With the recent spate of search engine announcements last week, you might have missed the headlines that popped up around the web on May 13th. “Clouds Gather Over Google with Hulbee Launch” was repeated on a variety of websites to announce the official launch of Hulbee.com. The visually appealing search engine christened Hulbee was lauded as the next new thing in a week that saw highly touted web events that included Google “Searchology” and Wolfram Alpha. And given the limited buzz that Hulbee appears to be generating in the U.S. we thought we’d catch you up on the latest entry in the hunt for a better search engine.
Hulbee.com, created by leading Swiss software company, Grossbay A. G., is a new search application that offers a data cloud of search words in addition to a standard search bar. Based on the Hulbee knowledge management program developed by Grossbay, Hulbee’s developers boast that the data cloud allows users to access information intuitively and to reduce search time. Their press release goes on to point out that using a data cloud allows users to narrow their results in a more natural way by searching within thematically connected keywords rather than wading through pages of long list results.
The reality is just a little different from the press puffery. While www.hulbee.com’s home page does greet you with a data cloud, unless your search is one of the 25 generic keywords on the front page, you’ll need to type your term in a standard search bar. The press release promised “users won’t get the normal long list of pages containing their search words, but will instead get a data cloud containing a number of other key words” and that is true – up to a point. Your search will return a data cloud of related keywords, but it is placed off to the side in a left column on a page with a list of 10 results! It is easy to select an additional keyword to narrow the search, just click and it is added to your search bar and the results are displayed. Hulbee claims that “From that cloud you are then able to refine your search more easily without having to open up endless websites hoping to find the information you want.” But you’ll still have to scroll and read the snippets returned with the results to see if you’ve found what you’re looking for or if you need to refine the term.
Early testing of Hulbee didn’t quite convince me that what they promise and deliver match up. While Hulbee is partnered with Yahoo, searches don’t return the same wealth of results that a Google search does with fewer indexed sites. Another limitation is the inability to make the search local or to refine it by time or type of results, new twists that Google has unveiled recently.
For now, we’ll watch and wait. Certainly the novelty of the data cloud makes searching more fun if not quicker. The novelty wears off quickly when you move from a generic or vague to determining specific keywords that might actually help you find your information. When compared to the new options in Goggle’s Advanced Search, Hulbee may be a fun interface but visual theatrics aside, searching remains all about the results. For now, those clouds over Google aren’t really casting a threatening shadow.
Other Resources on Hublee Search Engine:
Joey Hall – VP Content Marketing