Kosmix – Another newcomer competing (??) with Google…

Google is just a little over a decade old but has earned enormous name and success since its inception. Since then there have been many ‘rivals’ ‘threatening’ to displace Google from its ‘No. 1 web search engine’ tag.

I lost the track of the count – but remember a few names such as Kartoo (http://www.kartoo.com)
or India’s own (and much-hyped) Guruji, meaning Teacher in Hindi, (http://www.guruji.com/) etc.
– in addition to other BIG names such as Yahoo!, MSN, AskJeeves who also provide web search engines of their own.

But none of them have managed to create even a dent in Google’s popularity/ success. Reason? Simple…none of these could match Google’s PageRank algorithm – which returns the best possible search results.

Search engine experience is not about flashy user interface (like Kartoo). Also, just keeping itplain and simple like Google (as done by Guruji) doesn’t mean you would come up with the best search results. It’s about understanding the search expression and giving user what they are looking for.

So is Kosmix just another addition to this long list of ‘rivals’? Well, not entirely…at least if yougo by following article:

Just don’t compare Kosmix to Google

Kosmix is co-founded by a couple of Indians! But that is not what makes it interesting…

What I liked was – the founders have a clear goal, a clear strategy for their business. They have made it very clear that they are not directly competing with Google – and it is not form of escapism. 

As Harinarayan – one of its founders – has mentioned in the article:
“Search does what it does well, very well,” Harinarayan said. “I don’t think we can ever compete with that.” Kosmix, he said, is not about finding the best set of documents for a specific keyword or phrase. Instead, its goal is to “tell me more about something,” he said
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And this is evident from the Home page of Kosmix, as well as the search results. The home page has various categories/ labels where different types of News are put together under one panel – not much difference compared to other websites.

But difference is evident when you search for a particular term. I tried ‘Roger Federer’…(check for yourself too!)

Google returned 6,580,000 records – starting with News Results and then Roger’s Homepage.

Kosmix prompts us ‘Wait a sec…we are building your guide for Roger Federer’ …so they are not just treating ‘Roger Federer’ as a search expression…but as a ‘human’! 🙂

Then it shows a neat display of information about Roger – including images, news and blogs, videos etc.

I am not yet saying that the search results are better than Google…but definitely the Kosmix approach is different. It’s not an imitation of Google.

Kosmix is just an infant start-up and has got initial funding of $20 million. It remains to be seen if it can build up on this or loses on the way (or is taken over by some BIG FISH)


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