RealTime IT News

Popularity Is Key to New HotBot Search

For search engine HotBot, the best way to find out how to enhance its search results was to ask its users.

The search engine, which is part of the Lycos network, said it has improved its services by anonymously tracking the search experiences and preferences of its users. The result is the Direct Hit Popularity Engine -- search technology that analyzes which Web sites are visited most often by users and attributes them to certain keywords. HotBot said by tracking previous searches, it has come up with a relevant Top 10 list of related Web sites to a keyword.

For example, users entering the word "Elvis" will receive the 10 sites most frequently visited by previous HotBot users making the same request.

"When you're looking for a great restaurant, book, or movie, you generally rely on a few good friends or respected newspapers for a sound recommendation," said Joel Truher, Wired Digital's vice president of technology strategy.

"HotBot now takes that same recommendation model and multiplies it among millions of experienced Web searchers. The result is fast, knowledgeable recommendations from thousands of people who have been to these sites and found what they were looking for. This addition to our Web-based results makes for a lethal search combination."

The popularity ranking technology is provided by Direct Hit Technologies Inc.