Send a scout: Craigslist has been one of the most popular places to search using Yotify since the engine launched on September 24. By selecting a city and state, users can set up an automatic search that will alert them when a desired item appears in a new or existing Craigslist post. Users can also indicate their preferred price range.
The technology involved is quite different than the large-scale indexing done by a typical search engine. Yotify asks partner sites to integrate its software into their systems. “We don’t ‘scrape’ information from other sites,” explains Bouganim. “We help other sites distribute their information in a way that fully complies with the goals of the partner site.”
From the user perspective, however, all that matters is the effectiveness of the search. And a user who has no idea where to find what he is looking for won’t want to follow the Yotify format and select specific blogs or news sites for the search.
Bouganim claims that this “deep but narrow” issue will be resolved in future releases–and sooner rather than later. Indeed, it’s still early days for the search engine; a test version of the tool was just launched on September 24.
Online media analyst Mike Boland of The Kelsey Group notes that getting users to switch from Google to a different engine could prove difficult, no matter what innovations Yotify attempts. “It is such an uphill battle to get users to break out of deep-rooted online habits,” Boland says. “Companies that have spent too much time drinking the Kool-Aid seem to forget that, because they think their solution is so great that it will overcome this issue. But it usually doesn’t.”
Although unwilling to get into details about the business model, Bouganim is clearly planning to exploit the social-networking and e-commerce aspects of Yotify. “Understanding people’s wants and needs, as well as those of their friends, obviously has a tremendous amount of value.”