With all the hype, do you think SearchMe will be the new search engine? Before I divulge my answer, let’s discuss what SearchMe is and what I’ve seen to be the usability pros and cons of this new search engine.
What is SearchMe? SearchMe is a visual search engine. This means that for an individual’s query, SearchMe will return the “standard” web page listings (as typically seen on Google) as well as a preview of the actual webpages. This preview feature allows individuals to see the page without clicking away from the search results. So now for a few pros and cons…
Speed: Users get to preview the pages without going back and forth between the search engine results and the individual pages.
Highlighting: On the page previews SearchMe circles every place that your query appears on the page, which leads me to believe that page content and keyword density plays a large role in the search engine’s algorithm.
Page 1 Only: As opposed to the Google limitation of 10 listings per page, SearchMe simply keeps the page previews coming. This will benefit the pages listed at position 25 or beyond as sites listed at these positions on Google are rarely clicked on.
Usability: I love my mouse scroll wheel which allows me to move quickly up and down a page, with the horizontal setup that SearchMe has, users must manually click on the bars or arrows to move throughout the results – i.e. your scroll wheel can’t help you.
Flash: If the page being previewed contains Flash, it will appear as a blank spot on the page, hindering the full “preview” capability.
Too Dark: This is a personal preference but I have to state it as a con. It seems that the “next” big search engines such as SearchMe and Cuil are going for a stealthy dark theme using black as the main color. Although black clothing takes up the majority of my closet space, I don’t like navigating through darkness to find what I’m looking for on a search engine.
So do I think SearchMe will be the new search engine? No. I don’t think SearchMe will be THE new search engine that rises above the almighty Google that captures over 70% of all search queries. The ability to preview the page is wonderful, but now that Google Universal Search integrates web, images, videos, shopping, etc. all within a single search result page, SearchMe simply has to do better than page previews.
What are you thoughts on SearchMe? Let me know what pros and cons you’ve found with the search engine?