A new search website called Accoona.com, partially backed by segments within the Chinese government and Yahoo (YHOO), launched today in the United States with dignitaries such as Bill Clinton in attendance.
Accoona has signed a 20-year deal with the China Daily newspaper to use the newspaper's database to target companies for ad placements within the website.
The new search engine is available in Chinese and English languages and hails itself as more relevant than Google. Accoona says that while Google will search on keywords, Accoona uses artificial intelligence to target better results for users.
So how good does Accoona target? On the first search for "China Tech News", the Accoona website crashed and displayed an error that said "HTTP Status 503 – Servlet accoona is currently unavailable" on the Accoona Apache Tomcat/4.1.31 system. When the page was refreshed, the website ChinaTechNews.com was the top result. However four ads are placed at the top of the page, causing the user to scroll down to find that result.
Google on the other hand also found ChinaTechNews.com as the top result for the same search query, but its ads were placed on the side of the screen, allowing the user better access to their results.
It is still unclear how Yahoo's involvement will impact its own branded search activities, and how effective China Daily's customer lists can be in generating cash for the business.