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Search engines emerge from Google's shadow

Search engines emerge from Google's shadow

An Internet search engine designed by Wellington campus digital media specialist Mark Zeman has been voted one of the world’s top 100 alternative search engines – the only one from New Zealand to make the list.

The list of alternatives to the world’s most popular search engine, Google, was assembled by Read/WriteWeb, a leading blog that analyses trends in web development.

A Searchbot is a personal search tool that continuously searches the Internet for websites matched to your interests. It can be programmed with keywords and given a “personality”.

Mr Zeman, from the Institute of Communication Design, says Searchbots is an experimental search engine that “investigates the use of mythology, personification and game theory as motivational strategies in creating a search community”.

"It's great to see innovative web development in New Zealand recognised internationally. Our lacklustre broadband means that New Zealanders aren't aware of many new applications. They get more use overseas where people are familiar with the Web 2.0 wave of websites.

“Even though Searchbots is a prototype, it’s had great uptake and positive feedback from users. Users of Searchbots have responded enthusiastically to the idea of having a search agent or friend that searches on your behalf. It's about building up a relationship over time with your Searchbot so it can respond with improved accuracy to your needs."

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