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Alternative Search Engines Forum

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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]



 11:27 am on Sep 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Oh wow. The List feature on the toolbar is very impressive.

Use A9 to search - and it saves a list of your search results in the toolbar. Then you can page through the actual web pages by pressing left or right buttons on the toolbar. It's much better than jumping back and forth between results and sites or opening every result site in a new window.

Lord Majestic

 1:13 pm on Sep 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

They say on their site that they are "Google" enchanced, is that another way to say they just metasearch Google and got some bells and whistles on top?

IMO if quality of search there is no different than Google, then I see little reason to use them.


 2:47 pm on Sep 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

The nav bar buttons on the right side of the page don't look very good in Opera.

I agree - if they are powered by Google, what makes me want to use them over everyone else?


 3:10 pm on Sep 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well, combining the image search with the results seems like a great idea - at least for travel destination searches - enough to motivate me to unblock google image bot from one of my websites.


 3:41 pm on Sep 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I see my main terms we target showing the same positions on this search enignes as Google, exactly.

I wish someone could use some smarts and try to create something new.



 4:03 pm on Sep 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think A9's more than a dark horse. Amazon have the power to really push their engine. At the minute, sure, it's Google so SEO for Google and SEM for Google. That'll cover you with A9.

If Amazon.com and co start to push A9 then you'll find more and more punters on A9. If Amazon start accepting their own PPC for A9 then, I think, in a single leap, it's above Espotting/FindWhat and into third place.

If A9 build and use their own index then 2006/2007 will be MSN/Amazon/Yahoo/Google.

Look how easy A9 is to use. Just the quick URL feature alone makes the point of entry for it easier than most. I think it's missing the point to say, "Meh, it's just Google". It Google while Google works for it; while it brand builds, tests the waters and attracts users (users who'll like the Google smarts and the A9 interface).


 4:13 pm on Sep 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I use it for the Alexa results. No need to have the Alexa toolbar installed.


 5:51 pm on Sep 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Still using those old ODP site descriptions


 6:06 pm on Sep 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Wail - don't be alarmed by the naysayers. This is big and good stuff. Google on steroids. The feature list is terrific. Saving all my past searches? Reminding which sites I clicked on? Thank you.

We had this same discussion back in April [webmasterworld.com] when A9 first went into public beta. I wrote about some of the implications in Msg. #9 in that thread, but that also led to a bunch of "who cares?" Guess people still aren't getting it, but I think they will at some point.

Lord Majestic

 6:54 pm on Sep 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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

Yeah great, if it catches up then Google itself will replicate it and most likely gets it better. The point is that A9 appears to serve same stuff but differently, if they were Dell reselling exactly the same notebooks (laptops) made in Taiwan then you'd go for brand name and support, but what is A9 brand wise comparing to Google?

IMO they chosen the easy way - get meta seaching and stuff something shiny, yet useful on top. I will give it up for a search engine with better quality searches over bigger url space.


 7:12 pm on Sep 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

A9.com uses your Amazon.com account to identify you and shares information with Amazon.com...

Privacy advocates and big brother conspiracy theorists rejoice! They offer a cookie-disabled version at [generic.a9.com...]

The only apparent loss is the bookmarks, diary, and "this search brought to you by the color blue."

Hmm, took me five minutes to figure out that you have to drag the search result to the "bookmark" button not the "bookmark" column. Other than that, the usability of this thing is refreshing. Of course, it probably helps I have a wide monitor. Could a 15-inch monitor even show two columns?


 8:15 pm on Sep 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think other search engines are going to wake up on this in a hurry.

This is the best new feature in a search engine since Teoma's search refinement suggestions.


 10:51 pm on Sep 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

This is the best new feature in a search engine since Teoma's search refinement suggestions.

It's interesting to watch all these sites that improve on Google with features like this. You've got the ones that add thumbnail images to your Google results, you've got ones adding the PR bar to your Google results, A9 adding search history to your Google searches.

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.


 10:56 pm on Sep 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hmm. Looks like the adult filter isn't working too well for the image search - that might cause grief when searching for innocent terms with double meanings that aren't as innocent.


 1:12 am on Sep 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's the same adult filter used at the Google image search: [a9.com...]

There are definitely mistakes made in moderate filtering. They really ought to add the status indicator for what level Safesearch is set to in the images column. (Like Google does on the top of every image search page.)

/or relabel the site as A9NSFW.com ;)


 1:29 am on Sep 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

> There are definitely mistakes made in moderate filtering.

Well - adult content filtering is broken - if you go to advanced and choose the radio button, it selects both - and produces the same results.

If someone searches for "huge $porn-widgets", that's fine, as far as I am concerned.

But I am mostly referring to about relatively innocent phrases related to ethinicity and sexual persuasion.

There are images that just shouldn't be there.


 5:40 am on Sep 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

New look, new features, and a new viral marketing campaign. If you log in and use A9 then visit amazon.com, there's a new amazon logo with a link to this:

(You may need to be logged in to amazon for the link to work.)

since you've been using A9.com recently, virtually everything at Amazon.com is automatically an additional pi/2% (1.57%) off for you...

The search engines are making a significant amount of money every time someone clicks on one of those ads. With our automatic pi/2% discount, we are effectively sharing with you some of the money we collect from sponsored links, i.e. sharing the pi.


 9:55 am on Sep 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Wow thats smart - not only have Google got a fantastic partner to store and develop details for personalised searching, but Amazon have managed to produce the strongest reason for switching Search Engines - we'll pay you!


 11:52 am on Sep 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Use your Amazon login at A9, use the search function, then login to Amazon. You'll receive an automatic 1.57% discount.

<added> oops, I see whoisgregg already posted on this. </added>


 12:07 pm on Sep 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

A9.com Instant Rewards are not for use on Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.co.jp, Amazon.ca, Amazon.fr, or any Web site other than www.amazon.com.

Amazon share some love to us uk'ers!


 3:29 pm on Sep 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

For my results, A9 looks like the same results as alexa, which is the same feed from Google, but only a few days old.

In other words, A9 is just stale Google results, with a few add ons.


 4:04 pm on Sep 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've got A9 as my homepage, tired of looking at the Google logo and I like the image results on the right.


 10:05 pm on Sep 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I just love it!

Allmost all my sites rank #1 for my more important key-words. (That is, the ones I have worked so hard for with Google in mind.)


 11:20 pm on Sep 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Opera javascript error when you click "full" for Web Results.

They obviously didn't care about making it 100% usable for Opera browsers.


 12:50 am on Sep 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

There's a decent Business 2.0 article [business2.com] that describes what is its most compelling feature for me:
"By tracking not only what searches you do but also what sites you visit, A9 builds a real-time profile of your interests and past Web use. It then folds that profile into both your search results and the search interface itself, making for what can become, with regular use, an entirely new approach to searching." which also taps into the click streams (and I'm assuming, search histories) of other users.

It will be fascinating to see how the folks here at WebmasterWorld decide to optimize for A9 (if it takes off- and it has a great chance of taking off via word-of-mouth the way Google originally did).


 2:08 am on Sep 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

This was my first time ever using A9 and for some reason Japanese-only was selected for my search language. A slightly freaky experience, and, if it's a common one, it will put a lot of people off.


 5:20 pm on Sep 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Presumably they're having to pay Google to pull the results off google's site?

I can't see what the fuss is all about, it's a clever idea but incredibly easy to replicate (from a programming perspective) and I can see Google, Yahoo etc modifying their site to offer the exact same feature.


 5:23 pm on Sep 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

The hubbub is that this is the first-ever large scale integration of search with behavioral targeting. When all the major SE's follow suit it'll only be a matter of time before advertisers can target not only by keyword, but also by

-stage in buying cycle
-previous searches
-past purchases

That will help unlock a huge amount of additional, latent buying intent in search and raise the fortune for smart ppc advertisers and the SE's they buy on.


 5:36 pm on Sep 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

All my searches match Google identically, the only difference being it was much slower - didn't really see it as a step forward.

This 39 message thread spans 2 pages: 39 ( [1] 2 > >
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