The First of Many New Search Options

In the old days of search, there was HotBot, Yahoo!, AltaVista, Excite, MSN, etc. Then there was just Google. For a very long time. The word “Google” became synonymous with “search”. People started Googling rather than searching. Then Google started making too much money and attracting too much attention. Now everyone is working feverishly either building new search technology, or digital music systems (in fact, some companies are doing both). Amazon has officially released their first attempt to compete in the search space with A9. It’s sort of like Google, but with personalization. You can sign in with your Amazon credentials, and save searches, notes, bookmarks, etc. And it will automatically keep a history of everything you search for. It also automatically returns images along with text results, which is pretty nice (images courtesy of Google, ironically enough). Oh, and it’s slower than Google, but it’s still plenty fast.

I’ll give it a try. I love changing my habits, and experimenting with new technology. I’m not sure how much I’m going to like the personalization angle, though. Not only am I undecided about how useful it will end up being, but I kind of like the idea of quick, stateless and anonymous web applications. I already have 136 different accounts with various websites (not including anything associated with Macromedia), and it gets old always being asked for a username and a password. Yes, Amazon remembers your login information, but only for that session. And I’m also wondering if my search history is going to end up being used to suggest products to me on Amazon. Not necessarily a bad thing, I guess, but also not something I’m 100% comfortable with.

So what search technology do you use? Likes and dislikes?