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Eurekster's Community Connection

While the major search engines boast about the size of their indexes, smaller players are differentiating their services by narrowing them down.

Eurekster, for example, provides focused search services that link search algorithms to social networks and communities of interest. Eurekster SwickiBuilder gives small or individual site publishers the ability to create their own search engines, while Eurekster SearchPublisher is an enterprise-level platform for delivering a customized, branded search feature on large Web sites.

On Tuesday, Eurekster announced a deal to integrate Eurekster's SearchPublisher as the social search offering for visitors to Community Connect sites.

Community Connect provides free personal pages, email, forums, news, chat, instant messaging, games, promotions and online events targeted at specific U.S. ethnic groups. It operates three networks: AsianAvenue.com, MiGente for Hispanics, and BlackPlanet.com. Altogether, the sites have more than 16 million registered users.

"Those Web sites are about enabling their users to share things with each other, and that's where our platform of community-powered search helps facilitate users within a specific network of communities," said Eurekster CEO Steven Marder.

Eurekster SearchPublisher lets a Web site's users vote on search relevancy with their clicks. It refines search queries originating from publisher Web sites, and re-ranks the results through automatic analysis of the search results that users of the site have previously clicked on.

Its BuzzCloud feature automatically displays the most popular and recommended searches for a site's users.

The two-year relationship will be monetized with search advertising from Yahoo Search Marketing; revenue will be shared between Eurekster and Community Connect.

Eurekster uses the ASP model for large publishers using Search Publisher, with the company providing the customized search, reporting tools and ad distribution. In this case, it will use Yahoo as the core natural search index.

Marder said he wasn't worried about more and more companies trying to get a piece of the search marketing pie.

He said, "Our platform is so compelling that we know we can drive a lot more search related traffic and help drive better performance of that traffic."

Marder thinks there's lots of opportunity for highly focused niche search. "We're here to serve what we call 'the rest of the Web'. Probably 80 percent of Web sites have some type of personalization and community around them. In a lot of ways, they are underserved in terms of tools that provide value. We want to provide a platform for those guys to provide more customized value to their users."