Everyday I see at least one new alternative search engine presenting itself as THE new way to find what you’re looking for. Some of them are actually doing a good job, or have an interesting new approach. The problem is though, almost nobody uses these new engines. Only the innovators and some early adopters find the way to services like AndUnite, Eeggi and Faroo. The alt search engines are pioneers, but will they be able to cross the gap between the early adopters and the early majority?
While new ways of searching are coming up, there are also alternatives to other aspects of search emerging. Like HotWords, a site that aims to give an overview of “what the the world is searching for”. After stumbling on Hotwords on MoMB and reading a review on KillerStartUps I figured I might as well have a look on the site. Hotwords lists the top 100.000 most popular searches on the web with trend and ranking reports. Of the hundreds of millions searches – Google alone has 400 million a day -, they will gather data for around 6 million searches per day. Since this is a beta version, Hotwords now “only” tracks 2.5 million searches. Not surprisingly, the most popular searches are for sex and amateur porn sites like YouPorn. Around keywords like these, the London-based HotWords team has developed an incredible set of analytics tools.
Yet there’s one thing missing on Hotwords: transparency. Although they say they’ve partnered up with “several search engines”, yet it’s unknown who those partners are. For all I know, it could be a scam. Therefore, visitors don’t know what they’re missing yet and might as well browse to Google Trends.
However, I do believe that if HotWords developed an alternative search engines section, bloggers and other Internet press would certainly drop by. They’re very interested in what the innovators and early adopters are searching for. Sure, we all know the crowd is looking for porn, but what about those people who predict our geek future?