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BizReport : Research archives : July 23, 2009

Using mobile voice search, ChaCha outperforms competitors

When it comes to mobile search, especially mobile voice search, the fight is still going to become the number one engine. According to a recent MSearchGroove, relative newcomer ChaCha outperformed the likes of Google with Voice and Vlingo for iPhone when requests were spoken instead of typed.

by Kristina Knight

ChaCha allows consumers to speak their search queries into a mobile device and according to the research showed better results than competitors. Search results were found to be 88% accurate when using ChaCha compared to only 22% accuracy when using Google with Voice. Vlingo, which allows consumers to speak queries into Google or Yahoo's engine, was found to be accurate 27% of the time.

"A clear finding that emerged from this study, which was underwritten by ChaCha, is that the use of human agents to help interpret spoken queries and conduct searches makes a positive difference in the quality of results delivered when compared to traditional search engines that use algorithmic software to find requested documents or information on the basis of keyword matches," said Peggy Albright, the study's lead analyst and principal author.

In the two rounds of testing, researchers used natural language (speaking a query in the form of a question) and by keyword (reducing the question to specific terms). ChaCha is a natural language search engine which is a factor in the results, but marketers should note that ChaCha did outperform the other engines in the keyword category as well as natural language.

"[Social] search and variations that tap the wisdom of crowds to deliver the right mix of answers and entertainment have a clear competitive edge over the plain-vanilla search we know from what Google and Yahoo! offer on the PC as well as mobile," said Peggy Anne Salz, MSearchGroove founder, chief analyst, and co-author of the report. "Beyond tipping the scales back in favor of results that are relevant rather than search- engine optimized, social search also lays the groundwork for a conversation with people on their terms, paving the way for the delivery of mobile advertising that is relevant and more likely to be appreciated."

Tags: ChaCha, mobile marketing, mobile search, MSearchGroove, natural language processing, natural search, search marketing, search queries, social search

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