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Asia and Pacific Region Forum

This 48 message thread spans 2 pages: 48 ( [1] 2 > >     
New Chinese Search Engine - Accoona
Update 2004/12/07 - Accoona now live.

 2:19 am on Jul 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

In this article [chinadaily.com.cn], China Daily Information Company and China Communications Corp have announced a partnership to develop a business search engine "utilizing a new and proprietary Artificial Intelligence Technology". China Communications Corp has filed a patent for the technology.

Although the reported database includes business worldwide, directly sourced rather than being spidered, it is unclear at this stage whether the engine will target purely Chinese Business or have a wider reach.




 4:00 am on Jul 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

Wow. That's a big find. It certainly sounds like it will be a significant engine if they can get it to work the way they say. I'm going to have to keep an eye on this one.

Acoona will launch in the US and China in December 2004.


Traditional Search Engines focus on direct keyword matches. This technology holds the vision of understanding what pages a user might want to view, without matching keywords. The Search Engine with Artificial Intelligence better understands the users question through the utilization of an algorithm that restates the question and alters the verbiage based on sophisticated word permutations.


 4:19 am on Jul 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

Here's an article on Yahoo [story.news.yahoo.com] that gives a bit more information.

Acoona will allow Internet users to search for businesses according to an array of criteria including name, physical address, telephone, fax, business description, industry category, Web address and geographic location. The site will be accessible in both English and Chinese, Kauder said.


 4:32 am on Jul 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

Interesting bill, from that article "It's the richest database of Chinese businesses on Earth" which would suggest they are indeed focusing on the Chinese market.

The biggest hurdle they will have to overcome is developing the search algos for the English Search in what, to the Chinese, would be a second language. For a pure keyword search the process would not be as difficult, although daunting. But to develope AI Searches in second languages ... phew, big job.



 4:47 am on Jul 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well, they're based in New Jersey, so they have the best of both worlds in terms of language (although I know several people who would debate whether the language spoken in Hoboken qualifies as English). There are some pretty big Chinese communities in the New York area so they probably have a lot of good bilingual talent to choose from.

Also from that article it says that they're partially owned by the State Information Council of China. That's going to give them a leg up on any venture they undertake. Talk about instant credibility in the China market. ;)


 3:09 pm on Jul 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Business Search Engine", eh? Business.com isn't going to like that, as Business.com at least attempts to hold out to the world that that is their registered trademark. (Dubious since it's a phrase of such general application and meaning, but stay tuned.)


 7:47 pm on Jul 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Probably a lot more companies are interested to work on search engines after the Google IPO news. :)


 5:45 pm on Dec 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Saw this story [msnbc.msn.com] about the new Chinese-government backed search engine.

The Chinese government, one of several large backers, has granted Accoona a 20-year exclusive partnership with the China Daily Information Co., the government agency that runs an official Chinese and English Web site.

The deal gives Accoona data on some 5 million Chinese companies, which Accoona sees as a lucrative opportunity as U.S. businesses seek to do business in China ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Hmm. The words "impartial," "quality results" and "variety" don't spring to mind.


 6:22 pm on Dec 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Accoona is pulling out some big names. Today, Bill Clinton announced the launch of Accoona in New York. A week ago Accoona announced they we're hiring the former CEO of Compaq. Unfortuantely the Accoona search engine doesn't look good. URL keyword spamming seems to do very well.


 6:37 pm on Dec 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Very interesting.

The artificial intelligence part is supposed to be better than Google and the rest.

We'll see!


It not even close on many searches. Keyword url's are ruling in my field.


Using Overture as sponsored results. Sponsored results are not clearly distinguished from the 'organic results'.

No cache, no link shows up in address bar at the bottom of the screen when doing mouseover.

No organic results above the fold on most searches.


 2:06 am on Dec 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

They also seem to default to the singular tense of the search phrase. In some cases this is not too bad, searching for WIDGETS get WIDGET, but a search for (say) COMPANIES produces results for COMPANY which could be a totally different search area. Not good. I wonder whether this has anythiong to do with the Overture sponsored link, ie., auto singular tense adjustment to tie in with the Overture stuff. Curious.

The other point to consider it the impartiality of the SE, to which HawkGirl has already alluded, and whether the Chinese influence will bring an overall reduction in quality.



 2:00 pm on Dec 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Bill Clinton paid to give a speech for a new search engine.

CNET has the article here [news.com.com]

Any thoughts on Accoona?


 2:04 pm on Dec 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Backed by the Chinese gov, according to Forbes.


"I hope you all make lots of money," Clinton told executives at the launch of Accoona Corp.,

lol. :)


 2:09 pm on Dec 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Clinton blows horn...?

Who is this Horn? Is it short for Horny?

Seriously, some companies will do anything for publicity.

even come up with headlines like the above :)


 2:24 pm on Dec 7, 2004 (gmt 0)


8 directories and 2 international sites. In the top 10. Very primitive plural and synonym handling.

They also believe in returning lots of results from one site for some terms:


It looks like it relies too much on on-page content for results. It should be fairly easy to game.

They've got a bit to go, methinks.

[edited by: bakedjake at 2:26 pm (utc) on Dec. 7, 2004]


 2:26 pm on Dec 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Accoona's artificial intelligence technology will elevate search engine performance to a new unprecedented level, allowing the most relevant search available today," Pfeiffer said.

Wonder when that AI will kick in. The search results seem quite feeble at the moment. There are a number of better business directories and search sites currently available.

Loved the part about the Chinese Government supplying the business database to them though. That just sums it all up nicely...


 7:51 pm on Dec 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

What a terrible looking site!

I had to page down to get to the non-sponsored sites.


 8:03 pm on Dec 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've noticed that it apparently can't do HTTP 1.1 at all: if you're using name-based virtual hosting (ie. with a shared IP address) then you're out of luck - Accoona indexes the default HTTP 1.0 page - usually a holding page or the hosting company.

Get a dedicated IP to get in at all, and the AI is clearly 100% hype and 0% reality. Altavista 1994 rather than Google 2004, methinks.


 1:37 am on Dec 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

Not that I'm optimistic that Accoona will ever be a major player against the 'big three,' but I just checked about two dozen sites with their respective (primary) keywords, and what I see is VERY favorable. (it's similar to the best results of Google and the best of Yahoo/MSN combined).

I have to admit that it offers a little more attention than I deserve on a few sites - but overall - I couldn't be happier.

When I have more time, it will be interesting to look at several more sites, to determine what they are doing on the less than 1m results.



 1:45 am on Dec 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm a little surprised nobody mentioned their use of the googol symbol in their logo. Wonder if that was accidental ;)


 1:53 am on Dec 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

nobody mentioned their use of the googol symbol in their logo

Because that's the symbol for infinity, not for a googol. ;)


 4:19 am on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

Looks like there are some spelling discrepancies in this thread. The initial China Daily article indicated the engine's name was Acoona, but all of the recent press and the company website spells it Accoona.

Both names resolve for the English site:
www.acoona.com [acoona.com]
www.accoona.com [accoona.com]
but in Chinese only this one resolves for me:
www.accoona.cn [accoona.cn]


 4:45 pm on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

Terrible serps!

First of all, you have to scroll down a page (5 results) of adverts which to the standard users wouldn't look like adverts;

and when you finally get to the SERPS, for the first 5 kws I tried out, out of 10 results 9 where the same site using url kw spam! (And the 10 was only vaguely related - it was about widgets, but in the wrong country).



 4:55 pm on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>Terrible serps!

I disagree. I have already had hits from them. Their AI seems to get around the SEOs/SEMs that spam (G)


 4:59 pm on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

Not on the KW I was looking at (although the amount of spam on those KW is incredible)


Where site.com is the same site alllllll the way through.

[edited by: Sanenet at 5:10 pm (utc) on Dec. 9, 2004]


 5:05 pm on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

One thing they need to fix is the duplicate results based on the forward slash of the URL and the label, ex:


Robert Charlton

 8:03 am on Dec 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

The biggest hurdle they will have to overcome is developing the search algos for the English Search in what, to the Chinese, would be a second language. For a pure keyword search the process would not be as difficult, although daunting. But to develope AI Searches in second languages ... phew, big job.

Judging by some of their spelling suggestions, they've got a lo-o-ong road to go.

The algo is really strange. Very kind to internal pages, and some home pages seem to be filtered for their main target phrases.

And in some market areas, I'm seeing pages from Russia and the Middle East that I've never seen before.


 3:33 pm on Dec 13, 2004 (gmt 0)


Very major two keyword combo (G finds 14mio results)
- full visible screen 5 sponsored results
- next 10 results shared by 3 URLs of a spammer; 2 URLs of two large but niche players, rest (5 listings) sup pages of the largest player, not the homepage though

Worst I have ever seen. Well, my son's desk looks a little worse.

Loooooooooong way to go!


 3:38 pm on Dec 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Is that a joke or something?

Query accoona and spider, hit their results. If not dead, totally unrelated.

Looks like the lamest thing out there. Chinese government sponsored hey? Why am I not surprised?


 4:33 pm on Dec 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

This is a very lame attempt (along with the 5,000 PPC engines with hitbot/automated traffic that have emerged over the years) to capitalize on the search engine market frenzy, especially after everybody saw Google's revenue and now how much $$ Google's IPO pulled in. However, considering Google is fast approaching the 1 year mark for not including new domains/sites in its index, you never know what could happen.

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