Lets face it, the Internet search niche is saturated – there are so many competitors there that its really hard to get any sort of a hold on the market these days.

On top of that market saturation, search has become a seriously complex beast – how can anyone compete with the likes of Google who literally have millions of servers crunching search results and websites continuously as well as over 16 years of experience and knowledge in the search engine landscape.

Innovation in Search

In spite of those impressive numbers from the giants in search, it is a massive marketplace (probably the biggest marketplace in fact) and as with everything on the Internet there is always room for innovation.

In fact many still believe that the Internet is still very much in its infancy and that the entire online world is going to change several times over in its journey to adulthood.

These facts and assumptions tell us that anyone who enters the search market and in fact any serious online market has to be innovative and has to think outside of the box in order to come up with a serious contender to the current alternatives.

One such company to supply innovation in the saturated search market was Bing whom we wrote an article on Bing a while back, highlighting the ways in which they had differentiated themselves from other search giants, thereby carving a space for their engine in the marketplace.

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similartoSimilarTo is relatively new search engine that has also managed to supply the niche with some refreshing innovation.

One way to describe SimilarTo would be Stumbled Upon meets Compare the market. The basic concept of the website is to provide visitors with websites that are similar to other websites – so for example, you might type the well known hosting site Godaddy into the SimilarTo search engine, and it will return sites that are related to Godaddy and/or the services that they provide.

Each results returned comes with a little snippet of information about the website as well as a score which denotes how similar the site is to your search query as a percentage of all of the other results. the idea being that if a result has a score of 100% it should be very closely related to the site that you typed in.

The database of sites is being constantly expanded and refined by the backend of SimilarTo but in addition to the hard work that the developers put in to refining the database of similar sites, they also rely on a little user input in the form of a yes and no button listed along side each result that is returned by SimilarTo. If you find that a result perhaps isn’t related to your search query after all, you can simply click on the “no” button and that will send information back to the developers that the site in question is not related to your query site after all. This user element keeps the database as accurate as possible.

There are several ways in which a website like this could come in very handy:

  • Perhaps you are looking for some information online but you cant quite find what you want – you find lots of similar sites that almost have what you want, but not quite. So you put one of those sites into SimilarTo and you should turn up other similar sites and perhaps find exactly what you were looking for.
  • If you have found a service that you are interested in purchasing but want to see what alternatives there are on the market, SimilarTo is also a great place to start looking for those alternatives – type in one of the providers you are currently looking at, and see what other similar sites are out there.
  • SimilarTo can also be used for fun – its great to type in some of your favorite sites and see what else comes up in the results.