A group of US entrepreneurs has launched iRazoo this week, a search engine which uses recommendations from searchers to improve results and rewards them with points.
The founders of iRazoo believe that their idea can improve on the quality of results returned by the major search engines.
Though it enlists the help of people to improve its results, this is not the same concept as Mahalo, the ‘human-powered’ search engine launched by Jason Calacanis.
While Calacanis pays a team of editors to hand-craft search results for its users, iRazoo’s approach is to ask users whether or not they recommend a website while searching.
When you click on a search result it is displayed in a new window, which some internet users may find annoying. A bar is displayed at the top of the new window, asking whether you recommend the website in question, and also allowing you to leave a comment.
Users who login can earn points for each recommendation, to a total of 50 per day. Users can buy prizes with the points they earn, including digital cameras and iPods, though at 58,000 points it will take users a couple of years to get their hands on one.
It will be interesting to see how iRazoo will prevent users from manipulating the search results – I have already managed to get E-consultancy to the top of the page for ‘internet marketing news’ by recommending it.
It’s not a bad attempt, and the results for the search terms I tried were fairly accurate, and idea of having users recommend results will be very helpful if iRazoo can regulate users to prevent too much gaming of the site.
On the other hand, the toolbar and opening of a new page for each click on a search result may be enough to put off many users.