Back in the early 1990s, Lycos was the household name. Those of who were
nerdy fortunate enough to have an online life back then would remember that name. Whether with fondness or an emotion akin to “good riddance”, I am not entirely sure. Yet the story of Lycos does not seem to be over. In the day where Google seems to be all that matters, we are about to see the re-emergence of what used to be a search giant.
Lycos is reported to be getting ready for a new search product come 2013, and while that officially starts tomorrow, it seems that the details about the new product are not being made totally public yet. The home page is accessible, though, and the image above is what you will see. This is the old Lycos, though – the one that is a result of an arrangement with Yahoo – and when the new search engine launches, we should be seeing marked changes.
The Next Web has statements straight from the horse’s mouth – Lycos’s CEO, Rob Balazy.
“In the coming year you will see us introduce a new proprietary search product. I don’t want to say too much about it as it’s still in the planning stage but we have a vision to merge the notion of a search-type activity with a curated content experience. We think the benefit to the consumer is huge. It removes the process of trial and error from clicking on search results and hitting ‘Back’ in the browser.”
The current interface of Lycos is rather playful, but it still does deliver results – courtesy of Yahoo, of course. The question is will this comeback in 2013 make a positive impact on the company? With the dominance of Google unquestioned, will an old dog be able to regain its old position?
In the same interview with The Next Web, Balazy declares that they won’t be taking the search engine bull by its horns. He says that, instead, they would “focus more on the head terms, the search queries that are important and matter to people and really focus on the presentation layer, making the user experience really intuitive, really beautiful and take the same data-driving approach we’re doing with our homepage.”
It is something that can provide an interesting alternative, but I don’t think Google has anything to worry about.