Mobile search engine ChaCha has revolutionized searching by employing human employees to provide results. While Google SMS and other text messaging search engines have been around for several years, ChaCha is the first to win several awards for its unique services.
“ChaCha is much more helpful to mobile phone users than typical computer-driven search engines,” states their website. “ChaCha is conversational, fun, and easy to use.”
By texting ChaCha at (242242), cell phone users can input any question. Then, one of 25,000 ChaCha guides will answer the text with the correct answer. An example on the ChaCha website is “What book by Homer described drugged out people called the Lotus Eaters?” and ChaCha responds with “Fabulous people who lived on the lotus, which brought forgetfulness and happy indolence. They appear in Homer’s Odyssey.”
ChaCha has an astounding one million users and was named the fastest growing mobile search engine by Neilsen Mobile data. Despite its growing popularity, it has been the topic of much speculation because it is unknown of the ChaCha employees search for the most relevant result, like Google search would do, or if they just choose a result based on their preference or perhaps even laziness. Still, ChaCha’s accuracy rate is a reported 93%.
In a recent article on cnn.com Brian DeLoach, an independent search engine optimization specialist was quoted as saying, “The benefits of having a real person on the other end is that they can save you time by sifting through the results to find the most relevant information.”
ChaCha’s guides reportedly work from home and the majority are college students or stay-at-home moms and are earning roughly 20 cents per question answered with at least 200 questions answered a week.
Humans replacing search engine algorithms certainly won’t be the future of search, but it does make for an interesting experiment on how humans would arrive at the results that they do and how close to Google’s algorithm that would be.
Tags: Search Engines