A Search Engine For Us

Are you familiar with GlobalSpec (www.globalspec.com)? It is a site originally launched in 1999 to allow buyers of industrial product and parts to connect with sellers. Initially, GlobalSpec was an online directory comparable to Thomas Register.

Are you familiar with GlobalSpec (www.globalspec.com)? It is a site originally launched in 1999 to allow buyers of industrial product and parts to connect with sellers. Initially, GlobalSpec was an online directory comparable to Thomas Register.

But the GlobalSpec bunch has pushed the envelope way beyond that model. The newly launched GlobalSpec site is billed as “The Engineering Search Engine.” Through partnerships, online technical prowess and domain expertise (these guys are former engineers), the new site resembles a portal more than a directory. Visitors can peruse through massive collections of standards, patents, applications notes and materials properties to satisfy specific technical requirements.

But it’s what the company has done with its search engine that should grab your attention. Because GlobalSpec has launched what amounts to “Google For Us”—an index-driven search engine that searches across the “Manufacturing Web” and provides returns only from manufacturing-related sites. In other words, it doesn’t “see” or include the consumer-based Web. Go to the site and perform a few searches; you will be impressed, not only with the collections you receive, but also by the format and ease-of-use.

Google, Yahoo! and MSN are about to embark on an all-out war against one another to establish which is the world’s best search engine. But they will likely overlook what GlobalSpec has done and not see them as the competitor to fear. Because while the big boys think that algorithms and automated paid placement will provide the level of details that folks such as machining professionals need, the reality is that specificity and domain experience—relevance—is what will win the day in search.

As you become more familiar with them—and you will—please try to refrain from referring to them as GoogleSpec. It’ll be hard, but at least try.