SOURCE: HeyStaks


March 02, 2011 12:30 ET

"HeyStaks" Looks to a New Era of Online Search Relevance Through Social Collaboration

As Consumers Put More Trust in Community-Filtered Recommendations vs Just Search Engine Machine Generated Results, New Social Search Product Combines Web Search and Social Networking

PALM DESERT, CA--(Marketwire - March 2, 2011) - HeyStaks Technologies, a social web-search start up, today launched its initial products at the annual DEMO Spring 2011 conference in Palm Desert, California.

Search engines have not evolved much since Google hit the scene, with algorithmic solutions still driving core relevancy, content farms becoming increasingly prevalent and a serious nuisance to consumers, and no meaningful social search solutions being introduced. Some have dabbled in searching of social content, e.g., photos, tweets, etc., but no one has provided consumers with what is really needed, effective social searching of content to drive higher relevance of core web search results.

HeyStaks is web search, shared. HeyStaks is a new social search service that allows you to collaborate anonymously with friends and people of like minded interest as you search, to get better, more relevant results recommended by people you trust around topics that matter to you. And HeyStaks works with your favorite search engine so you continue searching as normal.

"Just as Google reshaped the world of search by paying attention to the links between pages, we believe that our social connections have the potential to usher in the new era of search," said Jonathan Dillon, HeyStaks CEO and former VP of Corporate Development of Yahoo!. "HeyStaks helps both consumer and enterprise searchers to get the right information at the right time, across all search engines, and helps us all become more productive searchers."

Users can create "search staks," collections of the best Web pages from a group of users on a particular topic; these "staks" can be made public and easily shared with colleagues and friends via email, Twitter, etc., or kept private or shared on an invite-only basis. The product provides an effective solution for users who share a common goal or shared interest, allowing them to search the web in a collaborative fashion using mainstream search engines, to make their searches much more effective by keeping the content relevance of results high. As an example, a stak might cover travel information for Northern California, or startup advice, or a group's favorite restaurants. As a user, you choose your preferred Staks and who to collaborate anonymously with to get better search results. You might have one friend who has great insight into the design scene but knows nothing about high-tech startups.

"Our research combines some interesting stats that have driven our products: 1 in 4 of our searches are for things we have previously found, 2 in 3 of our searches are for things someone in our social network has found, and yet mainstream search engines do not take advantage of this inherently social aspect of web search. And there is still a 50% query failure rate across the search engines," said Dr. Barry Smyth, Co-Founder and Chief Scientist of HeyStaks. "So our research group set about developing a new approach to web search that is informed by the searches of people we know and trust."

Dillon was responsible for many of Yahoo!'s acquisitions and integrations over 2003-2008 and notes, "Interestingly, around this general time Yahoo! acquired Delicious and had a similar yet more modest vision for social search. It didn't work for various reasons, including the immaturity of social graphs, and social relevance ranking not being well understood. We in the search industry know that users have been wanting a more social experience for a while but no one has delivered. Now is exactly the right time for a solution like HeyStaks, which is meta and works across the search engines and social networks."

"Our beta users love using HeyStaks, not only for the increased relevancy of results, but also because it has become part of their normal search routines on their search engines of choice," continued Dillon. "About 70 percent of our users shared 75 percent of their staks with their peers. We are seeing a noticeably larger click through rate on community filtered results vs search engine machine generated results, up to 50% in some cases."

"We will also roll out an innovative advertising model later this year that capitalizes on the higher relevance community filtered model and drives an ad model that is more appealing to consumers and results in higher ROI for advertisers."

One can download the desktop and mobile products at, for a better search experience.

About HeyStaks
Established in 2008, and now headquartered in San Francisco, HeyStaks ( is a unique technology that allows searchers to harness their social graphs as they search on their favorite search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.), effectively bringing together the content sharing world of the social networks and the query-based search world of mainstream search engines. HeyStaks delivers community-enhanced search results that are more personalised and relevant than conventional search engine results, and is fully integrated with the leading search engines. HeyStaks received Seed funding from NCB Ventures in 2010. HeyStaks was founded by Prof Barry Smyth, Dr Maurice Coyle and Dr Peter Briggs.

About DEMO
Produced by the IDG Enterprise events group, the worldwide DEMO conferences focus on emerging technologies and new products innovations, which are hand selected from across the spectrum of the technology marketplace. The DEMO conferences have earned their reputation for consistently identifying cutting-edge technologies and helping entrepreneurs secure venture funding and establish critical business. For more information on the DEMO conferences, visit

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Jonathan Dillon
    CEO HeyStaks
    San Francisco
    +1 (415) 990 3726
    Email Contact