There's a new search engine on the scene that thinks it's time consumers "got some answers." The recently debuted Swingly is designed to give searchers direct answers instead of links to pages with relevant information.
In a blog post, Swingly explained yesterday that it aims to be the search alternative for consumers who want the facts. "While keyword-based search is great for a lot of things, there are times when it just lets us all down," says Swingly. This is where its semantic search comes in.
The opt-in beta site lets users type questions instead of keywords and get the answer or answers they need. The site has some human-generated results, including answers culled from tweets or Wikipedia, but it claims to set itself apart from community-based search services, such as Facebook Questions or the new social search offered by Ask.com, with its natural language processing feature. Swingly generates results from the text in reliable web documents it has indexed and shows searchers these snips instead of links, pairing direct answers with users' questions.
Nonetheless, the site may not be as original as it claims. Some of the top search engines are making moves to offer consumers relevant content as answers to queries instead of links. Google acquired Metaweb earlier this year to find the connection between users' intentions and keywords, Yahoo is focusing on contextual searches to provide information that demonstrates "an understanding of the query" and Bing recently paired with Wolfram Alpha to give consumers quick, direct answers.
It seems that search engines are moving away from serving as the middlemen between consumers and the information they seek, instead positioning themselves as direct sources of answers. This increased focus on offering searchers relevant content should be an indication that marketers need to make their brands thought leaders and offer relevant, up-to-date industry info via their websites and social pages if they want to catch consumers' clicks and, ultimately, cash.