Do you remember back in the early Web days when everyone wanted to start their own search engine? You couldn’t move for people starting search engines, then Google hit and everyone – bar Microsoft, their huge cash pile and their Live search – backed away.
FranceTelecom have now launched their search engine, Le Moteur – The Engine, to any non-linguists.
Not surprisingly it’s primarily focused on French speakers – at least initially – with the default results being French, or French language results appearing. A wider selection of results are available by clicking on the ‘mondial’ (world) button.
They’re using the same model as Google, with adverts related to the entered search term appearing at the top of the search results.
Focused search too
In the same way as Google tries to interpret the information desires of the searcher, attempting to present relevant results, so does Le Moteur. By way of example, typing TV into the search brings us a list of the TV programmes on TV in France that evening.
Will it last?
In short, goodness knows. You have to admire the guts of FranceTelecom in taking on Google and their currently-all conquering search.
It may be that FranceTelecom does understand the French psyche better than Google – even if Google does have a French language version of the site – but if that is the case, won’t Google just learn from FT and make changes to their offering.
FT now has a lot of outlets to push Le Moteur – a wide broadband base and loads of mobile phone users – so they definitely have the people who could use it.
Its success will come down to the speed and quality of results.