Kosmix Goes Horizontal

Kosmix, until now a vertical search engine for information about health, automobiles and travel, transformed itself into a universal search engine for all subjects earlier today during a general redesign.

The move has been anticipated since at least last September, and was described by co-founder Anand Rajaraman in a Beet.tv interview posted less than a week ago.

Now when users conduct keyword searches on Kosmix (much as they would on a traditional search engine like Google or Ask), they are presented with mashups of results from a variety of sources. Unlike Mahalo, Kosmix itself doesn’t publish any of the content it displays. Rather, it pulls it all from services like Flickr, Google, Wikipedia, TheFind, Yahoo Answers, Amazon, Truveo, and YouTube.

Results from each of these sources are shown in their own modules, which are packed rather tightly in a three column layout. We hear that there are hundreds of possible modules, although only a small subset of these show up for each query.

If you are interested in a particular result type (videos, photos, blogs, etc), you can expand it into its own page for better browsing. Kosmix also suggests related searches in each of these views for when you want to jump around between “topics” as you would on Wikipedia.

In his Beet.tv interview, Rajaraman claimed 15 million unique visitors per month for Kosmix. The vast majority of these visitors appears to be heading to RightHealth, Kosmix’s health vertical site that competes with the likes of iMedix, OrganizedWisdom, and others. According to Compete, Kosmix.com attracts only about 50-100 thousand visitors per month. If the Mountain View startup is to succeed at this horizontal strategy, it’ll have to focus on marketing its main property more effectively going forward.

Kosmix’s other remaining vertical sites include RightAutos and RightTrips. No word yet on what the company plans to do with them.