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June 02, 2008

Viewzi Search Engine - Dallas Men Create "Google Killer"?

While I was watching prime time tv last week a CBS 11 News teaser caught my attention with the headline "Dallas Web Designers Ready To Compete With Google".

Now I don't really watch the local news much and although my boyfriend was a bit dismayed at the fact that we'd be missing part of The Daily Show with John Stewart, I knew I had to stay tuned for this story.

These Dallas men along with several from California and Hawaii created a new search engine, Viewzi. Now Viewzi isn't exactly just like other search engines. Google, Yahoo, Ask and MSN are all text based search engines. These basically show the results for web pages as text with the title, description and URL. Viewzi is much more interactive.

With Viewzi there are several options for viewing your search results. There's the Simple Text View which shows combined results from Google and Yahoo in a familiar text listing format. There's special viewing options for video, images, mp3s and Amazon books results. The Weather View is also particularly handy but not so much for it to be a daily destination for me.

There's a Everyday Shopping view which shows results from Amazon, Ebay, Target and Walmart. This could be handy depending on what you're looking for as it shows images of the actual products.

Viewzi Shopping View

The two views I found most useful, yet not so much that I'd actually use them regularly are Web Screenshot View and 4 Sources View. In the Web Screenshot View you get Yahoo search results with a nice screenshot of the website. However, there's only one result on screen at a time and you have to scroll through one by one. In addition, the screenshots seem to take some time to load (note they are still in beta, so this may be temporary slowness). As a Search Engine Optimization specialist, this is not great news unless you already have a 1st place ranking in Yahoo. If not you have to hope the Viewzi users like to scroll a few pages.

Viewzi Web View

Next up is the 4 Sources View. This one is my favorite for playing around with so far. This view provides the 8 top results for Google, Yahoo, Ask and MSN all on the same page. It also shows a screenshot all of the results, unfortunately the screenshots load somewhat slowly here as well.

The 4 Sources View results can be customized to show whichever engines you are interested in. You can choose to view Google results only, or Google and Yahoo only. This feature is helpful in comparing results in the top search engines all in one place, which is handy. I like searching in this view, it's fun. But I'm not sure that it'd be that useful if I were a regular searcher and not a curious SEO. First of all it's not very intuitive, I can just picture my mom and dad trying to figure out how to use this. Secondly the ordering of the results from the 4 engines seems so random. Why is Yahoo sometimes on top, MSN other times and some spaces have results stacked up from 3 engines and others with only one? What's it all mean?

Viewzi 4 Sources View

All in all the Viewzi team did an incredible job designing the site. I love the look and feel with all of the graphics, image navigation and web site screenshots. I just don't see this as anything that Google will worry about. People use search engines to get to the information they are searching for fast. They don't want to scroll through large screenshots or mess around with reordering the 4 big search engines while searching in another. I think of Viewzi as more of a fun "alternative" search engine and not a "Google Killer". I just seriously doubt that Average Joe Surfer will be migrating to Viewzi and adding "Viewzi this" and "Viewzi that" to the internet vocabulary anytime soon.

Viewzi's public launch is scheduled for June 9th. If you'd like to try out Viewzi now check out the CBS 11 news story "Dallas Web Designers Ready To Compete With Google" for a referral code.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review Kimber. We're working out as many of the BETA kinks as possible before our launch next week. I hope you come back and have another look then. We'll have several new views and some great new features in the Version 1 release.

viewzi evangelist

Kimber Cook said...

Thanks for dropping by, Giovanni. I figured some of the slowness was a beta issue. I'll be sure to check it out after launch to try out the new views and features.

Good luck on the launch!

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