Segala launch Search Thresher

Search Thresher is a plugin for Firefox which can read metadata associated with websites and change the results of your searches accordingly.

In this case, the metadata being used is a content label. Content labels are like the security certs you get from Verisign, except in this case the Content Labels are certifying that the site is conforming to web standards and accessibility rules. There are all kinds of Content Labels which a site could get to increase its trustworthiness.

The Content Labels can be assigned by and housed on the server of a trusted third party and then referred to in the metadata.

With Search Thresher installed a search of Google for “Tom Raftery” showing all sites yields the following results:

Search Thresher showing all sites

While the same search, but set to display only verified and self-labelled sites, only displays four results!:

Search Thresher showing only verified and self-labelled sites

This strikes me immediately as a great way to get rid of the scourge of splogs!

Also, when you select the verified and self-labelled sites only option, Search Thresher doesn’t display Google ads, unless they verify!

I recorded an interview with Paul Walsh, CEO of Segala, and published it as a podcast on earlier today.

8 thoughts on “Segala launch Search Thresher”

  1. I love this idea but the implementation may be confusing for those with McAfee SiteAdvisor installed. It uses similar icons to indicate if a site has be checked as “safe”. Of course, with the overlap, I wouldn’t be surprised to see McAfee getting involved in this effort.

  2. Conor, the specific icons we use (including the Search Thresher logo) is likely to change. We are going to create where industry will be encouraged to contribute to the creation of new codes of conduct (each with a Content Label). So, we need to come up with a generic set of iconography for Content Labelling, as has done.

    There are others such as Trustwatch – owned by GeoTrust. I met with GeoTrust’s CTO (before they were bought by VeriSign) whilst I was at a W3C meeting in Boston. My purpose was to explain that they methods of highlighting Web sites wasn’t scalable, flexible or cost effective. Whereas, Segala is helping to introduce a method that’s based on the Semantic Method as you know, is TimBL’s vision of what the Web was supposed to be when he invented it.

    When I met with Philip-Hallam Baker (chief scientist) and the European Marketing Director from VeriSign, they (or at least one of them) conceded that Trustwatch was likely to be canned for the reasons I gave. They were also mega impressed by the extension as it can do all the stuff they want to do…

    Ok, so we need to update the Search Thresher with lots more stuff – including FAQs etc. πŸ™‚

  3. It does sound like there is definite overlap with SiteAdvisor in intent if not approach (they test sites to see if they are safe). It might be worth giving your namesake who runs the McAfee Ireland operation in Little Island a bell.

    You should probably get rid of the New Yorker copyrighted cartoon off the site too πŸ˜‰

  4. lol removed.

    Re SiteAdvisor – there’s lots of overlap with lots of different implementations of trust, but none of the others are based on open standards, or are scalable.

    I would love to talk to the McAfee guys though… So if anyone knows a decision make there I’m all ears πŸ™‚

    It’s a small Island but it’s in the centre of the universe πŸ™‚

  5. Bryan: sorry for taking so long to get back to you. I must have posted my comment when Tom was having some technical issues.

    So, to answer you question, Segala can evaluate your site for Web accessibility standards based on the W3C WAI Guidelines.
    It’s very likely that your site complies with many of the guidelines already (as Tom’s does). We’ll also make some recommendations on how to further improve your site’s accessibility so it’s more accessible to not only disabled users, but search engines too.

    Blogs that we’ve audited recently include Tom’s Read/WriteWeb and TechCrunch UK so we’re confident that average blogs shouldn’t take more than a few hours.

    We’ll also list your blog on and when they’re updated with a list of labelled sites.

    Please feel free to get in touchif you’d like us to verify and label your site πŸ™‚

    Cheers, Paul

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