Cha-Cha is another search engine that is out to compete with the big G. What makes it different though is that it claims to be a “people powered search”. But that doesn’t mean that people instead of program algorithms do the actual search (duh). What Cha-Cha means about “people powered search” is that users or surfers since it is a web application, can choose to do their search with the help of a human guide.
Looking at Cha-Cha from a librarian’s point of view, it is simply a Google search with the help of a librarian. Or in library parlance, a virtual reference transaction. The only difference is that Cha-Cha’s virtual human guides are not librarians but anybody who applies and passes Cha-Cha’s qualification standards.
Does the search results given to you by the Cha-Cha virtual help guides relevant? It depends on your search term. The more specific your search is, the more irrelevant the results would be.
Come to think of it, Google does the same thing all the time. But with Cha-Cha, instead of getting many irrelevant results, the virtual help guides will trim these results and give you the most relevant. That’s why when I tried searching for “things to look out for your student loans”, the virtual help guide gave me one link to a relevant site only as compared to the numerous Google search results I got when I searched for the same phrase.
Will do some more testing in the next couple of days using Cha-Cha and see how far it goes with other searches. In the meantime you might want to give Cha-Cha a try.
Check out TechCrunch’s post on a place for lonely searchers and read the various comments posted by the readers. There are some hilarious experiences with the Cha-Cha guide by others who have tried Cha-cha.