Europe's baby search engine. Seekport from Germany, which already operates in the UK, France and Germany, is to launch Italian, Spanish and Scandinavian operations by this summer. This is rapid progress for a search engine which launched only a year ago with an entirely new index. In other words, it is unusual in that it does not rely on US search engines to provide the database from which to draw its results.
Seekport claims that it will offer better quality to users than the American competitors simply because they are based locally and understand the market place. They claim their results will be of a high quality because they are automatically able to identify poor quality content - with human editors making the final decisioin.
This may be believable for a German or French language search engine with its relatively small index - but in English every attempt to do this has subsequently been quietly withdrawn - including big name players such as MSN and Ask Jeeves. Why don't European search engines leave English to the big players and focus on European languages where they may well be able to offer a better alternative?
As yet unborn search engine Neomo.de is also preparing to launch in Germany - probably during the summer - which means that Europe's largest nation will have two home grown search engines with their own indexes as Neomo is following the example set by Seekport. Neomo has, so far, only suggested that it will be available in German.
Both will draw their pay per click results from existing services - in the case of Seekport this is Espotting, now owned by Find-what. Neomo has not publicly announced who its ppc partner will be.