Walt Mossberg reviewed Ziggs in one of his recent Personal Technology columns in the Wall Street Journal, together with Indeed, a comprehensive jobs search engine. What’s exciting about Walt’s column on Ziggs and Indeed is that with this article Walt officially puts the concept of “vertical search” on the journalistic map.
The idea that the big horizontal search engines - obviously Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL and more - don’t always meet a searcher’s needs is an important concept for the search industry and the consumer marketplace. As people become aware that there a multiple search engine options for tailoring their searches, they become empowered and more informed. Ziggs is glad to see Walt introduce this viewpoint to his loyal readership, using Ziggs and Indeed as good examples of vertical search engines.
Walt begins by saying, “The big search engines like Google and Yahoo dominate the business of navigating the Internet. Millions of people start every Web session by typing a search term into these sites. But coming up with search results tailored to your needs isn't so easy. Because these major search engines index a huge swath of the Web, and are designed to find almost anything, they are necessarily general in nature. In most cases, you'll get lots of irrelevant results. So more and more companies see a market for what is called vertical search. These are search engines designed to help pluck only specific types of information from the Internet. They index only those sites likely to have that specific kind of information, and they use search queries tailored to their specialties. I've been testing two of the newest vertical search sites, both designed around people and work.”
Walt goes on to review Ziggs, stating that Ziggs “helps you find people with particular skills or other characteristics for hiring or networking purposes. For instance, it might help you find a lawyer in Washington specializing in international trade, or an alumnus of Brandeis University who lives in Delaware.” He goes on to say, “If you aren't listed somewhere on the Web, Ziggs allows you to create a detailed profile that will pop up whenever anyone searches for your name, or for other characteristics that match your profile. You can even include a photo, a favorite quotation and a canned ‘interview’ based on questions Ziggs supplies.”
“Ziggs is free for searchers. There will be a $25 annual fee to be listed in Ziggs, though it's free for the first year.” A point of clarification is needed here. As of March 20th, 2005, Ziggs is absolutely free for both searchers and professionals who want to list a profile in Ziggs. There is no charge for existing or new listings in Ziggs.
Walt offers criticisms of Ziggs as well. He indicates that our services seem to focus on helping people promote themselves, rather than providing comprehensive information. And that in fact is one of the primary goals of Ziggs. There are already numerous search engines that provide comprehensive information. In fact a search at Google for the name Mark Smith yields 29 million+ results by that name. Now that’s comprehensive – but it doesn’t deliver the searcher the Mark Smith they’re searching for. That’s where Ziggs steps in. As a dedicated people search engine, Ziggs enables the searcher to conduct a search that yields a list of Mark Smiths that can be instantly sorted by state, city or company, enabling the searcher to quickly pinpoint the right Mark Smith.
Walt goes on to note that Ziggs’ search results provide “neutral or flattering bios,” rather than info that “might warn you way from a person.” This is also an important distinguishing point about Ziggs. We believe that the most current, up-to-date information about an individual (for example, a corporate bio) satisfies 95% of people search needs. This should include contact information, background information and maybe even a photo. By delivering an up-to-date bio of current information in search results, Ziggs believes we best serve both the needs of the searcher and the person being searched for. This also ensures that the privacy of the people being searched for is also protected at all times.
Walt concludes his article with the finding that “both Ziggs and Indeed provide interesting, focused information that would be hard to find as quickly or precisely on Google or Yahoo.” Try Ziggs for yourself. We hope you agree!
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