Smaller search engines tap social platforms

Some niche engines are using social activity as a search signal.

BuzzFeed.pngAs the major search engines work to integrate social components into their search algorithms, it’s interesting to also see niche engines tapping those same social networks for targeted results.

BuzzFeed, for example, recently launched its Pop Culture Search Engine to search pop-culture memes. It searches in a viral sort of way — the more “buzz” a story gets on social media platforms, the more likely it is to appear in the results. They also use this traffic indicator as a basis for isolating quality content.

Foodily is another targeted engine. It aggregates recipes from around the web and integrates the information with your friends’ comments, recommendations, tips and recipes from Facebook. This approach creates more of a community environment for foodies, setting it apart from straight-up recipe search engines such as those on Cooking.com, Epicurious, or Food & Wine. Foodily can also search for recipes that don’t contain certain ingredients. If you’re allergic to garlic or out of milk, this feature might come in handy. (Note: Google’s new Recipe View also allows you to select ingredients.)

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