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A9 update
Amazon's search engine, A9, has new look and features

 11:17 am on Sep 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

The strange browns and yellows are gone. It's more Amazon like now - with white and blue.

The emphasis on personalisation is much heavier than before.

I think this is a new update. I'm wearing my flame proof suit in case I'm wrong - I only noticed when my A9 toolbar seemed to change. My A9 notes, stored on a web page by web page bias and in the toolbar, also seem to have gone!

The search still uses Google, as far as I can see, but image results are thrown in at the expense of... oddly, the old book matches!

In Opera the "bookmarks" label on the button is larger than than the button itself, causing the S to run off the side.


The new site, which builds on a beta test version that began earlier this year, helps users discover information from several different sources, makes it easy to manage and organize their search results, and remembers what they have done in the past.

A9.com offers users search results from five powerful information sources, which are presented through convenient selectable and adjustable columns: Web and image search provided by Google, book text of more than 100,000 titles from Amazon.comís Search Inside The Bookô, movie information from the Internet Movie Database, and reference information (encyclopedia, dictionary, etc.) through GuruNet.com. Additionally, A9.com is a search engine with a memory as it returns results from the userís information, so with every search, users will see results from their own history, bookmarks, and diary.

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 2:39 pm (utc) on Sep. 15, 2004]
[edit reason] added link to ans snippet of press release. [/edit]



 7:00 pm on Sep 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

also taps into the click streams (and I'm assuming, search histories) of other users.


That would be interesting, "People looking for 'keyword keyword' were also interested in 'redwidgets.com' and 'bluewidgets.com'" Just like Amazon now builds product recommendations.

(And since an A9 user will see their last search the next time they visit A9, they could even do some kind of ratings. a la "When you searched for 'widget' and visited 'greenwidget.com' was it the site you wanted?")


 9:02 pm on Sep 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

There are few companies on the web that know as much about its customers as Amazon does, which makes ALL of the possibilities for this very intriguing as it learns more about what its customers search for, too.


 10:36 pm on Sep 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

There are few companies on the web that know as much about its customers as Amazon does, which makes ALL of the possibilities for this very intriguing as it learns more about what its customers search for, too.

Another thing Amazon has going for them is that people really trust them to safeguard their information.


 10:58 pm on Sep 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Whether A9 becomes a major destination site in its own right isn't really the point. The point is that we now have real living personalisation and personally I think it rocks


 12:28 am on Sep 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Absolutely. And I don't know about you all here- but I do value the feedback on products available via Amazon (and some reviews such as Epinions). Some reviews (and reviewers) are more valuable than others.

Thus, it's not going to be "enough" (e.g. conversions) simply to make 1st-page listings. There's potentially a larger ballgame now with review feedback, click tracking, and a "new" way of learning "authority"/consensus. Old Google way: track links. New A9 way: track clicks, history, and reviews.

This should please the content-is-king folk. Though, I'm sure the spammers won't be far behind. I enjoy the evolution of search!


 5:21 pm on Sep 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

I must say, a9 is pretty sweet. I think google needs to consider learning from a9. it's quite a powerful search engine.

I didn't know you can do drag and drop in a web browser!


 9:04 am on Sep 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

> It'll be interesting to see if Google considers these as improvements and adopts them at Google.com, or if they choose to stick with the tried-and-true vanilla approach that has been so successful to date.

I guess amazon already has started to patent some of A9's features, like "Store search history in database" or "Show relevant images on every search".



 9:09 am on Sep 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

> Saving all my past searches? Reminding which sites I clicked on? Thank you.

IMO all my past searches are a little bit too much. I don't think it serves me the searcher that much good.

What could be really useful is a short term memory of my searches (say about 24h or so) and using that data to refine my searches.

After about 3 searches/refinements it gets very clear what the searcher really wants.


 4:51 pm on Sep 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

How do you drag-and-drop into A9? Would it be a file that you have on your computer and you can drag it into the search box?

I'm confused, please help!

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