Convera Focusing on Vertical Search for Publishers

As Kevin Newcomb recently posted here Convera has sold it’s RetrievalWare enterprise search business to FAST Search & Transfer of Norway. What this means is that Convera is getting out of the business of supplying it’s solutions to government agencies, a business it has been in for more than 2 decades.

According to an article yesterday in InformationWeek, Graham Charlesworth, Convera’s senior VP of sales and marketing, said “We are a 27-year-old company, and now we are virtually in a startup situation.” The company is going to focus its resources on providing vertical search technologies for publishers. The company already has several major publishers as customers, and is looking to grow that business.

The InformationWeek article also indicates that Charlesworth believes that Convera can be a “Google killer”, because of its ability to tune its search results more than Google can. The company published a survey last December that showed that horizontal search often fails to deliver the goods that professionals are looking for. For example, one finding from the survey was:

A commanding 95 percent of professionals find Internet search engines an aid for conducting work, yet only 40 percent say they are very satisfied with the results.

What remains to be see is whether or not Convera based solutions can do any better, and whether or not they will scale over time. But one thing is clear, Convera is aiming to do just that.

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