Google challenger launches tablet search engine

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Jan 8, 2013 5:00:44 AM via Website

Over the years, Google has faced plenty of challengers who hope to muscle in on its dominance of the search engine market, from major players such as Microsoft’s Bing to more specialist sites like RushmoreDrive – a search engine aimed at black internet users.
Their success has been varied, but none has made a serious dent in the internet giant’s top-ranking status.
However, the challenges keep coming. The latest company to take a shot at Google is Blekko. It’s already a player in the search engine market, but now it’s launched Izik – a search engine designed specifically for tablet users, Techcrunch reports.
CEO Rich Skrenta and vice president of marketing Michael Markson say tablet users are less “task-orientated” in their searches than those Googling at a desktop or laptop computer – they’re more likely to be looking something up out of curiosity than necessity, they believe.
They have also found that searches on tablets tend to be shorter, which they say comes down to the fact that typing just isn’t as easy on a device without a keyboard.
Izik uses Blekko’s search technology, which categorises the results depending on the term entered: “iPad mini” brings up Apple news, while “Brad Pitt” returns “Gossip”. It’s also described as more “touch-friendly” and “image-driven” than the company’s standard offering.
In April, Blekko reported 5.33 million unique IPs during that month – a tiny, tiny fraction of the traffic Google enjoys, but a number which grew quickly in early 2012. But whether Izik will see the kind of growth its parent engine has or go the way of RushmoreDrive – which closed after just a year – and many others like it remains to be seen.