DogPile

From ElateWiki


Contents

Intro

DogPile(www.dogpile.com)differs from standard search sites for instance Google or Bing. Often referred to as a meta search engine, DogPile does not directly harvest and store facts about Web pages in its own database. Instead, the service runs queries against the databases regarding Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask and brings together results from all regarding the websites alongside links to sponsored content. The webpage has expanded its offerings as technology and internet culture has developed. Take a look below at DogPile in 1998.

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DogPile's Origins

Currently owned by InfoSpace (an advertising placement firm via web searches), DogPile was developed after the major search engines using the Metasearch technology. It began in 1996, a creation of Aaron Flin which was acquired by Go2net. The brand has had fundraisers in the past, donating a certain amount of money for each search to a dog shelter. DogPile plays off of the "dog" theme throughout their products. Arfie, the websites "mascot", is seasonably themed on the main page, the daily deals are called "fetches", the search button says "go fetch!", among other little quirky names around the webpage.

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Web Search Function

Offering meta search, DogPile aims to save time by returning the best results from the major search providers. Duplicates from the various engines are avoided and the source (sometimes the same source) is listed next to the url. Below is a search "K-state football Klein" with the advertisements taken out. There are several results that returned player profiles, news, and other web sources. Certain results are exclusive to an engine, for example Kyle Klein's profile was only found on Yahoo!. Unfortunately, advertisements are around half of the results from any given search. DogPile doesn't show as blatantly that results are advertisements, hiding small text saying "sponsored ad" and putting the results with a very light blue background. Another useful tool for people looking to stay up to date is the "Favorite Fetches" section on the main page. It pulls the most popular searches and is very relevant to review every time the page is accessed. It is a useful tool to stay up to date on major happenings, for example around election time it has relevant links to political commentary.

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Local

This meta search functionality has another dimension to it when the "Local" tab is used to search for local businesses. DogPile aggregates the customer reviews from each restaurant, pulling reviews from Foursquare, Citysearch, Yelp, Insider Pages, and other customer opinion outlets. This is a valuable function to be able to access other websites information without going to several sites. This tool can be utilized to explore your hometown, or used to plan stops on a vacation to assure you're getting the best food and services possible. Businesses can use this to monitor customer feedback and seek improvement. Below the search is sorted by Highest Rating, but it could also be sorted by Relevance, Most Reviewed, and ones with current offers.

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Daily Deal Fetcher

Not only does DogPile aggregate web searches, but it applies it's technology to daily online offers. Discounts are offered through sites like Groupon and Livingsocial, but are delivered separately. DogPile combines those daily deals into one email, saving time and inbox clutter. Just like in the discount websites, the deals are catered to a certain city and sign up is through an email address. The sites that are aggregated are Groupon, Livingsocial, and TIPPR. Unfortunately, Google offers is not included.

Business Use

Businesses could benefit by using DogPiles features. The most beneficial would be monitoring their internet presence. The use of the "Local" tab to aggregate Citysearch and Yelp to discover internet reviews of their business would save time and create understanding of their perception. Advertising could be seen as an opportunity, but these results are pulled through contracts with Google and Yahoo!. They do not directly take advertisement requests for DogPile alone. These contracts with other search engines are what keep DogPile up and running, otherwise their revenue streams would be severely diminished.

DogPile in Action Summary

DogPile is a great way to save time and discover what you aren't shown on other search engines. It is obvious that DogPile does not include all search engines, for example leaving out Bing and Ask, but it still presents a unique tool to broaden the reach per search. Other tools offered, such as the local tab, Daily Deal Fetches, and Favorite Fetches add value to those searching. Each tool helps save time and hassle when looking for information. It helps create a community around the website, keeping searchers coming back for more.

Bibliography

Sources Include:

Gaube, Jacob. Popular Search Engines in the 90′s: Then and Now. N.d. Six RevisionsWeb. 31 Oct 2012. <http://sixrevisions.com/web_design/popular-search-engines-in-the-90s-then-and-now/>.

http://www.dogpile.com/info.dogpl/search/home