Web 2.0: Bill Gross

Web 2.0: Bill Gross

: Bill Gross of Idealab is going to introduce a new company.

He says he has been passionate about search because of how powerful, useful, and technically challenging it is. He says there were three big breakthroughs in search: The audacious notion to index the entire web, then using price, then link as relevance tools.

When you get the page back “that’s when the search really begins,” he says. “We looked at what we could add value to in that part of the search.”

Three keys:

: User control

: User feedback – take what other users have done nad their post-click actions.

: Transparency – exposing every action and transaction to help the user avoid dead ends.

The new service is called Snap. He types in a search for “jaguar.” The search has columns for popularity, satisfaction, web popularity, web satisfaction, domain.

He modifies the search live. He types on “os” and it reduces the results to just jaguar OS immediately, before our very eyes.

“Camera” brings up many more columns of choices: zoom, storage, resolution, etc. So the search knows these are factors and allows you to specify what you want. So go to the resolution column and type in 4 and it gives you just cameras that have more than 4 megapixels.

That is user control.

They licensed data about what users did after their search. So when people searched for “walmart” they now know how often they wanted to buy something or wanted a stock quote. Thus popularity. That is feedback.

Type in cars and you get four basic categories: buy, research, loan, insurance.

As to transparency, they are allowing people to see the conversion rate for sales because that is valuable data to consumers. He’s opening up the stats for the site, even his revenues, what people are paying for ads, and so on.

He said they hadn’t planned to open that up as an API but after hearing Bezos, he will.

Try it here.

(Battelle says it kills him he’s not blogging this right now on his Searchblog.)