Billing itself as an easy to use, user generated, searchable database of businesses that accept Bitcoin, The Bitcoin Search Engine (TBSE) has launched bitcoinsearchengine.com.
Featuring a crisp site design, and the tag line “Get Listed, Get Indexed, Get Found,” the new service encourages users to list Bitcoin friendly businesses for free after creating an account. Sign up is simple, and includes a refreshingly legible CAPTCHA. The website also provides a discussion forum with sections for The Bitcoin Forum, Bitcoin Ideas, Development & Technical Discussion, and Project Development.
The database is searchable by keyword (although this feature appears to be only available in the mobile version at this time), as well as country, category and region. While sparse on listings as of this writing, (searches for “food,” “cupcakes,” “alpaca,” and “socks” returned no results) the service appears to be intuitively designed for ease of use. Like other Bitcoin service listings, The Bitcoin Search Engine appears to be waiting for user generated data to catch on, while distinguishing itself for style and presentation. TBSE has indicated plans to implement a Bitcoin based auction site as well as a rewards system for merchants, taking advantage of its affiliation with the “Billing and Rewards solution” software company CRM New Zealand.
A “Navigate to” menu next to the search box gives a handy list of options, including “New Listings,” and “What’s Popular,” which gives the user a convenient way to access the latest (and the greatest) directory listings. Also in the menu is “Navigate the Directory” which contains an exhaustive list of countries and the number of businesses listed in each country. When a country link is opened, the user is provided with a list of business categories, again showing the number of businesses in each category. Under categories are specific regions within the country, and finally the businesses in that region.
What is most impressive about this new search engine is the variety of ways that a searcher can find information. From simple keywords, to drop-down menus offering an increasing level of specificity by country, category and region, the “Navigate Database” feature mentioned above (which will appeal to fans of the list format), to filtering by what’s hot, and the option to choose your “Favorite Links,” TBSE provides people with a wide range of search style preferences a way to access the data they want according to how they process information.
As Bitcoin matures and a wider range of talented groups and individuals become involved, more Bitcoin-specific services and tools will become polished and user friendly as is seen in this example.