hakia: A Search Engine Without Cookies

That's right, hakia, a new "meaning-based" search engine, is cookieless. hakia's COO, Melek Pulatkonak, writes on the company's blog:

"hakia.com does NOT place a cookie on your PC when you search at our site. We are the very first search engine not to do so. We will always ask your permission if and when we will have to put a cookie in your PC or cross the privacy line."

What does this mean for Web surfers? It means that hakia, unlike other search engines, will not track your search history or monitor your search behavior. This issues seem to be of major importance to many Web surfers, and hakia is breaking out of pack to provide users with more privacy.

Overall, hakia's approach to search promises to be revolutionary. The company's search strategy focuses on the development of a "natural language" technology that returns search results based on meaning, assimilating the human cognitive process involved with searching. Because of this, hakia does not rely on popularity or indexes like many other search engines.

When I met Pulatkonak and hakia's founder and CEO, Dr. Riza C. Berkan, at Web 2.0 Summit back in November, I had the opportunity to test out the new search engine, now in its Beta-14 release. I found that the search results were arranged in a manner that would be useful for heavy researchers, such as lawyers, reporters, and people in the medical field. For instance, when I asked the search engine, "What is Cancer?" The results came back in categories, such as "Headlines," "Symptoms and Diagnostics," "Healthcare Facilities and Finding a Physician," "Organizations," and so on. The manner in which the results were organized reminded me of how people think when they're looking for something and to obtain very specific information about that topic they're interested in. It seemed to be for people who don't want to put in a bunch of complicated term combinations, such as "cancer+symptoms," in order to find their results. It gives people the opportunity to ask very specific and simple questions and find the answers they need...fast. And while you're thinking that may be Ask.com's approach, it's not. Just look at these results from Ask next to these results for the same question asked of hakia. These are very different search experiences.

It seems hakia has found an innovative solution to search, though still perhaps not the only solution.

Either way, hakia is on to something big in terms of putting its user's first. The search engine's privacy policy of not following you during your searches and its "meaning based" engine both put the power of search within the people searching instead of the search engine itself.

Do you think hakia can become a successful search engine business although the company isn't following a traditional path? Has privacy become as major an issue as hakia's COO states, and will it cause other search engine companies to go cookieless as well?

View our slideshow Search Engine Showdown to learn more about how search technology has evolved over time.

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2 Comments

  • Trade Show Displays

    Just try to do some searches, and you'll see why Google is still #1. The searches return irrelevant results (a search for "trade show displays" has The Houston Chronicle (a newspaper) in the top 10. Maybe they wrote a tiny article about trade show displays at one point, but does that qualify them to be in the top 10? No.

  • Kyle

    um, no, no, and no.

    how about comparing with google, yahoo, or MSN? Changing search engines for me would be like moving to a new country. There better be a good reason for it. I don't know about others, but I wouldn't stop googling if someone paid me to.