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Wink: People-Powered Search

Posted by: Rob Hof on December 22, 2005

The new “people-powered search engine,” Wink, has just launched its public beta. In CEO Michael Tanne’s own words:

Wink is a different kind of search engine - one that searches favorite links from, Digg, Slashdot, Yahoo My Web and others to find pages that people have found to be interesting and useful. As more services incorporate tags and user input, new pages are added to the Wink index and ranked using our TagRank technology to deliver the best results. The more that people add favorites and tags, the better it will get.

So when you do a search on Wink, you get one list of those people-powered links, and then another list that’s straight Google results. It looks pretty useful, especially for folks who have trouble keeping up with the crush of tagging sites. Mike Arrington has more on the site. Om Malik echoes my uncertainty about whether most (or even enough) people will take the time to tag sites and search results. (He also adds an interesting aside: If such sites reduce the number of pages people have to search to find something, does the lower number of page views ultimately knock a hole in Google’s revenues?)

The one question I have is how much extra time people will take to figure out how a new search site works to best advantage beyond just typing in a word. A9 has a great method of narrowing your results to specific sites or types of sites, and it works well but, well, takes work. Wink helps make some of that narrowing a little easier, though whether it’s easier enough remains to be seen.

Reader Comments

Dav Marish

January 25, 2007 8:23 PM

This Wink is the most useless search engine I have seen. In particular their claim that it is a "People powered search engine"!
For example I searched for "Chat server" and it returned the worst results imaginable.

If you want a "People powered search engine" that actually is that, and it does work very nicely try Anoox (
I have been using them for a while, and I just love it.

Mark Andeson

February 5, 2007 9:36 AM

Well Wink is not a search engine, that is not a general purpose search engine. It is just for searching for People. Whereas Anoox is a "People powered search engine". So although I agree with you that Anoox is a great search engine, maybe the best new search engine, I have to let you know that you misunderstood the purpose of Wink. It is just for searching for people!

Web Supporter

August 2, 2007 12:55 PM

The term People Powered Search has become broadly defined, as many search engines and technologies seem to use the web term to explain what they do.

Although most people use Google, MSN and Yahoo, some new research shows that senior researchers, new generations are also gaining an interest in different search technology. The extended exposurer often comes from discovery by inbound search links or search boxes on other websites or linked by search guide providers like

People Powered Search Technologies:

Compare this list

Danny Rowe drowe 20 @ hotmail . com

December 9, 2007 8:04 AM

I have never seen a search that used real information held on the different web search services to compare. My strategy is using to cut out muti search work can be very helpful. !!!!

Andrew Johnson

January 27, 2009 8:03 PM

I found this new cool search engine call, I believe that this Search Engine may have what it takes to become one of the top 3 or 5 search engines.


April 23, 2009 11:19 AM works better for me in terms of online reputation management and finding old school mates.

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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