Life without Google: Can Clusty get traction?

Summary:Clusty is a meta search engine that gives you a result and then offers you to drill down based on clusters of content. The big question is whether you'll appreciate these clusters.

Clusty is a meta search engine that gives you a result and then offers you to drill down based on clusters of content. The big question is whether you'll appreciate these clusters.

The Clusty approach is particularly handy if y

ou're doing basic research and don't mind suggestions for more information (see gallery for details). Clusty also has a nice interface that allows you to navigate groups of content such as news, images and blogs.

In a life without Google, Clusty is a fine alternative, but relative to Ask, Live Search and other search engines I can't see using Clusty for everyday use.

Sure I can refine and tweak the sources, preferences and types of clusters in Clusty, but more often than not I want a quick answer so I can move on. Too often I found myself browsing instead of getting the goods right away. I'm just too impatient.

My experience with Clusty gets at a question asked on Read/WriteWeb by Alex Iskold in January. Iskold asked about what we really expect when you put words in a search box. Iskold described Clusty as a conversation, a search dialogue if you will.

But sometimes I just don't want a dialogue. For that reason, I'll use Clusty when I'm interested in discovery about a topic. Others may view Clusty the same way. In Iskold's review he noted that Clusty's traffic ranking was just above 5,000 in January. On Thursday, Clusty's traffic rank was 12,894. Iskold said in January that Clusty's traffic trend didn't look promising. He wasn't kidding. The Alexa chart below tells the tale.

clustraffic.png

However, Clusty's lab projects are interesting. Clusty has search sites tailored to William Shakespeare and Ben Franklin. There's another reason worth watching Clusty: The search engine is built by Vivisimo, an enterprise search company. It's quite possible that the technology in Clusty may make it to your company via Vivisimo.

Topics: Google

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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