How does Spock stack up against Google?

When co-founders Jaideep Singh and Jay Bhatti first proposed Spock, they envisioned a superior people search where everyone in the world had a unique search result. Though we’re not quite there, we have managed to index over 300 million unique people search results, maintain over 3 billion people data records, and are constantly developing new ways to create relevant search results. With the ability to easily view pictures, tags, quotes, news and other web links, the Spock Team is confident that we’re well on our way to creating the best site on the Web for people search.

According to searchenginewatch.com, Google performed an estimated 32,796,000,000 searches in 2006. While Google’s traffic continues to dominate most search activity, it’s within the expanding people search marketplace where sites such as Spock have thrived. With the advent of social networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace, Hi5, etc, people searching now consumes a significant percentage of overall search activity.Comscore.com noted that in August of 2007 the average North American spent over four hours on various Social Networking sites, and that industry wide, social networking sites showed a 10% growth in unique visitors for 2007. With social networks designed to connect the average person, successfully finding people other than celebrities has become a problem that Google and Yahoo have struggled with.

At Spock, one of the most frequent comments we receive is how people prefer Spock’s UI to Google’s because of the different ways information can be found. Rather than view a page full of nondescript links where identifying a person can be difficult, a Spock search result has pictures, bio, tags, web links, etc. By being able to interact with the site and enhance a search result the likelihood of someone having difficulty finding you becomes significantly less.

Examining the screen shots below shows how a Google Search of celebrity Ashley Tisdale offers pages of links but not much else in terms of content.Yet Ashley Tisdale’s Spock search result returns images, a bio, web links, related people, quotes and a number of additional features. When looking for someone who hasn’t graced the pages of People Magazine, a Spock search result becomes even more invaluable. On Google, a search for Olin student George Sass returns literally millions of results, few of which have anything to do with the George Sass you’re looking for. On Spock George Sass returns all sorts of information you’re unlikely to find on any other site. Searching for something other than a specific name returns a valuablepeople search as well. The term Microsoft Employee on Google returns almost 2 million pages of links with very few actual Microsoft Employees.The same search on Spock returns everyone from Bill Gates to C++ programmer Herb Sutter.

Google may be a terrific search engine, but in the future use Spock for your people search needs.

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