Traditional search uses algos & objective properties to provide results – via links from other pages. The next generation search experience – sometimes dubbed the Google killer – is social search – human assisted search results.

There is little doubt that the human powered search engines have their place, and that the user-content driven interaction with websites, and specifically search is important and it is expanding in popularity.

Nothing new though. In fact, started out this way, but it had problems scaling up. Yahoo started in 1994 with their now infamous directory and it was all about human interaction & validation. Microsoft also had human editing of results, but once Google took the world over with their link based system, and it worked so well – other engines were left in the dust.

Today, Google, considered by many as only an algorithmic search engine, has been, and still is using humans to stay close to search results, and looking to add more. They know the combination of both are key to the success of the “Web 2.0” phenomenon.

Whether the short list below will provide a v1.0 testbed for the “next big search engine model” – beating Google at its own game, still remains to be seen. We all know that Google didn’t get to #1 by slacking off.

Brin & Page, the founders of Google are fiercely competitive, and their top priority has always been to provide the ultimate in search relevancy and user experience, and I don’t see them taken over any time soon.

A brand new human powered search launched by the founder of Wikipedia, was just launched. ( It’s getting lots of press and since it’s based on open source crawling and has a large existing and growing user base, it will be an interesting development to watch.

It’s all about the user community, and unlike the ridiculous editing experience of directories like DMOZ, it’s refreshing to see this open dialogue and debate. The Wikia crawler can be seen at, where you can download it for your own use.

Other social search tools that you should check out are:


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Entrepreneur Magazine says Jon Rognerud is one of the most sought-after Digital Marketing Experts. His clients extend from high-end brands and middle-tier businesses in both B2B and B2C. His SEO website optimization book, "The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website" from Entrepreneur Press is in bookstores now.