Spock.com: People search startup may partner with Google

Spock.com, a new search engine venture  is using a Linux-based software architecture to save money on development. But it's also showing some ingenuity with its business model, focusing on partnership rather than competition. Currently in beta since August of last year, Spock.com specializes in "people searches" across the names of both "ordinary people" and celebrities, said Jay Bhatti, […]

Spock.com, a new search engine venture  is using a Linux-based software architecture to save money on development. But it's also showing some ingenuity with its business model, focusing on partnership rather than competition. Currently in beta since August of last year, Spock.com specializes in "people searches" across the names of both "ordinary people" and celebrities, said Jay Bhatti, the company's VP for marketing, services, and user experience, during a press briefing last week. 

Over the past eight months, the Web site has handled 30 million search queries, with its query volume going up at the rate of about 30% per month. Each day, Spock indexes about 2 million search results. On average, more than 2,000 new users sign up each day.

The search engine field might be crowded, but the market is ripe for "people search," according to Bhatti, a former Microsoft product manager. "The top three search engines have reported that 23 percent of their query volume is name search," he told reporters.

Although Spock.com isn't alone in the people search segment, Bhatti contended that Spock's results are more comprehensive and better organized. "That's largely because we have about six engineers who just sit in a room and do nothing but work on writing search algorithms all day," he revealed, adding that out of Spock's staff of 40, 36 employees are engineers, and the other four are marketers.

But one of the first tasks faced by Bhatti and the company's other co-founder, Spock.com CEO Jaideep Singh, was on the marketing side.

"We wanted the Spock.com domain name," according to Bhatti. One reason, he explained, is that the co-founders could see 'Spock' working well as a verb. "'Spock me,'" he illustrated.

Full Article

Search Engine, Google, Partnership, Coporate News