Is Samuru really going to challenge Google? Time will tell! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves; first allow me to introduce Samuru.com
It delivers pretty relevant results, I did some comparisons and the results were pretty different than Google’s, so I did discover some new sites. I didn’t do any in-depth comparison yet but the new sites I discovered via Samuru do seem to be high quality so I think I’m preliminarily pleased with the results. I’m a creature of habit, so I like the Google layout that I’m used to but that’s just me.
Samuru is based on a different technology, called ‘Liquid Helium’ – in the words of the founding company:
“It converts written content into mathematical values and algorithms for predictable analysis, extraction, and manipulation.
Liquid Helium factors information about sentence and paragraph structure, word usage, parts of speech, grammar, writing style, punctuation, and inherent bias through a vast collection of proprietary rules, filters, and custom language libraries. [...]
The ability to extract sentiment, bias, reading level, technical level, formality, urgency, and whether or not content is editorial in nature are just a few of the language scores that can be returned.”
Samuru is very much a work in progress according to the founder of Samuru: “When you are building a technology, you have to isolate and test. We use indicators that are harder to game than inbound links like traffic. But it is a balancing act. We have just shy of 100 score factors we can tweak, and getting them right takes a bit of time.”
In another post on Hacker News, Brandon Wirtz (creator and former SEO) explained:
“Samuru doesn’t use link authority, it analyzes pages and matches what you queried to the types of pages and picks the best matches.
Let me give you an example. You search for “How to Make cupcakes” Google says give me the pages that have the most inbound linkes (over simplification) that contain all those words. The winner is Brandon’s Cupcakes (not really but play along for a minute) because it says, “We know how to make the best cupcakes, because we have been doing it for 25 years”
That is not a useful result. Samuru on the other hand says “how to make cupcakes is a search for instructions” and it looks for pages that match the words, and are written as instructions.
We weigh other factors, like is there an author associated with the article. Do they routinely write about the topic?
We do this for reviews, products and other things as well.
To be a full replacement for Google we need Driving directions, and image search and a lot of things. But in order to do all the other things we are doing we needed a search engine. (related content, analysis, speed testing, building a corpus of words)
Responses get better if you search something someone else has searched or do a second search 30 seconds later. This is because we haven’t deep indexed the entire Internet yet, and so we don’t have all the deep data.”
How will this engine play out over time? We’ll have to see. In the meantime, are you going to try to optimize for it? It should be pretty easy, since they are looking for high quality useful content that establishes the theme of the site, you just need to ensure you have existing high quality content and continue to add more. We’ll know more over time, of course.
Matt Cutts of Google congratulated Wirtz and said he was curious to hear how Brandon feels running an engine after being an SEO for so long. Brandon replied by saying he likes it and said his goal was to create an engine that he, himself could not game.
Stay tuned for more information as Samuru progresses!