Fledgling Aussie search engine eyeing growth

Fledgling Aussie search engine eyeing growth

Summary: With a January total of 270,000 unique visitors for its two search engines MySearch and Ansearch, Australian search engine company Ansearch is on track for its official launch before the end of March.The company needs to meet an initial target of 500,000 unique visitors within the next two months until official launch, in order to remain compliant with the terms of its September 2004 deal acquisition by technology holding company Optum.

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TOPICS: Google, Browser
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With a January total of 270,000 unique visitors for its two search engines MySearch and Ansearch, Australian search engine company Ansearch is on track for its official launch before the end of March.

The company needs to meet an initial target of 500,000 unique visitors within the next two months until official launch, in order to remain compliant with the terms of its September 2004 deal acquisition by technology holding company Optum. Optum said in September that the search engine is "ideally positioned to compete against Sensis, Google and Yahoo for a stake in the Australian search directories market", a market that, according to the Audit Bureau of Verification Services, is worth AU$300 million per year.

Ansearch chief executive officer Dean Jones attributes the growth of the company (the January unique visitor total is 45% bigger than that of December) to simply giving Australian web users what they want.

Speaking with ZDNet Australia  yesterday afternoon, Jones posited that "a lot of people use Google because it's the only one [search engine] that they know", but that "they've never been particularly happy with the results". Furthermore, Jones said, he has seen data from research company Standard & Poor to the effect that 60 percent of search engine users would go elsewhere if they could.

In this context, according to Jones, his company's initial success has been based upon the fact that users are looking for alternatives to the large search engines. Additionally, Jones is seeing greater general acceptance of search engines in a market that -seems ready to embrace new competition".

Jones said he and his co-founder Damian London built Ansearch and its sister MySearch on the premise that the top search result should be the one that will actually answer a user's query. To implement this theory, Ansearch and MySearch utilise search technology different from the mainstream. Google allocates bigger sites with more links a greater ranking, said Jones, Sensis allocates ranking based on who's advertising in its Yellow and White Pages publications, and Yahoo ranks based on meta search words that can be optimised. However, Ansearch utilises user input to create search queries based on "artificial intelligence".

What this means is that Ansearch will actually monitor whether a user clicks on the second, fifth or eighth entry from the results returned by a search query, and then mark that entry more relevant to the search words used, helping to make future searches more relevant.

Additionally, Ansearch utilises a 'smaller footprint' of searchable data, which Jones claims includes the most relevant sites that users are always searching for. In comparison, Google uses a much larger footprint that -has clutter", according to Jones.

Ansearch marketing manager Louisa Williams, who also spoke to ZDNet Australia , said that the company was mainly interested, at least initially, in providing a search engine that would generate the best results for Australians. "We're mainly interested in Australia, we prefer to focus on Australians and make it the core competency. It seems to me that Google is tailored to the US and the UK, and my experience has been that getting customer service from Yahoo or Google is impossible here," said Williams.

Williams said that Ansearch has been in alpha launch since November, but will look to formally launch by the end of March 2005. At this stage the search engine will begin to accept advertisers as a revenue source, although the exact nature of the advertising is not clear at this point. It will, however, be text-focused in nature and similar to competitors' offerings, according to Williams.

Topics: Google, Browser

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6 comments
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  • Australian search engine, yet hosted offshore? Way to go to support the aussies who you want to support you.
    anonymous
  • Well you could do a follow up item in the growth of the new Kiwi search engine www.linknz.co.nz which has already gone from a fresh index (august 2004) to that of now having indexed around 130,000 Kiwi web sites, an on line search of six million Kiwi web pages indexed from the Kiwi web sites.
    Possibly the fastest thing out of NZ since Jonah Lumu!
    Self indexing, Linknzbot web spider no adverts.
    anonymous
  • Well the www.linknz.co.nz Kiwi based search engine has now indexed around 138,000 Kiwi and Australian websites, it's search area now has just over nine million web pages that have all been indexed by it's own web spider the (Linknzbot) and Linknz Ltd the company that owns the Linknz Search engine, is seeking Australian web sites that want to allow Kiwi's to find them.
    Presently getting around 400,000 unique visitors a week and it should boost tourism numbers as more data and web sites come on line.
    Visitors from upwards of fifteen countries are using the search engine to find tourism infromation and Links.
    Tourism opperators who have websites should get in contact because indexing is free into the fastest growing search engine available.
    You don't have to "Suggest a website!" all you need to do is enter your domain name and the automated web spider does the rest.
    anonymous
  • Ansearch – Canny Business or Confidence Trick?

    How can any legitimate business justify its purchase of literally hundreds of .com.au domains to capture accidental traffic and drive it to their website and then p**** that traffic off as an enormous success and proof of the popularity and the superiority of the features of their new search engine.

    It appears that Australian newcomer to the Search Engine scene, Ansearch, is doing exactly that.

    The domain names in question are mostly minor variations and misspellings of Australian government departments, organisations and well-known Australian and overseas business names and celebrities etc with a good sprinkling of generic words thrown in as well. They have been set up to route the accidental traffic from those mistyped and wrongly typed web addresses to their own web site (ansearch.com.au) with, in most cases, a 302 redirect. (on a side note – all of these domains are being indexed by Google because of the way they currently handle 302 cases – more clutter and deceptive redirects in the search engines!)

    With traffic deadlines to meet before launching into some serious revenue earning predictions and financial backing it is perhaps easy to see why they have opted to use a technique that is more commonly employed in the realm of pornography marketing. But is it appropriate for a publicly listed Australian company to behave in such a dangerously underhanded manner?

    With glowing reports about their traffic growth and statistics to prove it are the shareholders aware of Ansearch’s very un-Australian behaviour?

    A bit of noise is now being created around the search engine forums by web marketers that are concerned about the affect of Ansearch’s activities – not only for the exploitation of search and the Internet in general but also the exploitation of business names and trade names. There appears to be a serious flaw in the AUDA’s policies that has allowed this to occur.

    All Australian businesses and trademark holders should check to see if they have become a victim of this insidious form of identity theft.
    anonymous
  • It's now the largest New Zealand based search engine.

    The last few days has seen the Kiwi search engine www.linknz.co.nz really start to turn on the heat, it's index now contains thirty Million Kiwi webpages and it has opened it's search engine teritory to include that of Australia as well because it's webspider the linknzbot has been seen and reported in heaps of Australian log & Stats files.
    To continue to grow they are now offering free indexing for websites.
    anonymous
  • Update on Linknz search engine.

    Well as of today www.linknz.co.nz has now indexed more than one hundred and forty million webpages from Kiwi and Aussie websites, it has also opened a web directory located at www.linkoz.co.nz which is listing websites from around the world.
    Any site added to the web directory gets indexed into the main search engine within two days.
    Linkoz.co.nz looks like it will end up as being replaced by a new beta search engine being developed that will index only Australian websites and already it is indexing with it's new webspider to get an index worth searching when it is launched.
    anonymous