As Google and Bing try to increase reach in a battle over who displays what social elements in search results, search engine add-ons are emerging to bring all social network results together.
Start-up HeyStaks Technologies launched its social search Firefox extension March 2 at the DEMO Spring 2011 conference. The extension works in tandem with established engines, displaying social results in a section above the regular search results. The product is built around “staks,” which are described in a company press release:
Users can create “search staks,” collections of the best Web pages from a group of users on a particular topic; these “staks” can be made public and easily shared with colleagues and friends via email, Twitter, etc., or kept private or shared on an invite-only basis.
The product provides an effective solution for users who share a common goal or shared interest, allowing them to search the web in a collaborative fashion using mainstream search engines, to make their searches much more effective by keeping the content relevance of results high.
An example of a HeyStak “search stak”
Another startup, Wajam, also recently launched a search extension. Wajam scours networks like Facebook, Twitter and Delicious and results are displayed horizontally across the top of search results.
A Wajam search result
The Wajam site says they’re currently “oversubscribed,” but several reviewers have mentioned if you send them a tweet (@wajam) requesting a subscription, or like them on Facebook, the wait isn’t too long.
HeyStaks is available as a Firefox add-on and an iPhone app. The Wajam extension is available for Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer. Apps for the iPhone and Android are pending.