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New search engine goes visual

A new search engine has been launched in private beta form, offering up a 'visual' search.

A new search engine has been launched in private beta form, offering up a ‘visual’ search that could bring a new dimension to flight and travel queries.

SearchMe provides a search results spread that features pictures of web pages, allowing those searching for cheap flights to a certain destination to profile the relevance of potential pages in a new way before clicking through.

Randy Adams, SearchMe chief executive, said: "SearchMe’s engine, built from the ground up, utilises proprietary technology optimised for category suggest, visual search, speed and relevancy."

The ‘category suggest’ function provides options for the searcher as they type in a query, implying benefits of early disambiguation for flight search where carrier names such as Monarch or Emirates have to contend with multiple uses and search results.

Other search engines have however been said to provide the same category function more efficiently, while SearchMe’s pictorial results are claimed to be more apt for general browsing than for targeted searches where information excerpts are more useful than an image overview.

Semantic search blogger Elliot Ng saw some benefits to the site, but claimed that a travel search query such as "family friendly" would not yield useful reviews, ratings, photos, prices or location information on SearchMe, but instead would provide an uninformative page visual.