Search Tool Builds Community

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To build an effective online community, Web publishers need to know the topics their users find most interesting, then provide that information. Behavioral search technology firm Eurekster, San Francisco, today launches the swiki, a search service for small businesses, Web publishers and bloggers that lets them return search results relevant to their communities.


The self-serve tool lets Web sites and blogs anonymously monitor the behavior and searches of visitors to the site, then learns from their behavior to serve search results based on what most visitors search for. The search results are always the relevant ones rather than regular search results, Eurekster said.


Sites also can add a "buzz cloud" showing visitors the most common and popular search terms in that community.


Both features help publishers create more of a sense of community, Eurekster CEO Steven Marder said.


"Let's say you're a midwife, and you've got a blog around pregnancy," he said. "It's really the community powering the results, and you can really offer something unique."


Hollywood.com, ConsumerReview.com and CommunityConnect.com already use the technology. Eurekster plans to add advertising capabilities to the swiki technology by the end of the year.


"Our goal is to create a whole new set of inventory out there that is really valuable to the advertisers that want to get to that community," Marder said. "An advertiser who wants to target a community such as pregnant women, through performance-based advertising, can target this community."


Publishers will get a "pretty aggressive" share of revenue generated by ads on swikis, he said.


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