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January 15, 2007

Search Engine Aimed at Older Web Audience

Over 50?  Then you might want to take a look at Cranky.com.  It's a search engine for the AARP crowd, part of the larger Eons collection of sites.  The larger company was founded by Jeff Taylor of Monster.com.  The idea behind Cranky is to filter results to those that would particularly appeal to the perspective of older folks.  Not quite a bad idea when we're on the verge of a massive retirement of baby boomers in the next 10 years.  How do they do it?  Marketing research.  Here's an excerpt from one of the site's press releases:

Eons teamed up with Compete — an online consumer market research leader — to analyze the most popular Web sites among an estimated 500,000 Web users over the age of 45. Based on this research, the first of its kind, the Cranky team reviewed the top 5,000 Web sites for this age group, featuring highlights, deep links, and a rating for each site.

One of the features of the site is to place only four search results on a page.  Apparently older people don't like to be distracted by too many search results.  There are also features on results pages that offer narrower results, expanded results, and related topics.  There are, of course, targeted ads, though that would be an assumption in this day and age.  I did a search for Pinky and the Brain (what can I say, I'm fond of the toon) and got very relevant results on the very first page.

The main page offers the top ten searches of the day, updated regularly.  As of this writing, they are

1. sex
2. work from home
3. brain builders
4. jobs after retirement
5. body mass index
6. make new friends
7. reiki
8. elderhostel
9. arthritis
10. blogs

What is reiki?  I had no idea either until I clicked on the link.  It is a Japanese technique for stress reduction, relaxation, and healing.  At least half of the other searches would appeal to any age group, although the difference is in the type of result returned for the older audience.

Give Cranky.com a try if you fall into the demographic, or even if you don't.  As Grampa Simpson would say:

"We can't bust heads like we used to, but we have our ways. One trick is to tell them stories that don't go anywhere. Like the time I took the ferry to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe so I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on them. Give me five bees for a quarter you'd say. Now where were we, oh ya. The important thing was that I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn't have white onions because if the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones."

Thanks Cranky.  Any excuse to get an Abe quote in a post.

January 15, 2007 | Permalink


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