Wolfram Alpha’s niche continues to elude

One year after its debut, the world is still not ready for Wolfram Alpha. Few would argue that despite the success of Google, Internet search is a solved problem. The way that content is being shared across it is evolving so quickly means that better ways of discovering and presenting that content will always be welcome. Wolfram Alpha certainly provides a different way to think about Internet search. It’s heavily weighted toward computational queries, and its practice of curating its results as opposed to simply serving up whatever is available on the Web means its results can be more authoritative than a list of links. But that strategy – useful as it might be to researchers and technical types- hasn’t resonated with the general public. ComScore’s assessment of unique users to wolframalpha.com over the past year shows that fewer people visited the site in April 2010 than did in May 2009. That traffic last year was undoubtedly juiced by curiosity and media attention, and usage has risen since a trough in late summer 2009, but as a search provider Wolfram Alpha doesn’t even register on ComScore’s radar. Changes are coming that might boost Wolfram Alpha’s profile among those without Ph.D.s. The company plans to make over its home page, and will start adding data for more pop-culture-friendly information such as sports, music, health information, and even its own take on local mapping. With the first anniversary, Wolfram Alpha has expanded its content. Local street maps will be available on the search engine, and – perhaps a little less useful but kind of cool – weather information for outer space.



One thought on “Wolfram Alpha’s niche continues to elude

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Wolfram Alpha’s niche continues to elude « Steve Virgin's Blog -- Topsy.com

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