Wednesday, September 15, 2004
A9 Is Coming
Amazon's search service officially goes live today. John Battelle got to sit down and review it for Business 2.0, and his article explains exactly what A9 is and why it just might work. A9 uses Google's index, so right off the bat you know you are dealing with a search engine that actually has some decent results, unlike most new entries in the game. The pull of A9 comes from what Amazon has built and layered above the Google interface: a robust, scalable system of apps that add a lot of value to your searching. It remembers who you are and what you searched for, and if, you install the A9 toolbar, it knows every site you visit. Then, like Amazon already does, it can offer recommendations based on what it knows you already like to do. By building the search histories of its users, all A9 needs to do is hit a critical mass and it can dump Google, so Amazon has not stuck themselves with technology they don't own. It all adds up to probably the most interesting and capable search engine we've seen since, well, Google. I'll be testing it out for a week, and I'll deliver a report. I encourage readers to send me their reviews.