Second Wikia Search version gets backing from former critics

Wales says Wikia Search's human element is his way of taking on the computerized search algorithms used by other Web crawlers

A slew of search companies have been formed over the years to be a "Google killer," no matter how they described themselves. But many of the start-up companies barely caused a ripple in the technology blogosphere.

However, when Jimmy Wales, the force behind Wikipedia, began talking about bringing to search the same concept that made his user-powered online encyclopedia successful the tech blogosphere took notice. A healthy online hype cycle built up around the project, called Wikia Search. The hype cycle, however, crashed just as quickly as it peaked when an alpha release of Wikia Search was released January and quickly panned by several top bloggers.

The project and Wales faced the online equivalent of a wallop, as critics ripped it for its poor search results and the lack of the human search element that Wales had been plugging. Wales had said the human element was his way of taking on the computerized search algorithms used by other Web crawlers. Prominent TechCrunch blogger Michael Arrington called the initial release " one of the biggest disappointments I've had the displeasure of reviewing."

This week, Wikia Search launched many new features - including the ability for users to edit results, add new results, delete results and rate results - to mostly positive reviews from technology bloggers. Since the alpha release, 20,000 registered users have made nearly 60,000 edits to search results and written almost 25,000 mini articles to be added to Wikia Search, the company said.

TechCrunch, a blog site that harshly criticized the initial version of Wikia Search, now says the search engine is "finally ready to play with." "Wales is relying on the community that grows up around Wikia Search to ban anyone trying to game the system," TechCrunch's Erick Schonfeld noted. "He is also relying on it to create the best search results."

Brad Linder, a blogger at DownLoad Squad, added that the new features may mean the site, which he initially called "disappointing," is now worth using. "Up until this week, Wikia Search was basically just like any other search engine," he said. "A computer scanned the Web for pages and decided which were the closest match to your search query. The only thing setting Wikia Search apart was the ability to create user profiles."

The new editing tools have the potential to help improve search results, he added.

"Wikia Search has a computer-created index of about 30 million sites," Linder noted. "But you can edit any page. You can also add comments, annotations, or 'spotlights,' which highlight the entire entry so that it looks a bit like a sponsored result you would get from Google. You never have to hit a 'next page' button. Just scroll to the bottom of your search results and Wikia Search will find a few more and lengthen your page. Since the search engine is not advertising-funded, there's no incentive to get you to click on additional pages.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Heather Havenstein

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

PC World Evaluation Team Review - MSI GT75 TITAN

"I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it."

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?