Today, popular search engines ChaCha and blinkx announced an exciting new partnership, to add a video search feature to ChaCha's search results. ChaCha is the human powered search engine that Alex Iskold reviewed for Read/WriteWeb in December. Note also that I rated ChaCha the #1 Search Engine of the Year for 2006 (pre-R/WW days). In any case the partnership with blinkx means that ChaCha will now offer its searchers access to blinkx's video content; currently seven million (7,000,000) hours of indexed video and audio content.

Both ChaCha and blinkx have been featured on my Top 100 Alternative Search Engines lists for every month in 2007.

ChaCha is unique in that it employs 30,000 trained human search guides that are available 24/7, whenever users request assistance with a search.

For its part, blinkx has taken video search far beyond the standard keyword-based searches. blinkx's unique technology can actually listen to, and even see, video content on the web.

Alt Synergy

This partnership has significant implications for Search and the role of the Alternative Search Engines. It represent a powerful example of synergy; the concept that combining the best features of two search engines can have a much greater impact than mere addition would imply. In mathematical terms, it means that this partnership is not represented by 10 + 10 = 20; rather the correct formula would be 10 x 10 = 100.

In other words, this partnership is both a boon to ChaCha searchers - if they need help in their video search, the ChaCha guides are right there to assist them - and also a clarion call to the other alternative search engines; that by forming partnerships such as this one they too can produce results that will "shake the search market," as CEO of blinkx Suranga Chandratillake said, referring to this deal.

"We're continually looking for ways to 'turbo charge' our search capabilities," echoed Scott Jones, CEO of ChaCha.

Other alternative search engines can learn from ChaCha and blinkx by looking around at their most powerful allies - the other "98" (actually many more) alternative search engines!