Finally, someone has come up with a way to display search
results with images! ImageInclude.com
combines a pay-per-click model with "image
enhancement." If I seem overly enthusiastic about this
new search directory, it's because I think they are onto
the next big thing - the marriage of images with text descriptions.
Why are images so important? We are fundamentally a visual
species. Body language accounts for 80%
of the cues we use to evaluate each other everyday.
Why not apply this to the web? Imagine going to a retail
mall where all the shops and merchandise were represented
by just words instead of logos, storefronts and window displays?
It's almost impossible to envision.
Yet that is what we are confronted with when we type
in our search request and get text-based results on regular
engines. How well written or attractive the results
makes a huge difference on where we go. Image:Include
has helped us make that leap so that the advertiser
(yes, it is a commercial/revenue-based system) can put up
the merchandise or logo they deem most appropriate for their
own products or services. I think it's brillant.
Bullseye9 has developed a great competitor to the almighty
and done them one better: they've added the ability
for an advertiser to show an image of their own choosing
along with the search results. This really speeds up the
process of determining if the site you want is the one listed,
or has the right kind of merchandise or content. The results
page is well-organized and visually easy-to-read; the database
is quick and shows the images as well as the description
of the search results and associated web address. Click
here to see it work with "Dog".
The pay-per-click model was invented by GoTo.com to put
the control of how high up your site is listed in their
database in your hands. This is done by bidding on keywords
by how much money you're willing to pay for each person
that clicks through to your site. Normally it's anywhere
from 3-5 cents on up per click.
The reason I give it three stars instead of four is they
don't have complete search term coverage . . . yet. But
- and this is a big one - these guys are on the right track,
and are pulling in new adverstisers everyday. In this world
of little or no profits for dot-com's, Bullseye9 has
hit upon a great way to get relevant results that you can
see, and make money at the same time. It's not the pure
image evaluation algorithm search that we all would like
to see. That is still a ways off due to the raw horsepower
it takes to digitally evaluate images for what they truly
are and not use the caption, file name or ALT tag, like
the latest Google
beta image search product. However, Image:Include uses
embedded keywords that you sign up for and returns relevant
image results on subjects that people care about.
Also worth noting is the Image:Include's Adult Filter
option. They automatically leave the filter in place,
so people have to make the decision to turn it off to see
X-rated search results. I think this is a good approach
and will help attract higher quality advertisers in the
GoTo.com has proven this model again and again by signing
many major search engines and providing paid advertiser
links on those sites. That leaves me wondering how long
before Image:Include is bought by GoTo.com or another large
search engine. Hmm . . . I wonder how soon they'll go public?
- Made It to the Top
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