A9 – redefining search, or invasion of privacy

I’m just waiting for the hordes of privacy nerds to go up in arms about A9 – the latest attempt by Amazon/Alexa to be taken seriously in the search market.

It actually seems to be a darn good engine, quick and relevant search results and some quite neat twists on the usual Google (still my staple) or Yahoo! results listing.

The nervous minority might get twitchy about the extension to ‘the web you built’ feature that it’s borrowed from Alexa …. it tracks what searches you make, and what sites you visit from it and uses that (along with information from your Amazon account if you sign in, and presumably Alexa as well) to make appropriate recommendations.

Now, call me reactionary but…. I don’t care what they make of my searching habits…. if it provides a quicker way to navigate through the morass of information that the web contains then I, for one, am happy. Heck, I’d like to see it go a little farther and integrate the Alexa and A9 toolbars and let me rate how appropriate the site was in terms of the search so if can learn what works (and what didn’t)

Will it be enough to replace Google (or get me hunting for a patch for Safari) ? Only time will tell, but… I’ll probably pay it a visit the next few times I need to find something and see how it performs….

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