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While Bing is the big deal, another decision engine has quietly been made available for all to play with and help make stronger. HUNCH, from a team lead by Caterian Flake of Flikr fame, has been in invitation-only Beta since March but it was opened up to the general public this week. The concept is simple and fun. You simply choose an existing topic, or recommend a new one, and then the engine asks you a series of qualifying questions (5 in total) and at the end of the questions you will be provides with the top 3 choices based on your answers along with a wild card choice.

For example, I clicked on the 'What kind of sunglasses should I buy?' thread and was asked what my price range was, what my gender was, if I was looking for sporty or fashionable, what kind of frames and lenses I preferred and what size lenses I felt fit my face best. I was then given my top 3 based on my answers and a wild card choice. And one of the top 3 was a pair I was considering buying before I even found Hunch.

Since you have to create a username and password account (free) as you answer more questions Hunch gets to know you better. Also, the overall Hunch engine increases its knowledge base as more people use it. The whole site is monetized in that if you click on one of the choices you will be taken to a site that either sells the choice or is a company that sells it so you can contact them.

Go check it out, play with it, and then come back and give your opinion of what the SEO challenges would be for Hunch.

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Last Post by MktgRob
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Nice search engine I have just created my account and found it helpful and more informative.

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Cool search engine, it really helps to make a right decision, but shows less results. I think it needs improvement in showing decisions for any niche or topic.

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At this point I think that Hunch is more of a cool toy than a serious tool, sort of like an internet 'Magic 8 Ball.' I think that if they need to make a variation with more business related questions in order to gain some traction with the B2B world. Right now it reminds me of the cutsey quizzes that Facebook has.

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I showed Hunch to some of my non-technical friends and they played with it for about an hour taking turns. The funny thing is they seemed less interested in clicking on the results as they were to see what the results were. And one of them made the same point I made in a previous post, that the Hunch process is like the quizzes they fun on Facebook.

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New search engines might not have great chances to succeed in the online world since they already are going to compete with the three big names but they can become very popular portals like Yahoo if they offer free tools and services.

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New search engines might not have great chances to succeed in the online world since they already are going to compete with the three big names but they can become very popular portals like Yahoo if they offer free tools and services.

The success or failure of the seach engine is ultimately determined by the designers definition. They may have put this version of Hunc out to gauge the reaction by the online world and also see some of the comments in forums like this to determine what the next version should look like and act like.

As an aside, the more I look at Hunch the more I am starting to think that Hunch is possible part of something much larger and it has been put out as a sort of 'online taste test' to see what the reaction is.

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I am revisiting this thread due to a report I just read about the Hunch site. For those who haven't tried it yet, when you do a search the site asks you a series of qualifying questions and then provides you with the top three results and a wild card result. According to one of the founders, who was quoted in the piece I read, they define success as to how many times visitor click 'Yes" on one of the top three and also does not click 'No' on any of them (you can review all of the top choices and click yes or no for any or all of them).

According to the metric, the search engine's overall success rate is currently 81%, up from 70% when the private beta was launched. Their goal is 95%. Additionally, as the site asks you to create an account so that as you answer questions the site learns more about you, users have answered over 20 million questions in the first trwo weeks. They also have captured 63,000 search/decision results in their system with over 3.8 million feedbacks on those results.

Taking all of this into consideration, does anyone think that Hunch could pose a threat to the big three? Or maybe even make enough of an impact to get the big three to rethink some of their newer offerings?

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