Structured data comparison engine FindTheBest has evolved impressively since its launch in August 2010. The site has become progressively richer and more usable. It has expanded into more categories. And, as of today, that includes local classified listings in jobs, cars and rental housing.

FindTheBest is a kind of “anti-search engine” and the brainchild of DoubleClick founder Kevin O’Connor, who launched the site to provide better information than he believed was available in general search results:

FindTheBest.com was created out of my desire to organize part of the Internet, filter out the excessive junk and present information in a simple, comparable way. While the web is great at making seemingly infinite amounts of information accessible, the Internet can be a little overwhelming in that it doesn’t allow for straight up apples-to-apples comparisons, nor is it transparent enough to allow you to spot those hidden marketing schemes influencing the data you receive.

The site aggregates and presents structured data to enable users to compare products, institutions and services. It aggregates that data from mostly public sources. However the site is not a product or travel search engine per se.

With the addition of local classifieds FindTheBest aims to provide more context and data around the listing to help people make more informed decisions. For example, car listings show how the price of the vehicle being considered compares to the average price of others in the same model year, as well as all cars in its class/category (e.g., sedans). There’s also additional information about the make and model, including gas mileage and safety recall information.

All the listings data right now are coming from third party sources and feeds. Eventually FindTheBest will add self-service but will likely charge to prevent spam. CEO Kevin O’Connor believes that the depth and quality of the data the site has differentiates its classifieds listings from most others in the market, including but especially Craigslist.

FindTheBest would also be a potentially good candidate to provide structured information to Apple/Siri, not unlike Wolfram Alpha. I previously observed that FindTheBest is, in one way, the realization of the now defunct Google Squared.

FindTheBest has raised a total of $6 million in venture funding to date.

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About The Author

Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog, Screenwerk, about connecting the dots between digital media and real-world consumer behavior. He is also VP of Strategy and Insights for the Local Search Association. Follow him on Twitter or find him at Google+.

 

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