From Seo Wiki - Search Engine Optimization and Programming Languages
SearchMe was a visual search engine based in Mountain View, California. It organized search results as snapshots of web pages — an interface similar to that of the iPhone's and iTunes's album selection.
SearchMe was founded in March 2005 by Randy Adams and John Holland. Adams was inspired to start this search engine when his 5-year-old son was having difficulty reading. He hoped to create a search engine that "would improve the experience of finding information online". Sequoia Capital spent millions of dollars to fund SearchMe during the website's opening years.
Offline in July 2009
The company had 1.8 million visitors in March 2009, but by May of the same year, the number of visitors decreased to 600,000. On July 24, 2009, SearchMe went offline due to financial troubles, such as maintaining the servers.
As searches queries are being made, SearchMe returns categories that are related to the topic. The search engine has Facebook and Twitter links so that the results can be shared. The top of the screen displays the screenshot, while the bottom reveals the hyperlink and a site's description. Moving the mouse from left to right makes the screen "flip in the corresponding direction".
It requires about 3 million searches every day for the company to "break even". The website receives its revenue from advertisements. Advertisements are displayed through screenshots of the products or companies that are being promoted. Search results are ranked through algorithms and the number of views a website has received. Websites that are "visually appealing" are ranked higher than those that are not.
SearchMe has been criticized for not providing the number of search results, causing users to not know whether they are perusing through 10 results or 1000 results. Some of SearchMe's screenshots are difficult to read, causing users to decide whether a site is relevant based on its appearance. However, the website highlights the search queries for easier perusal of the screenshot.