Yamli Unveils its New Search Engine

16 Dec, 2008

Funded by ex-googlers, yamli.com is first to introduce

expanded search engine technology

Yamli.com, a startup targeting the Arabic Web, unveiled its new search engine that allows users to easily search Arabic content in all its forms.  Transliterated Arabic content is ubiquitous among many Arab Internet users due to a large portion of Arabic Internet users choosing to write Arabic phonetically using Latin characters in an ad-hoc and informal fashion.  Yamli automatically expands Arabic keyword searches to include all of their transliterated variations and returns results for both Arabic and transliterated content. This feature is a breakthrough for Arabic Internet users who get frustrated with having to repeatedly search different variations of their query when searching for music, news or videos.

According to co-founder Habib Haddad, “The challenge with Arabic content is that it’s hard to reach all of it.  For example, a simple search for ‘Umm Khulthum’, the famous Egyptian signer, has over 90 transliterated variations – Om Kaltoum, Oum Kalsoum, etc….  Yamli will take an Arabic search term and expand it to include all transliterated variations, returning the maximum number of relevant search results, regardless of whether Arabic or Latin characters were used to write the content.  Prior to Yamli, that kind of search was not possible,” concluded Haddad.

I did a similar search on Al-mutanabi the famous old Arabic poet  and I got results ranging from al-mutanabbiel, el-mutanabbia, to al-motanabbi, though the search comes short on narrowing the results according to the words’ spelling, which is a tip to our friends at Yamli to add in the future.

Yamli Search comes with a rich and easy-to-use interface that has been optimized for slower connections according to Yamli. Under the hood, it uses APIs from search engines such as Google for text, Microsoft Live Search for images and YouTube for video. Yamli Search also includes Yamli’s award-winning Smart Arabic keyboard that allows users to type Arabic without an Arabic keyboard.

According to one of the early ex-Googlers Georges Harik, “The web is universal, and speakers of every language should get equal access to information. Yamli continues to do a great job of extending access to information to all Arabic speakers,” concluded Georges Harik who is also an investor in Yamli.

Yamli’s new search engine was first announced at Harvard Business School’s MENA Conference on Saturday, December 4th during a panel discussion on Entrepreneurship in the MENA region in which co-founder Habib Haddad participated.

This launch puts Yamli in direct competition with Araby, Ayna, Google, Live, and Yahoo.

Araby has launched a number of search featuers such as suggested and thematic search which adds value to the Arab Internet user  and is an attempt to differentiate itself with the number one search king Google, but Yamli’s approach to transliterated Arabic search makes them more unique and adds better value. Now Yamli is better positioned to fight back at Google, when Google chose to compete with Yamli with the launch of Ta3reeb , but will Google Copy cat Yamli and launch a similar service? Time will tell but Google has to fix its Ta3reeb’s transliteration quality first.

Here is a Video that shows how Yamli now works.



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  1. New Arabic Search Engine Yamli : Beyond Search  |  December 16th, 2008 at 3:45 PM #

    […] reader provided two useful links. One suggests that Xooglers are involved. Navigate here. The other, in Arabric, may be of interest as well. That story from Onkosh.com is here. Two happy […]

  2. للبنات فقط  |  December 16th, 2008 at 4:28 PM #

    i have tested it and its realy nice work , hope to see our arab developers improving day by day for more online projects.

  3. za3tar  |  December 16th, 2008 at 7:08 PM #

    I tried it and it seems so very cool.

    However, i feel i have to make a minor correction this is not a search “engine” since they are not doing the actual web crawling and indexing like Google, Yahoo, or Araby.com do. The merely present an interface (a cool one) to Google in two languages.

    cool thing over all

  4. ‘Yamli’ Smooths Arabic Search | SEO ShootOut  |  December 23rd, 2008 at 6:57 PM #

    […] the new search engine that tracks transliterations of Arabic words and titles. As reported on ArabCrunch, Yamli takes account of the frequent use of latin characters for Arabic expression and delivers all […]

  5. Sheco  |  January 17th, 2009 at 4:30 AM #

    its a good news I hope more successful for ever
    انواع الصداع

  6. Yamli Launches News Search. | ArabCrunch  |  January 24th, 2009 at 4:28 PM #

    […] has launched News Search . The news search is powered by google and works the same way to their recently launched search. Where Yamli automatically expands Arabic keyword searches to include all of their transliterated […]

  7. Microsoft Launches Maren, a Native Windows Arabic Transliteration | ArabCrunch  |  July 1st, 2009 at 10:29 PM #

    […] with this problem. But Yamli was the pioneer in making it a business, it has an online editor, API, innovative search that is built on top of the concept and a Firefox toolbar which now is updated to version 1.0. […]

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