Saturday, April 17, 2004
Amazon.com subsidiary A9.com has quietly released a beta of their new A9 search engine powered by Google, which includes Search Inside the Book results and a personal search history that tracks results you've previously viewed and is accessible from any PC. Oh, and of course there's an A9 browser toolbar. Another cool, but not necessarily useful, feature of the A9 search engine is the Site Info feature that enables you to view traffic stats and user reviews for any site that shows up as a search result - this treats the site just like any other product on Amazon.com. This feature appears to be powered by the Alexa traffic analysis service, which is designed to translate Web users' browsing habits into a community resource or some other such nonsense. Alexa is an early dot-com that I thought had long ago gone out of business but is apparently now owned by Amazon.com. Surprise, surprise... Alexa has its own browser toolbar.