CliqSearch is a search engine that combs the web for social reviews and comments about businesses. The site operates on the idea that reviews from complete strangers are not as insightful or valuable as those from the people the user knows. The site gives the user a search tool to find businesses they may use. The site shows the user how long the business has been on social networks and reveals other stats, such as how many CliqSearch users have checked in at that business, how many “Cliqs” it has received, followers and any tips that are available related to the business. The user can also sign in and see what people on their Facebook contact list have said about the company. Basic contact information is also provided so the user can get in touch with the business by phone, mail or through a website.Show more screenshots »
CliqSearch was founded by Alex Pooyan Khorram. The concept was conceived after Khorram had a negative experience after being misled by praised posted in an online review. Khorram also noted that even negative reviews can be perceived different ways, making them harder to decipher when deciding whether to buy a product or service or not. CliqSearch has received significant attention because of the way it focuses on reviews from familiar people rather than strangers. The site was featured on TechCrunch and managed to raise $840,000 from angel investors while still in beta.
Many websites offer online reviews posted by consumers. Some retail websites provide a space for this while third party websites provide nothing but reviews. The concept is not a new one and has been around for decades. CliqSearch adds innovation by giving users an easy way to discover reviews posted by the people they know. The user will know whether or not they can trust the information in the review and can even ask direct questions and get answers from the person because they are acquaintances, friends or family members.
CliqSearch has a trendy, modern feel that favors a solid black background and hints of color presented through sleek text. The design contains absolutely no clutter so the user can get right down to business browsing reviews and learning more about businesses. The site positions the search tool front and center on the homepage so the user wastes no time thanks to the convenient design. CliqSearch takes on a user friendly, relaxed style that caters to users of all tech experience levels.
A new user can sign up for a CliqSearch account by clicking the yellow “Sign Up” button in the upper, right hand corner of the homepage. A dropdown box appears and invites the user to sign up with an existing Facebook, Twitter or FourSquare account. Others can click the bottom option to sign up for a new CliqSearch account. A form will appear and ask the user for a name, email address and password. The user is automatically logged in and asked to begin adding networks to their account. This step can be skipped if the user prefers to do so.
CliqSearch offers a valuable service, but it is not one that most users would be willing to pay for. Anyone can sign up and use CliqSearch for free. There are no subscription fees or charges for searching businesses. The free price makes the application very appealing to users, especially those who already have a well-established Facebook or Twitter contact list. Users can search as often as they like. Searches can be performed without logging in (but will not include comments by those on the user’s social network contact list).
CliqSearch is ideal for consumers who are searching for more information on a local business. The application works best for those who already have sizable contact lists on Twitter, Facebook and/or FourSquare. The feature that makes this application stand out (listing reviews by familiar people) relies heavily on the user already maintaining a number of contacts and using businesses that those individuals also frequent. Users who do not utilize a social networking profile may find little reason to create a CliqSearch account.