Via Mark Evans, I just had a quick peak around PreFound, a new search engine that enables you to “search what people have already found”. This human-filtered approach to a search engine isn’t a bad idea, but I think they’ve made some very old-school mistakes:
- Their search results pages don’t have unique URLs.
- No RSS feeds.
- In order to add new search results to their database (the fundamental idea of PreFound), I have to download and install the PreFound PFfinder toolkit–a desktop application. If I’m using my browser to search (like most humans), why can’t I use my browser to add results to PreFound?
- Their search results, frankly, are lame. They prepopulated their database with data from the Open Directory Project, but that doesn’t seem to have helped. Search for “linen suit” (one of my common litmus test phrases) and the first result is for Leisure Suit Larry. Search for “Darren Barefoot”, and I’m nowhere to be seen.
They’ll have to leverage a tremendous amount of user goodwill (or a lot of cheap Indian and Chinese searchers) to transform their database into something that can compete with the likes of Google, Yahoo and MSN. Here’s another short article about PreFound.