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Gimpsy: Activity Searching

If you perform a search on a standard search engine then what you're getting is a list of pages that are likely to be related to the set of words you typed in. If you're searching for information then this is all well and good, but if you have a purpose other than browsing for miscellaneous information then you often have to contort or reword the query because the search engine doesn't understand what you are looking for.

There's got to be a better way than doing those traditional searches and wading through the results given. That better way is Gimpsy.

Technically Gimpsy is a directory, similar to DMOZ and Yahoo except that Gimpsy takes a radically different approach to categorization. Sites undertake Gimpsy's human review and are then placed in to categories dependent on what the searcher can accomplish online when using it. At first this concept seems a little bit alien, but it really is remarkably easy. Suppose that your web site sells books, then the category it will go in is Buy > Books. Why? Because if a searcher wants to "Buy Books" then your site, which sells books, is a correct response. Gimpy's classification structure exists to meet a searchers desired activity.

Gimpsy boast superior natural language capabilities, it's easy to see how the underlying categorization structure would help them with this. The obvious test for natural language search is to compare it to Ask Jeeves. Indeed when I input the query "buy a physics text book" in to both, Gimpsy provided me with a list of sites where I could do exactly that. In contrast Ask Jeeves' results quickly became irrelevant to my aim.

The reverse of this is that Gimpsy isn't made to handle informational searches. If you want to read gossip about Madonna, Gimpsy just doesn't know where to send you. It may be astonishing for the singer's fans to find that just typing 'Madonna' leads to a 'No results' page. However, if you want to "'join a singer fan club" or "buy a rock music album", Gimpsy brings up just the sites to accomplish your wish online.

For the seasoned searcher, and even for some new searchers, this kind of query goes against the grain. We're used to typing keywords in to search engines and swapping them around a bit to get the best results. There's no need to worry though, Gimpsy's natural language search is easy to get used to. As an added bonus, go to the home page and you will see a whole list of verbs. Click a verb and you can drill down through the various things you might like to do. This is a great way of getting used to query format and is superb for those of us who are too lazy to think of our own questions.

Gimpsy doesn't stop there. Clicking on Download, for example, displays results but to the right are some filters to let you choose operating system and payment. Many of the other categories have similar filters. This means that even the newest of searchers can quickly find what they want. This process also applies to geographical regions, take the earlier "buy books" query. I live in the UK, why would I want results from the US? I can just drop down the filter and choose UK.

However, it's a bit of a pain to tell Gimpsy where you are all the time. Luckily, they thought of that too - go to preferences at the top and you can set your country, state and city!

Gimpsy is probably the best thought out directory I've ever seen. It's best used when you want to do something in particular, and not just look for information. In this kind of search the limited database size doesn't seem to matter. When I look at search engines I actively look for problems and "something wrong", with Gimpsy the only thing I could find was that the word "color" on the front page didn't change when I set my preferences to United Kingdom (we spell it "colour"). I think we can all live with that :-) Gimpsy outstrips all in its class and when used for the right kind of query should be ideal for new searchers and experienced searchers alike.

Having established that Gimpsy is highly likely to be a successful directory in the future, the question shifts to how do you promote your site in Gimpsy? Submission is free, but their editorial policies are stricter than many. The Gimpsy editors decide on your category and obviously your site will need to respond to some kind of need rather than being purely informational.

Uniquely every result given by Gimpsy should be relevant to the searcher, so a situation occurs where the benefit of ranking higher in this engine is amplified. This "benefit" is what Gimpsy leverages to earn its money. Rather than opting for a traditional Pay Per Click environment, Gimpsy have opted for a more unique system. Webmasters may bid in a monthly auction to gain placement, other peoples bids are not visible to competitors although guidelines are given in the form of the last auctions successful bids. This is favourable to pay per click because you are paying a fixed price for your ranking for a specific period of time, it will therefore be impossible for fraudulent clicks to occur and for competitors to sabotage your listings. Before you part with your hard earned cash, you will want to be able to assess Gimpsy and the benefits it can bring you. Indeed, with any new engine it often takes time for them to build up significant traffic levels. Gimpsy provide an alternative way of raising your ranking by linking to them from your home page. Sites that do this will not be raised above their paying counterparts, but with Gimpsy being such a new engine this is unlikely to be a problem for a while. This gives you all the benefits at minimal "cost". For further details on this see the Gimpsy site owners FAQ.

In summary, Gimpsy is a well thought engine that is ideal if you are looking to do something rather than just seeking general information. Through not conforming with the trends Gimpsy has created an ideal categorization and bid system for their purpose, one which provides a far superior user experience. Gimpsy is already well worth a visit for both searchers and advertisers, as it grows in popularity we can expect it to be a significant force in the search world.

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