proposition, both for consumers looking to make a purchase or solve a problem, and for businesses that are looking to gain insight into the Web buzz about their products.

If you've had any experience with Omgili, please share your insights.