Teoma Search Engine Optimization Strategy

*Note: Now part of Ask.com

Founded by a group of computer scientists from Rutgers University in April 2000, and debuting in April 2001, the name Teoma means “expert” in Gaelic. This search engine tries to anyalze and understand the ‘Web’ or fabric of the Internet as it occurs naturally (in subject-specific communities).

In September 2001, the Search Engine AskJeeves, Inc. acquired Teoma, and by 2002, Teoma’s reach made it the third-most widely used search technology in the United States, (according to Nielsen//NetRatings).

While Teoma still looks at all the same basic things the search engines look for, they have one very different step. The Teoma search engine has a different approach to searching than most other search engines, it’s called ‘Subject-Specific PopularitySM’. Instead of ranking results based on counting links, weighing them, and determining which websites have the most links leading to them, Teoma claims to analyze the Internet as an organically organized body. It claims to measure the links based on relevance, as in naturally occurring communities that are about or related to each other. In doing so, it determines which sites are most relevant to a query.

To accomplish this, Teoma uses what it calls ‘Subject-Specific PopularitySM’. This technology ranks a website based on the number of same-subject pages that reference it, not just general popularity. Teoma has the following to say about their technology:

  • “Instead of ranking results based upon the sites with the most links leading to them, Teoma analyzes the Web as it is organically organizedin naturally-occurring communities that are about or related to the same subjectto determine which sites are most relevant. Teoma is the only search technology that can locate communities on the Web within their specific subject areas, as they actually exist. And this allows us to finely tune our search process, providing more precise results.
  • To determine the authorityand thus the overall quality and relevanceof a site’s content, Teoma uses Subject-Specific PopularitySM. Subject-Specific Popularity ranks a site based on the number of same-subject pages that reference it, not just general popularity.”

This means they place an added emphasis on relevant reciprocal links, and this needs to be considered in any search engine optimization program for a web site.

Teoma supplies data to the following engines:

  • AskJeeves (Ask.com)
  • Excite
  • InfoSpace
  • HotBot