The search engine is a hard nut to crack. Back in the earliest days of the internet most of us used infoseek, Lycos and then Yahoo. Then, as we all know, two Stanford students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin set out to create Google. Companies both big and small like Microsoft and Duck Duck Go, have all tried to compete with Google.
Some of those competitors have carved out a good niche, more so with Duck Duck Go rather than Bing. Others are trying to attack Google feature by feature. Some search engine competitors are looking to offer an alternative to the way Google serves up results. One of those companies is a startup in the UK called omoii (pronounced Oh My).
Omoii is hoping to go beyond the keyword and offer a more robust, and accurate list of search results. The hope is that by offering a better search results algorithm, web searching will be more targeted and offer advertisers a better audience.
We got a chance to talk with Steve Pritchard the founder and chief architect of this unique new search startup. Check out the interview below:
What is your omoii, what does it do?
omoii (pronounced ‘oh my’) is a disruptive search engine, focused on ranking websites by customers interaction and the advertisers online reputation. Using a number of variables, the omoii algorithm (patent pending) ensures they get more than just relevant results to a keyword. Advertisers get a platform which is more transparent than our competitors, reducing advertising budgets and development time and focusing efforts on improving their users experience.
Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds
Steve Pritchard – Founder & chief architect of the omoii algorithm has 8+ years’ experienced in search engine and digital marketing, having worked for clients including British Airways, Samsung, Mazda and LG. Highly experienced in developing new teams and offerings within extremely competitive markets.
Anna Pritchard – Operations Manager, has worked extensively in customer relations and operations for Royal Bank of Scotland, Yorkshire Post and Institute of Direct Marketing.
Where are you based?
Leeds, West Yorkshire – United Kingdom
What is the startup culture like where you are based?
There are a number of incubators within the region, however the British Government has been focused on increasing startup support in London. Other UK cities are behind the capital in regards to startup support (VC funding, tax benefits etc). However, with a high number of development and digital marketing agencies in Leeds, there is a deep talent pool within the region.
What problem does your startup solve?
Search engine marketing has become a highly technical marketing solution, entry costs are high for new businesses and the whole search engine industry is monopolised by one provider. Searchers are seeing the results of advertisers with big budgets and technical expertise, the advertisers reputation and after sales support are not considered. Omoii provides a better platform to searchers and advertisers, by increasing user experience and sales.
A simpler way to understand it is “the higher the ranking the better the user experience”.
What is one challenge that you’ve overcome in the startup process?
The algorithm consists of 2,005 lines of code, integrating this code into the 10 3rd party API’s we use to determine relevancy and advertiser sentiment was our biggest challenge. This process plus 17 other variables have been filed for patent.
Who are your mentors and role models?
No one person has been a role model for us, we are in a time where every startup wins and losses are open to the public. Utilising fantastic sites like Techcrunch and Nibletz means we can have a multitude of mentors and roles models at our fingertips.
And there is always someone wishing to provide their opinion – especially if we do something wrong.
What’s one thing the world doesn’t know about you or your startup?
I had to learn to write code from scratch to develop the algorithm, having only ever project managed site development. It probably took 3 times as long as anyone else, but was completed 100% by myself.
What’s next for your omoii?
Expanding the algorithm platform to ensure 100% scalability and developing a proprietary paid advertising platform to increase opportunities for advertisers.
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