Announcing a Haredim Kosher Search Engine: Koogle

Koogle Kosher Search Engine Screen Capture

THE SEARCH MARKET GOES KOSHER

This post is being published today, Wednesday, a day other than Saturday, on purpose. It is about yet another new search engine… In the wake of Wolfram Alpha and Bing, announcing Koogle (www.koogle.co.il), a cross between Google and Kugel (the name of a Jewish noodle pudding), designed for the Jewish (read Haredim) community. Ok, Koogle is not going to be bringing you revolutionary and sophisticated responses for the everyday Joe. In fact, Koogle doesn’t come up on either Bing or Wolfram Alpha. Evidently, the owners of Koogle.co.il were not able to grab the koogle.com URL either. Koogle is not for everyone and it is not for every day use on the Internet. In true Kosher form, Koogle crashes on Saturday (starting at sundown on Friday and ending 25 hours later). To read “About Koogle,” apparently you need to read Hebrew.

A JEWISH FILTER

In their mission statement, Koogle administrators said the site’s goal is to “filter the appropriate information from different websites that are relevant to our target audience in a way that does not contradict the values of our traditional Jewish audience.”

From the USA Today article on 18 June 2009: “Koogle is not a filter for surfers who want to access secular websites. Rather, it is a compilation of Israeli resources deemed inoffensive by the administrators. It includes news, business directories and links to realtors, kosher restaurants, hotels as well as mohels, or ritual circumcisers, and rehab centers.”

And, again from the same news source: “In keeping with the norms of the haredi community, no photos of women — no matter how modestly attired — are permitted on Koogle. Nor are there ads for TVs, DVD players or other “unkosher” products.”

Well, it may not rank up there with Wolfram or Bing in terms of traffic, but it certainly is the winner for being the most specific.

UPDATE ON 14 APRIL 2011: The site Koogle is no longer functional

Microsoft buys Yahoo

Microsoft buys Yahoo?Microsoft to buy Yahoo for real this time? (BBC report) It was announced late yesterday that Microsoft has put in a bid to buy Yahoo for $44.6B, some 62% above where the Yahoo stock price closed on Thursday. Granted Yahoo stock has dropped 46% over the course of the last 3 months (high of $34 in October). Speculation was rife last May that this deal would go down (see SearchEngineJournal post or this Friday Traffic Report blog). There was talk of such a deal in 2006 as well…(see here at Scobleizer).
Google versus Yahoo?  Coming out of the garbage
The Yahoo stock performance and, more importantly, Google‘s continuing dominance obviously have created an environment where this deal would make sense. At 62% above the last close, the premium would look hard to reject from the Yahoo board’s perspective, especially after CEO Jerry Yang had just announced that 1000 people would have to be laid off.

My immediate analysis would be:
- obviously need the anti-competition authority’s approval on this one
- Yahoo’s corporate culture will take it on the chin
- some intelligent cross-fertilization would likely make the combined entity a viable competitor to Google (which would be a good thing), but they will need to find and communicate a real point of difference. How will they manage to compete better in China?

And in case that deal falls through, I invite you (and/or Microsoft) to peruse this site which considers the Top 100 alternative search engines available. What’s interesting is the churn in and out of that top 100 list… And I have been turned on to the KoolTorch search engine which provides a kind of mind-mapping result to your searches. Quite Kool indeed — and a nifty educational aspect (if you enjoy categorization!).

Your thoughts? If you want an interesting thread on the topic and the potential impact to open source work, go visit LinuxJournal. There’s lots of commentary to read through there…