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I haven't thought too deeply about A9, but I'm guessing the privacy squads will have a field day with it.
I love their approach to complying with COPPA
A9.com is not intended for use by children under the age of 13.
They should advertise as the search engine for adults.
Not revolutionary, but cool. Alexa provides data that no one else does, and it's neat to be able to get some background info on a site before clicking through. It gives the savvy searcher a way to do a little screening before typing in their credit card info to some random site.
The million dollar question is - when are we going to start seeing Amazon discounts for those that download the Alexa toolbar? The usefulness of A9 depends on the usefulness of the Alexa data, which is pretty suspect at the moment.
Not to mention that while people aren't very good at filtering good from bad results (how can they when all they see is a couple of lines of text) they will still be slightly better than "random" at skipping over clearly spammy-looking serps while clicking more frequently on trusted/popular/real-looking sites. So the results post initial crawl should look on the surface cleaner than Google's (if much less inclusive)
I'm not saying this is what they *will* do, but if they haven't at least thought about it somebody in the planning department needs to start drinking stronger coffee.
I wonder if they keep a full history of searches tied to each user (even if we remove some from our history list)...
One of the main "features" is your personal search history. You can access your back history at anytime from any computer. But it also sounds like you can opt out of it.
Business 2.0 magazine has an interview today with Udi Manber [business2.com] that may answer your question more accurately.
I also like the features like book search, search history and quick search (19.com/query) quite a lot.
I'm a little dubious about the search results though, but I guess that's because my site (number one for given keyword on Google) is nowhere to be seen here.
Very interesting though - try "online book stores". You'd have thought Amazon would pop up on an Amazon search engine... ;)
Its done with some simple .htaccess coding (which is commonly used by webmasters to convert a dynamic URL - as search engines don't support those.). I guess Amazon wants its SERPs to be indexed by Google.
[edited by: sidyadav at 4:00 pm (utc) on April 16, 2004]
Who needs it?
Looking strictly at the surface, I agree it's not that exciting right now. But I'm stunned at the inability of some WebmasterWorld users not to look into the future and consider the implications of what this can become in terms of personalized search and blending search and commerce into one. (Not to mention what it means for the future of the Google-Amazon relationship....)
...this discussion wouldn't end up in the index page.
Perhaps Brett sees something you don't?
Look at the Yahoo interview talking about personalization as the third major wave in search
A9 is headed UDI Manber - a very serious search dude. If Amazon didn't care about building out the search features, they would have given the project to the clowns over at Alexa.
AFAIK, A9 is the first non-porn search engine that excludes children under 13 from using it. Another sign that they are going to do new things.
It is only Beta.
Their toolbar has some interesting features - personally I really like the imdb search.
Yes I see many really good possibilities. Amazon leads the field with its personalized recommendation technology. But with that said, I refuse to get excited about vaporware. Until they show they have the will to follow through on their talent I'm not going to get excited about something that does not yeet exist.
They have an outstanding book search, great (and transparent to operate) personalization software, vast experience with user input (reviews), and more. And I admire the way the A9 toolbar pulls together such resources as IMDB (fantastic), books , web etc. They should also be able to blow the doors off of both Froogle and Yahoo Shopping with a shopping search.
But, I really think they need to distinguish themselves from being a Google retread before they will be a serious contender. People need a reason to overcome habit and inertia to switch to using A9 over Google or Yahoo. I'm not sure that what I am seeing now can do that.
Here's why I'm being so cautious: NBCi, Go.com, Excite, AV, lycos: the road to search engine sucess is littered with the corpses of companies with big plans, big promises, big money, and good features but not the will, vision or attention span to see it through.
That is going to be the big challenge for Amazon, getting new users to adopt A9 and getting people to switch to A9 from other engines. Can they do it, right now, with what is there?
I'm willing to take a wait and see attitude and see what they build before rendering any kind of final judgement. Nobody will cheer louder than I if they can pull it off. :)
Challenges and recap:
1. Attract users and keep them. (create positive buzz)
2. reliance on Google.
3. reliance on MSIE
4. disabling the browser back button
BTW: They have released an A9 search plugin for us Mozilla/Firefox users, which is very welcome.
A9 Toolbar [toolbar.a9.com]
There is no visual hint for "Block Popups" on or off state. I think I have so many block popup programs running in the background that I am afraid of a riot.
The Diary according to the official 7 Reasons to Use A9.com [a9.com] is
the newest and (we think) coolest feature of the toolbar. You can take notes on any web page, and reference them whenever you visit that page, on any computer that you use. Your entries are automatically saved whenever you stop typing or when you go to another page.
I like the "Search This Site:(www.webmasterworld.com)" function on the A9 Toolbar [toolbar.a9.com] as the buttons are bigger than on the Alexa Toolbar [download.alexa.com] and the display is easier to understand than "Search Current Website"
I like the search results from A9 [A9.com] and search history. Dislike color scheme.
Was always a fan of Alexa ratings and related sites listings.
Would like to put a search box on my site as have done with other but do not know how to code the search URL scheme A9.com/query
[edited by: jeremy_goodrich at 8:57 pm (utc) on April 20, 2004]
[edit reason] see TOS thanks - don't drop your url ;) [/edit]