Zibb.com on Convera’s Tail
Posted by direwolff on January 30, 2007
Like it wasn’t enough that Google was beginning to encroach on its new turf, but now it appears that Convera‘s business is about to get a little bit more competitive given Reed Business Information’s entry into the business search engine space with it’s new offering Zibb.com. There’s a good piece about what Reed is doing in Folio Magazine. Picked this up off John Battelle’s Searchblog article titled “Reed to Launch B2B Vertical Search Portal“.
I spent a little time on the Zibb.com site and found that while it still relied a little too much on keyword searches, they had done a good job incorporating categorization of the content (in a search on “computer market statistics”, the fourth result referred to “Embedded System Market Statistics”) in order to derive more relevant results. It’s still missing the meaning component, but this is better than the status quo. What also struck me however, is that one of the results took me to another Reed Business Information site called EDN (Electronic Design News) where they had syndicated the search box but focused on just electronics reference searching. In effect, given the tools in use and Reed’s call to other publishers to get involved with them and make their content accessible, what would stop them from essentially jumping into the vertical search engine service business? Certainly nothing I can think of. They’ve already set-up Google AdSense to monetize the pages, so it seems like they may be just a bit more turn-key than Convera, where the publisher has to determine their own monetization scheme.