Although it never reached the search engine “major leagues”, Accoona was a serious minor-league player for several years. The service was launched almost four years ago at a major PR event attended by former president Bill Clinton, who reportedly carried out the first public search on the service. Investments totaling as much as $100 million apparently were made to ensure that the service was backed by the best technology (and, of course, marketing). And, if memory serves, the site even managed to garner a decent — if not earth shattering – amount of traffic in its first year or two.
At some point, though, Accoona’s fortunes took a wrong turn. The quality of its search results didn’t meet expectations. There were accusations of inappropriate marketing tactics on behalf of the search engine and inappropriate sales techniques by affiliated websites. All of this — and more — ended up in a New York Times article last August that was far from flattering.
It wasn’t much of a surprise, then, when the Accoona announced late last year that it was halting its plans for an IPO.
It also wasn’t a surprise to most search industry veterans when word started leaking out over the past few months that Accoona was downsizing and considering alternative strategies for its business. Here at Zuula, we followed this news closely, since Accoona has been one of our web search tabs since not long after we launched our site.
Today, Accoona quietly unveiled its new strategy, and web search apparently is not part of that strategy. Instead, the new focus is on business search and news search.
As a result, we’ll be removing the Accoona web search tab at Zuula in the next day or two. At the same time, we’ll take a closer look at Accoona news search results to see if it makes sense to include an Accoona tab among the other news search options at Zuula. (Please feel free to share your ideas on that possibility in the comments below.)
As I’ve written before, it’s never a pleasant for us when we have to announce the removal of a search tab at Zuula. Still, Zuula continues to offer its users a rich variety of search options, including ten different sources for both web search and image search, and nine different sources for both video search and blog search.