I’ve never paid much attention to new search engines, they seem to pop up all the time. Everyone claims to have the next big advancement in search technology, yada, yada, yada.
Suddenly, however I find myself paying attention to Become.com. I’ve heard about this engine before and there seems to be a buzz being created behind the scenes… similar to the same buzz that surrounded Google in its early days. But what got my attention was this article about a feature not yet added even to the public beta version.
The search box asks, “What products are you looking for?” Underneath, there are two buttons: “Research” and “Shop.”
For over a year I’ve been wanting search engines to differentiate between commercial and non-commercial results. (see my forum posts here and here.) It would appear that become.com is moving a step in that direction. Not my idea exactly, but perhaps even better.
This kind of results separation will vastly improve the quality of search results for the average user. When searching you are either researching or shopping. Sometimes a bit of both. My complaint has always been that when I’m researching my search results are cluttered with somebody trying to sell me something. Similarly, when I want to buy, the results are cluttered with information.
Shopping comparison search engines have helped separate product shopping from researchers, however I have yet to see a solution for service shopping. Become.com just may be the answer.