Something is going on at the French general-purpose search engine Exalead.
And, no, we’re not talking about the new features and functionality of their image search, which they announced on their company blog today.
Instead, we’re talking about something much more visible; namely, what you see on the Exalead homepage (www.exalead.com).
Previously, the homepage looked like your typical search engine homepage. It had the Exalead logo, a big search box, some links for different search types … you get the picture.
Today, the homepage is chock full of content hawking Exalead’s enterprise search solutions. Sure, there’s still a search box on the page. But it doesn’t work! If you enter a search term and hit the return key, all that happens is that you’re returned to the exact same page.
Initially, we thought this was a sure sign that Exalead was getting out of the general Internet search business. But the real story seems to be a bit more subtle than that. Exalead is still putting its general search homepage up for use if you go to country-specific sites such as www.exalead.fr or www.exalead.de. And you can get the content that used to be at the .com site’s homepage by going here.
So, based on what we can see right now, it looks like Exalead is shifting its focus away from the global Internet search market, and choosing, instead, to focus on certain country-specific search markets (and, of course, its enterprise search business).
Anyone with the inside scoop care to enlighten us on what’s going on?
(As always, feel free to track this development using Zuula blog search or news search. And, of course, we’ll continue to include Exalead’s globally-oriented web and image search results at Zuula as long as they remain available.)
Update: It looks like this posting got the attention of some people at Exalead, because the global homepage at www.exalead.com is now back to the way it looked previously. Either the company has re-thought its strategic shift, or there was a major mix-up in regard to the .com homepage. And I describe the mix-up as “major” because — if it was a mix-up — it was visible to the rest of the world for several days. The first mention of the different homepage content was several days ago — see this posting on the Exalead feedback website.