I just learned of SearchMe a search engine which differentiates itself by being more graphical than others. When you search, you are presented with category tabs as well as a graphical representation of what the results pages look like.
You scroll through the results as you might scroll through the albums or photos on an iPhone.
In this manner you can determine if the web page looks appropriate before you even click on it. You can also use a non-graphical mode which is similar to current search engines.
The search engine is in "private" beta as of today and you can sign up for free trial by giving the company your e-mail address.
My only concern about this search engine is that if it becomes popular will it give an advantage to sites which are more attractive? In other words, will good content be trumped by good design?
For example would craigslist be something worthy of a click if searched via searchme?
Another concern has to do with presenting web results without people having to click on a page. In other words do I want people to read my web pages on searchme instead of clicking on my website?
Will this spur lawsuits if the site becomes popular.
Google has been sued because of its caching feature which leads me to think that sites with pictures are possibly going to sue searchme in the future.
But taking my legal hat off for a moment (and since I am not a lawyer this hat looks surprisingly like a dunce cap 😉 ) I think this new engine is good news for those who want more competition in the search market.
I haven’t even used the search engine yet and I still think both Microsoft and Google will likely acquire the company.
You can check out a video of searchme by clicking the graphic at the top of this post.