What's the easiest travel website? The best test prep software? The most powerful and secure online payment processor? How would you find the answers to these questions, at least from the perspective of your online peers?

RankSpeed is a sentiment-based search engine. It tracks mentions of websites and web-based services in blogs and on Twitter, then ranks their search results based on sentiment analysis.

In our recent post on this year's advances in sentiment analysis technology, Richard MacManus noted that both semantic search as well as Twitter analysis have been picking up speed in recent months.

On RankSpeed, users enter their search terms then select up to six sentiments by which to sort results: good, useful, easy, fast, powerful, and secure. Or, users can simply select the sentiment for overall popularity.

Once results are returned, users can click through to find out exactly which blog mentions and tweets had contributed to the item's ranking.

Check out this demo video:

Currently, search results are not consistently valuable or relevant, and the interface needs work. However, we're willing to give RankSpeed a pass simply because the idea behind a sentiment-based search engine is one we'd like to see explored in greater depth.

RankSpeed CEO Florent Voignier told us in an email this morning that the company's monetization plans will center on sponsored links and a price comparison service wherein the startup will earn a commission on each of the sales.

Voignier said he started the company a few months ago, funding it himself from money earned through his previous startup, FlySuite.com.

"For this first beta," he wrote, "RankSpeed searches only for websites, web services, etc. But we are planning to compare also products, people, things, everything that is significantly mentioned in blog posts and tweets."