Thursday, February 08, 2007

Are Philippine search engines still relevant?

When you talk to a lot of Internet users today and where they look for information online, most of them cite Google, Yahoo, or MSN as a website of choice in looking for local and international information.

Although some of the Filipino diaspora I know uses local search engines like Yehey and various directories to look for basic information about websites and companies, for purposes of immediately narrowing down their queries.

In 1995, when there was an estimated 10,000 Filipino Internet users, the first Philippine search engine surfaced. This was G-Spot (now offline) from Cebu-based GSILink.

In 1997, Yehey was founded and still remains as the most prominent search engine and Philipine Internet directory. During those days, the site competed with EDSA. To survive and grow, Yehey has branched into a general-use portal and provided e-commerce services (PayPlus+).

EDSA, MyPhilippines, and PinoyCentral also entered this market but eventually got out of it.

The only one that remained purest in its form, start to present, is Tanikalang Ginto - Filipino Links, a human-edited directory of Ken Ilio (who also blogs!) that started in 1994.

Is the Philippines search engine market space already dead? If there is still a need for it? What do you think it should have to remain relevant?

Right from the start, I always complained about local search engines not being able to crawl local sites. Until they do that, the eventual obsolescence of a search engine is inevitable.

To survive, it is in their best interest to partner or put in more resources to boost their technology. If crawling is an issue, another option would be to make the existing directory a fully human-edited site where the members can police themselves for abusive content submission of sub-pages.

With RSS, local search engines can start employing RSS aggregation technologies to pick up new content and store it in their databases. If this is done, there would be a surge in content and this would prompt more for local sites to embrace RSS.

10 comments:

iyah said...

yehey's search capabilities is a far cry from the big 3 namely ygoogle, yahoo, and msn. to me it seems yehey has become a social community and board instead of a search engine...

Mike Abundo said...

The Web was originally designed to connect scientists doing related research. By extension, the Web is designed to help you find people who think like you, not people who live near you.

TARUGOMAN said...

True that Yehey's search is a far cry from a google, yahoo or microsoft. But the fact that your search results are targeted and specific, I say the relevance of local search is STILL very relevant. Try searching specifics in google and yahoo and you get irregular results, but if you're looking for something particular to the Philippines more or less you get EXACTLY what you're looking for.

Maybe soon, the improved crawler will come in and finally put an end to having a lackluster search engine. Sana soon para tangkilikin natin ang sariling atin.

janettetoral.com said...

Iya - I have the same observation.

Mike - In my experience, it depends. I'll be visiting Australia soon and the big 3 search engines are not good enough for me. I had to rely on country based portals and search engines for that purpose.

Tarugoman - My problem with local search engines today is the lack of content depth. Hanggang home page lang sila. That is why I hope they will embrace RSS for that matter and build sub-page content.

Mers Dalangin said...

I still believe it's not search engine anymore but Philippine sites listings is cool. It's like DMOZ style but only for Philippine Sites. Relevant sites results are very important.

My husband owned http://www.webquartet.com and I like the results and most of his visitors always going back to search because we tracked the visitors IP. We're now revising it to get more visitors.

This is the archive of http://www.webquartet.com in Wayback Machine for more info --> http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://webquartet.com

Ken said...

You would think that I live in the age of dinosaurs as I still do everything manually, and review each site I list but my filipinolinks.com site is still being visited up to 12,000 page visits a day depending on the season. So, I am not complaining.

janettetoral.com said...

@Mers and Ken - thank you for sharing your insight. I'm certain that your sites serves a great purpose to those searching for a pure Filipino website listing.

I'm curious though on how do you see your respective websites evolve? Or do they need to evolve at all?

Ken said...

Right now, because I am a one-man operation, I don't see filipinolinks.com evolving into anything but to remain as a pure links listing of the greater Tribung Pinoy family of sites composed of tribo.org, myislandsphilippines.net, filipinodiaspora.net, carinderia.net, uncommonphotographers.net, chicagoexpat.com and ilio.ph among others. It is working and I don't want to tinker with a working formula.

I do like to do more content-rich sites like my old Tribung Pinoy site (which is drastically toned down in its present incarnation). It is still the site's content that brings people in no matter how much you work on SEO.

Let's see ...

Mers Dalangin said...

I think it needs to evolve. Actually we're adding some contents like latest news, games, popular quote, comics and channels (our blog). As you can see we are very selective in accepting new link.

Jasp said...

there is a search engine for flash games try http://canz.net

gawa ito ng pinoy :)

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