LeapFish attempts to break into the search game by contextualizing results
It's a tough game job creating a new search engine. Trying to break into the market with Google, Yahoo, and MSN is sort of like trying to start your own baseball league to draw fans away from MLB. Three-month-old search engine LeapFish isn't trying to start a new league, it's just trying build a better stadium.
LeapFish takes the indexed results from Google, Yahoo, and MSN, and does what what CEO Ben Behrouzi calls "the heavy lifting." That is, it gives a selection of results that include web entries, related statistics, videos, and other such relevant information rather than the same information you'd find if you were to use those individual search engines.
Behrouzi spoke with Betanews this afternoon and said, "The Internet has grown so much, and there's so much information, yet most people don't go past the first page of Google and Yahoo in their searches. Tons of stuff is getting lost."
Searching for real estate listings, Behrouzi suggests, should bring up the variety of content pertinent to the searcher outside of just classified ads. It should yield statistics about the areas in which houses are located, demographics, and so forth.
Searching for an individual should bring up entries written both about and by that person, videos that feature them. "Variety," Behrouzi said, "is key with the growth of the Internet."
Results are presented in a totally clickless format on LeapFish. Similar to the way search suggest will complete the query for a user, LeapFish simply performs the search as the user is typing, and it is extremely fast.
I asked Behrouzi how he'd classify LeapFish, and he said "We call ourselves a multi-dimensional search aggregator, but to the user, we're a search engine."
The thing that caught my eye about LeapFish, beside its speed in retrieval, was its sponsored links section. While the site uses the other search engines -- it actually says "Don't worry, you're not cheating on Google" in the search field -- the sponsored results are totally different from those you'd find on Google or Yahoo. I could immediately see how this would be desirable for advertisers who do not have top sponsored keyword placement on Google.