NEW YORK, N.Y. Dwarfed by better-known search engines such as Google and Yahoo, Accoona is taking steps to outwit the big boys.
Accoona Corp. (Jersey City, N.J.) announced at a press conference here Wednesday (March 8) an enhanced search-engine portal that gives users two distinct sets of functionality to speed Internet-based data search and retrieval.
The company, founded in December 2004, has been refining its search engine technology for over a year, which is based on the extensive use of artificial intelligence techniques. The artificial intelligence algorithms enable retrieval of more results for stories associated with the search term and not just containing the term, according to John Fernandez, director of marketing for Accoona, in an interview with EE Times prior to the briefing
One of the enhanced search engine's new sets of functions, called the News function, enables users to instantly cross-reference search keywords to a suite of frequently used data-search categories. Users are presented with a set of eight drop-down buttons that allow results to be prioritized; refined by time period, media outlet, company name, country, or state; cross-referenced to a list of people; or differentiated by media type.
The other set, called the Business function, enables users to cross-reference keywords to a database that melds Dun & Bradstreet's extensive database with Accoona’s own database of business information.
Both sets of functions appear on the Accoona home page, which according to Fernandez, are designed to help circumvent what he believes is a tendency not to use advanced search functions in other search engines.
"Users have been unhappy with their search results and want more powerful tools," said Fernandez. He and other Accoona executives believe the added intelligence built search engine overcomes the problem of irrelevant links being retrieved.
Some of the search engine's artificial intelligence features include being able to search from acronyms, autoantonyms (words that can take two or more opposite meanings), eponyms (names from which other names are derived), hypernyms (a word that has a more general meaning than another), and hyponyms (a word with a more specific meaning than another).
During the briefing, Accoona conducted several demos of its search engine that appeared to bear out the company’s claims. When requested to search on the term 'DRAM price fixing', for instance, Accoona yielded 373 results, while Google produced 167.
The key challenge for Accoona, though, will be how effectively it executes its strategy to gain traction in a market where Google and Yahoo are household names in search engines.
Accoona did not disclose revenue or other business targets to quantify its growth plans. But the company is leveraging its search engine different ways in the hope of increasing revenue.
The company is slated to unveil a new model for online advertisement that carefully matches search queries to the products and services, according to Accoona chief executive Stuart Kauder. In addition, Accoona has an agreement with the China Daily Information Company to become the preferred search engine portal across China for the next 20 years on an exclusive basis.
Accoona also has strategic business agreements with Dun & Bradstreet, Euro News, FAST Search and Transfer, GuruNet, and Moreover.
Accoona said it has over $100 million in financial backing from private investment funds.