When I searched on "Advil" today, the results were better, but still not what you find on a Web page managed by real people. For example, the Images section of the page showed four nearly identical pictures of an Advil box, while the forum section seemed populated with a few bogus questions. In other words, there's a certain amount of noise that makes it onto the automatically generated "home pages."
Kosmix' portal pages for health, autos, and travel serve as launching points for refined searches in each of those areas. The benefit of that approach is that Kosmix can optimize each portal for a broad subject area and, from a business point of view, bring in related advertising. According to Kosmix, Righthealth.com draws 3.9 million unique visitors a month and Rightautos.com, 2 million unique visitors.
From the search bar on Kosmix's home page, a user can run a query on virtually any topic, including IT-related subjects. I searched on "virtual machines," "network access control," and "artificial intelligence," each of which generated a page of results organized in similar fashion. As before, there's a mix of relevant results and off-topic content.
Investors see promise in Kosmix' technology. DAG Ventures, a new investor, led the $10 million round, with additional funding coming from existing investors Accel and Lightspeed. Kosmix will spend the money on people, technology, and distribution, co-founder Venky Harinarayan said in a statement.
Kosmix' algorithms comb the Web, then aggregate and categorize content in Web page format. Wikipedia, Yahoo Answers, and YouTube are among its sources. It's a different kind of search engine, and not always better than Google or other alternatives. But if you're looking for a home page for, say, "asphalt," this is one place to go.