IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Search Engine Focuses on Professional Research Needs

Zoogma provides the ability to customize a uniquely advanced search for optimal returns. Another engine, ubExact.com, also sees a search niche opportunity. By Geoffrey Oldmixon

You don't have to be Dan Brown's "Robert Langdon" or George Lucas's "Indiana Jones" to acquire hard-to-find information. All you really need is a customizable online search engine--at least, that's the premise of Zoogma and other new search tools.

Traditional search engines return data by URL. That leaves the researcher with dozens of pages to download and review. This can often be time consuming (not to mention unsuccessful). Google's "cache" button can help pinpoint the place on a page where searched terms appear, but a user can still be left wondering about the search term's application. Will its appearance on a page really mean it applies to the topic being researched?

Zoogma is an automated intelligence-gathering and analysis platform from Cormine Intelligence Data. Designed for research professionals like lawyers or doctors, it uses statistics and natural language processing (NLP) to find clues in unstructured text, and it makes those clues searchable.

According to Cormine, Zoogma saves time for researchers by collecting information from Web scrapers, databases, and document repositories. Then, it stores that information and automatically analyzes it, indexes it, and delivers it to applications through a Web services interface. Customizable fields enable tailoring for specific vertical markets or applications.

In other words, Zoogma scours the Internet using a lot more than just keywords. It can be set to search keywords within topic sets, in association with people or in accordance with places or institutions.

Moreover, administrators can add new sources, custom fields, and field sets. They can also make vocabulary modifications, change taxonomies, or define rules to tailor the search results.

"While keywords help you find what you know, Zoogma is specifically geared toward finding what you don't know," says Alex Emmermann, general manager of Cormine Intelligent Data. "Zoogma's entity search finds the most relevant people in a given document set, timing of the important events, and geographical locations of the events." He adds, "The engine also searches conceptually, providing the topics discussed in a document set and trending information for those topics."

Zoogma's analysis engine runs based on three key analyzers:

  • Categorizer--This assigns predetermined concepts to documents.
  • Entity Miner--This discovers people, places, organizations, and dates in documents.
  • Near-Dupe Detector--This identifies documents that are almost the same.

Search v2.0?

Zoogma is not alone. There are other innovators recognizing that certain SMBs have unique search needs.

ubExact.com offers a direct-navigation, action-based search engine that's based on how users actually search for information--that is, using names, places, or actions.

Wilhelmina Stephenson is the founder and CEO of ubExact.com. She says that when people search for content, they usually do that in terms of things and/or locations. Helping users narrow their search--as opposed to assuming they'll key in an appropriate location keyword--simplifies the search process.

"We found that when people are searching either topic-specific or geographic, they are usually doing it because they want to see something, do something, buy something, or find something."

Stephenson adds that unlike with traditional search engines, users have access to "deep links," or "sites that hide behind a curtain that is not pulled [back] very often by algorithmic Web crawlers," she says.

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Cara Oxendine contributed to this report. Read her full account of the ubExact.com search engine tool here.

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