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Startup develops personalized search engine

April 24, 2014
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Startup develops personalized search engine
The startup SideSpark is developing a personalized search engine. Photo via sidespark.com

A startup is working to make online searches more personal.

Personalized search

Start Garden, the $15-million seed fund in Grand Rapids, invested $5,000 last week in SideSpark.

The search engine is in development and allows users to explore the Internet based on their interests.

SideSpark features a user profile, personalized search engine, content feed and social networking.

The search engine builds a user’s profile through tests and surveys, including personality traits and interests, and then delivers relevant content in their feed.

Jordan Rajewski, founder of SideSpark, said a large part of a personalized web experience is becoming acquainted with user interests.

The market

SideSpark’s emphasis on personalized search results and the social networking element are designed to help set it apart from other search engines in the market.

Although SideSpark’s personalized search makes Google a competitor, Rajewski said the main competition for the search engine is other personalized search-based services, such as StumbleUpon and backstitch.

Backstitch curates websites that are important to each user, and StumbleUpon introduces users to websites based on their past interests.

Web pages

The amount of information on the Internet increases exponentially at roughly one million pages each day, according to the 2012 article “Existing Trends and Techniques for Web Personalization” in the International Journal of Computer Science Issues.

Web personalization is one of the most promising approaches to tackling content overload, the article states. Web personalization predicts an individual’s needs based on prior searches and behavioral analysis.

Plans

SideSpark will use the StartGarden funds to finish its live demo version and back-end development.  

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