Ahmed Hossain is the chief information officer of Yauba, a new online search application that protects privacy and allows browsers to seek anonymity. We asked Hossain what made Yauba special, and how challenging it is for new search start-ups with Google breathing down their necks. Edited excerpts:
How is Yauba unique as a search engine?
We are the only world-class search engine that uses no cookies whatsoever, does not store any of the users’ personal details, and allows users to browse third-party websites anonymously. More than 90% of Internet users globally feel that online privacy is an important issue for them.
And how does it display results differently?
We auto-categorize all of our results in real time by multiple categories. So on a single, consolidated Web page, you can see all the websites, blogs, video files, PDF files, PowerPoint files, even social network profiles that relate to a given search term. You are able to play video results directly in the search page. We also have an anonymization filter which allows users to browse websites without passing on any private information.
With Google leading the search market, how can new search engines innovate and stand apart?
Also Listen An audio interview with Hossain
I think new search engines absolutely need to find areas where it is difficult for Google to compete effectively. Foreign, non-English markets would be a great example: In China, Korea and Russia, for example, Google is not the leading search engine. In India, I think there is an opportunity to take such a local language strategy and create a powerful search engine that focuses solely on Hindi or Bengali, for example.
The term “Google-killer” gets bandied about a lot every time a new search engine comes out. Has Yauba had to deal with the same problem?
I know several bloggers have started to call us the next “Google-killer”. While we appreciate the flattery, we should make it very clear that we have never claimed to be a Google-killer, and we definitely do not see ourselves as such. We are a small Indian company, Yauba is still in late alpha/early beta, and our employees are (for the most part) nice, peace-loving vegetarians. We certainly have no desire to kill anybody or anything.
Tell us how you intend to monetize the Yauba brand.
A screen shot of Yauba
We are experimenting with the business model, and we will need to figure this out before we come fully out of beta. We are currently running some advertising experiments on our results pages, as well as speaking with some interested corporate clients on licensing our technologies. For example, our technologies and assets can be leveraged to build vertical search engines (say, a search engine focused on cricket or, even more narrowly, cricket videos) very easily, and many of our core search algorithms can be successfully deployed in corporate knowledge management systems as well.
Try the Indian version of Yauba at www.yauba.co.in.