Even More Services to Help Discover Similar Web Sites


similarsearchOne of the biggest challenges on the web is discovering new types of content. Last week, I wrote about similar-site.com, a web site that helps you find web sites akin to ones that you’re currently viewing. We came across two other services that accomplish the same task.

Earlier this year, Tel Aviv-based SimilarWeb, which counts well-known Israel angel investor Yossi Vardi as one of its backers, publicly released a Firefox browser add-on that displays sites similar to the one you’re visiting. This week, the startup is enhancing its value by making it possible to find articles with similar content to what you’re currently reading. It will also display tweets on the web about topics you’re reading about.

Xmarks, backed by Redpoint Ventures, started out life as a bookmark backup and syncing service, but has since launched a web service that analyzes bookmarked web sites to help you find similar ones.  Xmarks also offers a browser add-on for Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari that does the same thing. CEO James Joaquin left a comment in response to my similar-site.com post and said Xmarks finds similar sites by culling information from their database of over 800 million bookmarks. He added, “You can also search by topic and discover the top web sites ranked by bookmark popularity.”



Jennifer, thank you for writing an article about my website http://simiar-site.com/ and other websites that provide the similar service.

I developed this website mostly during my summer break. I do some improvements now and then when the idea is interesting enough. The project started from my research on social tagging a.k.a. folksonomy.I found out that the sum of tags gives very good description of the website. It even can distinguish fine differences between websites.For example, the website that has the most similar tags to http://www.cnn.com is not usatoday.com or even cbsnews.com. It is msnbnc.msn.com. I didn’t think it was an accident.This motivated me develop a website that can help people find similar websites. Although I am a decent programmer, I had to learn php, css, ajax and jquery during the development process. The part that gave me the biggest headache was the interface design. It is more difficult than it seems to be.

As you said, there is room for improvements for similar-site.com. That is exactly right. I have quite a few ideas that could improve the service significantly and even expand the scope of application. But it takes efforts and investment. So far I have spent less than $200 on domain names and hosing. I am looking for collaborators on this project. Hopefully, we can make this website a really useful one.

When I was reading Dan Brown’s new book, The Lost Symbol, last night, I was intrigued by the discussion of noetic science in Ch. 15. I thought it was a fiction, but the author mentioned a website: theintetionexperiment.com. I immediately opened my laptop and typed the URL into the search box of similar-site.com. To my surprise, it gave me a list of results with high confidence. One of the results is http://www.noetic.org. I did a similar site search to http://www.noetic.org (it has Dan Brown’s book in main page), it gave me a list of websites that included all of the research projects mentioned by Dan Brown, including IONS, PEAR, and theintentionexperiment and more not included in his novel. I was quite delighted by the results. Probably Dan Brown already did thorough research for the book, but I still hope he could check out my website :)

I tried these websites today on the other two sites that provide similar site search you mentioned in this article. They did not return IONS, PEAR and many other websites. Unlike keyword based search, similar site search really depends on what users want, which may not be exactly what the searching algorithm gives to users. For example, google.ru is a google’s russian search engine. Probably, most users are looking for other search engines in russian. However, google.com, google.ca,…… are also indeed similar to google.ru. I found out that the other two sites returned a few russian search engines. It is, however, possible to configure similar-site.com to exclude ‘google’ tag from the search which will return even more russian search engines than the other two. Unfortunately, people rarely use this feature. I am writing too much for a comment. I will stop here :)

Tom kerr

Jennifer and Malik , I don’t think one product can do it all Xmarks is a good product but it can’t replace the similar articles and the better accuracy in the similar sites results Similarweb is giving.

On the other hand similarweb needs a couple more functions to give me what Xmarks gives.

Tom Kerr

The similar-site website is not useful for me but the other 2 addons are great!
I have been using Xmarks for some time now and I really like it but I think that combining it with the SimilarWeb addon it will form a great product.

The abilities SimilarWeb is giving me on finding similar sites, similar articles and tweets with the Xmarks bookmarking is making my life easier.

Jennifer Martinez

Hi Tom,
Thanks for your comments. Do you find that you’re using one product more than the other? Just want to see if you’re leaning towards Xmarks or SImilarWeb. Thanks!

Om Malik


I think Xmarks wins for me hands down. I have tried all three and that is the one which makes most sense to me. I think what we need is uber-plugins that do more than just one thing. Xmarks is a good example of such a service.


The articles with similar content thing is great, I love it.
I think SimilarWeb is going to be a must on any browser.

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