17 Apr Webaroo aims to make mobile search relevant
The so-called mobile Internet is neither conveniently mobile, nor completely the Internet. Mobile devices hardly have the display or storage to support a rich Web experience, and mobile networks are not ubiquitous, high-bandwidth or cheap enough to support an always-connected browsing experience. Still, we’ve come to expect quick access to information. So even while we’re frustrated by it, we put up with a fairly poor mobile Web experience.
This situation is what Seattle-based Webaroo hopes to change with the mobile search software and service it has launched. Webaroo effectively lets you carry the Web on any Windows Mobile 5 handheld device or mobile phone.
While it is nearly impossible to compress billions of Web pages onto a handheld device, Webaroo uses a smart search algorithm optimized for “maximum content density,” according to co-founder and head technologist Beerud Sheth. The Webaroo search methodology first spiders the Web, then selects relevant pages that will give the best – if not all – results. Results and related Web pages are bundled by subject into “Web packs” on a variety of subjects, from news to travel destinations. Users select Web packs to download to their mobile devices, and are then able to search and read pages, even while not connected to the Internet.
The device-based content is refreshed each time the user connects to the network, ensuring that the mobile content remains fresh and relevant.
The smart algorithm and clever packaging lets Webaroo provide relevant results to both repetitive, common queries and to the random requests that make up the “long tail” of search queries.
While it has been optimized for handheld devices, Webaroo will quickly become a must-have for laptop users. In fact, Acer has signed on as a first partner of the start-up and will bundle Webaroo software on future laptop shipments.
The service is free – try it out by downloading the software here. In time, the company says it will support the service through advertising. The mobile focus of Webaroo, and the relevance of its search results, should make it a highly valuable advertising medium.
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