Searchme is starting to focus much of its time in the mobile space. Last week, it said it will launch an iPhone app and today it announced that it has launched a visual search engine for mobile devices that can be accessed by surfing to the company’s mobile page.
Searchme’s visual search engine delivers results as a browsable list of “pages,” which are actually images of websites that can be viewed before visiting them. To help users during the search process, Searchme’s search engine suggests categories that have some relevance to the query you’re inputting into the service if you want to drill-down into related topics, and provides shortcuts to the best results to try to cut down on search time.
Searchme’s mobile search engine is quite fast and generally does fine on returning the best search results. But if you’re looking to do extensive searching (who would on a mobile device?) and you judge the quality of a search engine by the number of indexed pages, you’ll be disappointed by Searchme — it only returned 103,000 results for “TechCrunch” compared to 6.9 million returned by Google.
On simple queries like “TechCrunch,” the mobile search performed well and the categories displayed above the results were highly useful. But on more complex queries like “how to have a dog meet a puppy,” it didn’t perform well at all and returned a visual list of useless pages. But Searchme’s main goal isn’t to supplant Google, it’s to offer an experience that’s different and simple to use for those who needs something relatively straightforward as quickly as possible.
Mobile Searchme is a fine solution if you’re looking for a new way to experience search on your mobile device. But if you’re already using Google or Yahoo search on your mobile device, I doubt Searchme’s tool will make you want to switch.