SearchMe [2008 - 2009]

Since 2017 the side offers no own resultpage anymore it’s only a search interface directing to Yahoo.

Language English

Launched April 2008
Closed 2009

Developer Adams, Randy and John Holland

Country of Origin US America

2008 - 2009 Searchme, Inc.

Topic Universal

Region No Limitation

Technical functionalities
Visual results SeEn

Used SeEn

Older Version Internet Archive / WebCite

»SearchMe was a visual search engine based in Mountain View, California. It organized search results as snapshots of web pages — an interface similar to that of the iPhone's and iTunes's album selection. In July 2009, the company lost funding and the search engine went offline.« Today itredirects to Yahoo Seach.

»SearchMe was founded in March 2005 by Randy Adams and John Holland. Adams was inspired to start this search engine when his 5-year-old son was having difficulty reading. He hoped to create a search engine that "would improve the experience of finding information online". Sequoia Capital spent millions of dollars to fund SearchMe during the website's opening years. In March 2008, the site was launched in beta status. In April 2008, the company launched its search engine on the Internet.«

»The company had 1.8 million visitors in March 2009, but by May of the same year, the number of visitors decreased to 600,000. On July 24, 2009, SearchMe went offline due to financial troubles, such as maintaining the servers. Of its 45 employees, SearchMe dismissed all 45. The company attempted to concentrate on the market of broadband TV.« Source

Sergi Mínguez y Juan C. Dürsteler (2009): »Searchme is probably, the most featured visual search engine. Under the words "It lets you see what you're searching for" this new search engine uses a dynamic flash interface to manage all kind of query results. Initially, without typing any query, relevant webs on the news, sports or some others featured categories are displayed to explore them just to test the flexibility of the application. The same horizontal scroll recently introduced for Apple is used to navigate through different websites. These results are presented in a good resolution to provide a detailed overview of the content. Moreover, after a few seconds, a new tool is available to zoom further into the image. Furthermore, the same technology is available also for images and videos permitting the reproduction in real time.

Once a query is entered, the content is displayed with reasonable speed. Once the page is loaded, the words in the query are highlighted into the page to obtain a fast visual overview. Furthermore, other subcategories appeared next to the search field to filter the results. For instance, we can see how music, colleges & universities, news, fitness or tickets appear to redefine the query adding the intention of the user into the original search.

Finally the user is allowed to store all results in customised subcategories called stacks. The ease of creating customised folders turns searchme into a good application to store or share any interesting content found throughout the web.« Source

Fravia: »A "visual search" engine, with BIG snapshots. Quite interesting. Most useful for the quick evaluate with your eyes (and "zen-searcher feelings") session: the results are far from perfect, but browsing the snapshots can be useful, especially when exploring the web in order to quickly eliminate what you surely do not want. About their index, Randy Adams, boss of, wrote that "we have about 60 billion pages in our link index with about 2 billion active". A very nice aspect of their very big snapshot collection is that you can bypass the site authors completely, e.g. checking past content (if you check quicker than searchme's reindexing bots) and that such approach still represents a full legit "fair use" of the web, with bona pace of the beastly SEOs and other assorted paranoid patent & copyright lackeys (same spit-pot scrapping morons that whine and snivel "against" cached pages, btw). In fact the biggest appeal of this specific engine is exactly their "big snapshot" + "relevant text" offer. Note that there is a "searchme lite" option, with less graphic frills, smaller snapshots and of course more speed when searching. Yet the decent size of the full sized (not lite) searchme engine, which allow you to actually READ the text, can allow a far better evaluation and seems more useful for the educated seeker. There's an obvious trade off between "speed" versus "evaluation depth", though.« Source


Critical points

»SearchMe has been criticized for not providing the number of search results, causing users to not know whether they are perusing through 10 results or 1000 results. Some of SearchMe's screenshots are difficult to read, causing users to decide whether a site is relevant based on its appearance. However, the website highlights the search queries for easier perusal of the screenshot.« Source

Features & Functionality

»As searches queries are being made, SearchMe returns categories that are related to the topic. The search engine has Facebook and Twitter links so that the results can be shared. The top of the screen displays the screenshot, while the bottom reveals the hyperlink and a site's description. Moving the mouse from left to right makes the screen "flip in the corresponding direction". SearchMe's tagline is "You'll know it when you see it." As of March 2008, the website has indexed one billion pages.« Source


»In 2007, SearchMe founded Wikiseek, which indexed Wikipedia pages and sites that were linked to from Wikipedia articles. In October 2008, SearchMe released a music streaming service, which enables users to download an unlimited number of songs. The service relies on Imeem's collection of music.« Source

References & further Publications

Wikipedia (EN):
Wikipedia (Others): n.a.

Other Sources

Sergi Mínguez y Juan C. Dürsteler (2009): Visual Search Engines URL:
Michael Arrington (2008): SearchMe Launches New Search Engine With Heavy Backing From Sequoia URL:
Cool new search site – Searchme URL:
PEHub Administrator (2008): Searchme Adds $15 Million URL:

Created: 2014-03-23