Whatever happened to A9.com?

One of the terms I hear often when people talk about search is relevance – which I interpret to mean the ability of the search engine to return the result you actually want. To be honest, I didn’t pay much attention to this. Like most everyone else, I’ve been using google for a while, and the results were quite acceptable.

When amazon.com launched a9.com, I switched to it immediately because I was able to get the best of both worlds - it was serving up google’s results, plus giving me a small additional discount on may amazon.com purchases.

Last week I noticed something funny though – the search results I was getting didn’t seem as helpful as I had come to expect. In some cases I would type in a search term that I knew should quickly bring me to a particular site whose URL I had forgotten, but it wasn’t on the first or even second page. I couldn’t figure out what might be wrong. Then I took a closer look at the a9.com page – the web search was now by live.com – which I guess is the beta for Microsoft’s new search. I then retried some of the searches that frustrated me on google, and sure enough – the sites I was looking for were right there near the top. Google also proved much more understanding of spelling mistakes than live.com – a good thing since spelling is not my strong suit.

I don’t know what the future will bring in the search engine wars, but this is the first time that I’ve really had my nose rubbed in the fact that not all search engines are equal – and Microsoft indeed has a long way to go.

4 Responses to “Whatever happened to A9.com?”

  1. Brad Murray Says:

    So do you think that MS is actually worse at bringing back items in general? It sounds like you are used to particular responses you get from Google and you think MS should give you the same sites. That doesn’t mean their results are worse, just different.

  2. Jacob Says:

    I switched to live.com search couple months back, and its great compared to google.

    You clearly don’t have any idea of what you are talking about. Unsubscription from the VB5 guy’s blog is in order.

  3. Demetrio Says:

    Surely you can have an opinion without resorting to personal comments. Maybe you should do some research about the author before making comments like: ‘you clearly dont have any idea of what you are talking about’.

  4. Amazon River Says:

    Bah I wish I had read this post about 3 weeks ago.. would have saved me so much time

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