Life without Google: Can Clusty get traction?

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.

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TOPICS: Google
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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 you'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.

Topic: Google

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9 comments
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  • Thanks for reviewing it

    I realize they're not doing well, but I really do like their search platform. You're right, it's great for 'short tail' searches and discovery, which typically get the highest volume anyway. So it makes for an ideal place for a lot of people to start if you're doing broad keyword searches.

    I also like their privacy stance (one of the biggest, growing concerns people have about Google.)
    RustyShackleford
  • I thought the point was to do without Google

    Won't Clusty display google results too?
    wmlundine
    • I don't think it uses Google

      I could be wrong, but the last time I checked, I don't believe it used Google as one of its reference engines.
      RustyShackleford
  • Clusty - Vivisimo websearch technology

    I have used Vivisimo since it was "introduced to me" by a colleage in 2003 (I think) and I have no problem. Its categorized results does help a lot in narrowing the search and the open in new windows is a welcome feature.
    vhinzsanchez@...
  • Clustered searches

    I have used Vivisimo's Clusty for quite a while and I think it does a good job in categorising a huge heap of information. In fact, it does give you new ideas and directions you could continue your search. Apart from the rather silly name "clusty" I think it is a fine product
    viswanathan.suresh@...
  • Viva Google

    Do you know that there is world outside USA ? I'm in India, and also tried many searches. Google is Far ahead! it even searches on Hindi and other Indian language words! fast and accurate. No comparison to any other !
    Dadi
    shobhamma@...
    • Concur

      I have been using Google since 2000 it finds what I need better than any other.
      Suicida|
  • This isn't really new

    Clusty isn't the first engine to use this particular device to differentiate its search technology. Did anyone use Northern Lights search engine in the late 90's to early 2000? When I was doing research, I would use Northern Lights particularly because the folders made it easier to narrow my search fields. At that time, the search engine returned relatively good results. I don't feel that Clusty's results are useful, so I don't see myself using it with the same gusto I had for Northern Lights.

    Sometimes I miss the days of my twin titans, Northern Lights and Infoseek. Google is great, but the perfection of its search results is also its flaw. Google doesn't really lead me into odd corners of the internet the way the old school engines did.
    earnestp
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