Wednesday, 29 August 2007

MyLiveSearch launches in beta

A brand new search engine is launched today that claims to be the world's first real-time search engine that can access the most current online information and delve further into the 'invisible web' that most search engines fail to index. It's being heralded as another new competitor to threaten Google's dominance, but how good is it?

MyLiveSearch has been developed in Melbourne by brothers Robert and Mark Gabriel. Having just been launched in beta, this search engine was apparently been in conceptual development for 10 years although it has only become possible due to broadband and the increasing power of home PCs. Using 'revolutionary technology' the strapline for the site is the 'World's first live search engine, you're in control'.

To make the search work you first need to install a plug-in (available for IE and Firefox). Once this is in place and you conduct a search, MyLiveSearch firstly retrieves results from Google (or you can change your default search engine of choice) and then your computer takes over through the use of 'spiral technology' to access these and more sites to present the most up-to-date information or to delve deeper into sites that the search engines haven't reached.

As the initial search results appear they begin to constantly change as the live search element kicks in. This can be quite disconcerting at first, although you can stop the process. Against each of the results are displayed their source and age - whether the listing is from Google and how old the content is, or whether the information has been accessed by the MyLiveSearch tool, which can make the age of the content just seconds old.

There are also advanced search options, such as a slider bar to put more weighting on standard web results or news stories, or you can restrict searches to some specified domains or to your own bookmarks. MyLiveSearch looks impressive but time will tell if users find the results any better than those supplied by Google. For some specific searches there can be a tendency for the results to display a large number of page listings from the same domain which is not very helpful, but it's still in beta and these things could be fixed as it develops.

The owners of MyLiveSearch will need to spend a large amount of money to promote awareness of this site (and to differentiate it from Microsoft's branded 'Live Search'), or if it's really good then they could benefit from word-of-mouth a very habit driven market. The main disadvantage will be the need to download the plug-in, which has always been a barrier to getting widespread use of search tools in the past, but it is worth trying and should be considered as another search option to use if you can't find information you need.


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