New Search Engines
If you haven’t heard of Kumo or Wolfram|Alpha, you’re not alone. But you will. Kumo is a beta rebranding of MS Live Search, which was a re-branding of MSN search which … MS wants to be competitive in the search market. So it keeps changing its approach, refining it, putting new skins on it, and hoping magic will strike.
Kumo is in Beta testing and the occasional user of live.com is getting a preview of Kumo. (Kumo, by the way, means “spider” and “cloud” in Japanese. Apparently. Very convenient—what are the chances that two search engine/computing related terms would be embodied in one short, URL-friendly word?) Kumo may be launching as Bing.com ultimately. According to Wired Magazine online, Bing.com should be officially announced tomorrow. According to D7 reports it will be live June 3.
Wolfram|Alpha may be even further afield from your experience. It’s a search engine, of sorts, put together by some very smart scientists and mathematicians. It is a specialized search engine that presents facts, rather than sites. Though it does link to websites, its design is aimed at answering questions. Immediately, rather than sending you on to secondary sources. It needs a lot of work, as it still chokes on many questions. And it needs an audience that understands what it will deliver.
For the visitors who either want to know global carbon emissions or the estimated average cruising airspeed of an unladen European swallow [those who get this reference are almost definitely going to spend hours on this search engine] this search engine will provide refined searching tips to get to the answer they want, and the answers themselves.
Wolfram will not affect SEO. Kumo/Bing will. Google, already anticipating some of the new functionality for Kumo/Bing (or perhaps Kumo responded to Google’s functionality—the competition is intense) has added options to the left hand side of the page that includes the ability to filter searches by type of content found and/or the date of the content. Content can be set along a timeline or grouped by its approach to the topic.
Every time a search engine adds additional ability to filter searches, it affects your SEO. How do you win? Pertinent well-written, content that follows accessibility guidelines is a great start. Search Engines are designed to get people to the content they want, all you need to do is provide the content.