Seekport, the innovative European search engine which is already active in Germany, France, UK and Spain, expands it’s reach to the Italian community and launches seekport.it
Joachim Kreibich has answered our questions in a brief interview in connection with the launch of Seekport Italy:
1. Would you like to introduce Seekport – who is Seekport ? Where is Seekport based ? Is there going to be an office in Italy ?
Seekport is a pan-European search engine that provides an alternative to the US-based search engines that are dominating the market. We engage both in B2B as well as B2C activity. B2B means that we deliver search results to portals, publishers, ISPs, marketers etc. which incorporate our search functionalities in their online offerings. B2C is aimed at the end user – persons that want a high quality, country-specific offering with less spam and more relevant local content than what the US companies offer. Also, it is noteworthy that we are the only search company that already can offer vertical search – our users can choose if they want to search only in a certain thematic topic, and then only receive results from this category.
We are based in Germany, in Hamburg and Munich. Actually, the history of Seekport is closely connected to Infoseek – the persons involved are the same that made Infoseek to the most successful search engine in Germany in the beginning of the new century.
We have local index teams in all countries that we operate in, that ensure that the quality of the index is up to our standards and that the search results reflect the demands of the local country. Our teams are – next to Germany – in Paris, London, Madrid and now in Milano. At the end of the year, we will be present in 9 countries in Europe.
In Italy, we will start with a beta version, which will already incorporate the preview functionality. Other functionalities we offer will be introduced a little bit later, and we will also work heavily on the index in the beta phase. All users are welcomed to send us comments and suggestions.
2. Which is going to be the focus of Seekport – are your objectives a particular segment of the search market ?
See also above. We offer both general search as well as vertical search. Also, and very interesting for our B2B clients, we offer site and archive search, and this can be combined with the web searches, so that a B2B customer can display site or archive and web results on one page.
In general, we want to give our customers the best search experience possible. For example, in Germany we already offer various suggestions to make a search query more specific, so that the user really gets the search results he is actually looking for
3. Give us an overview of the main features of your search Engine
General country-specific or Europe-wide web search. Vertical (theme-oriented) web search. Example. A user is looking for virus. Now, this can be both virus as in computer virus, or health virus. If our user however chooses “Health” as his topic, he will only be displayed search results which deal with viruses such as HIV, hepatitis virus etc..
We will also offer clusters, query refinements etc. For our B2B clients, also the above-mentioned site and archive search are relevant.
4. The Seekport interface is geared towards country specific results. In Italy we have many English only web sites with a .it suffix – could you explain how you have organised country specific queries versus regional web sites ? Will for example .co.uk web site acquire a better visibility than .it ones if the user runs a search selecting the pages from a specific European country ?
In general, we aim to have search results that are very country-specific. Regarding your example: We know that the great majority of users searches in its own language, and prefers to have results that are in his language. This no longer is a problem, as there are now – at least in Europe – more than sufficient web pages to all topics in the local language. If a user wants to have more results, he can choose to search in all indices.
Now, if an Italian user looks for information in English and does not restrict his search to Italy, an Italian page will not be given a higher weight than a UK one. The results will be displayed by relevancy.
5. I have noticed that you are providing a free service called seekbot where you provide an analysis of a web site page – The results show that on page content is very important, even more important than the title tag – would you like to further elaborate the importance of on site factors compared to off site factors such as external links ??
I am sure that you will understand that we will not elaborate on our ranking algorithm. Many factors influence the positioning. But most certainly, the factors described in seekbot are important. Seekbot is a tool for the normal webmaster that might not know too much about what is important for placement in search engines in general, and might not be aware of what he should do as a minimum.
6. Spamdexing is a very serious issue all search engines are closely looking at to remove poor quality web sites – where does Seekport stand on this issue ?
We very much disapprove of spamdexing, and try to keep our index as free of spam as possible. This is why we have quality teams; these teams – among other tasks – try to keep up with what spam is present in the local countries, and take on countermeasures. Of course technology plays an important part in this.
7. You have introduced a very interesting preview window function that allows the user to view the web site before actually clicking on the link that would take him/her to the web site: Would you like to elaborate on this original implementation on SERPs ??
We think all features that help users evaluate if a search result might be relevant for him are useful. As mentioned above, we have various functionalities that follow this goal, and there will be more to come
8. What is Seekpot’s view on local search and geotargeting ?
Very important, and we are working on it
9. Will Seekport have a Directory ?
No, this is not planned. I would like to stress that our vertical search offering is not based on a directory, but on an innovative technology that analyses the web pages that are crawled and then assigns a “theme”/topic automatically. This is an advanced technology, which we have registered for a patent
10. Can you give us any insight on your plans regarding Pay per Inclusion or Pay Per Click programs ?
We will of course have a pay per click program on our site (after all, we need to make money), but not in the very beginning. Pay per inclusion is not planned.
Sante J. Achille
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