Icerocket – Interview with CEO Blake Rhodes

The Search Lounge is pleased to feature an exclusive interview with Blake Rhodes, CEO of Icerocket. Icerocket is a new search engine from Dallas, Texas that has the unique goal of being responsive to users. Blake maintains a useful blog about the engine To understand his philosophy, this is a good post to read: He writes, “When people write me with suggestions, what do I do? I LISTEN to them!! Without our users, we are nothing. As you can see, we have made several changes to the site based on the emails we have received.” True to his creed, Blake was responsive to my request for an interview.

Icerocket offers the following tabs for searching: Web, Blogs, News, Phone Pics, Images, and Find A Friend. For web results, the “archive” link takes you to results from the Wayback Machine and that’s always a good thing in my book.

For a search company that’s the equivalent of a newborn baby, I like what they’re doing and hope to see them grow.

This interview was conducted via email on December 6, 2004 by Chris Fillius.

Blake, thanks for joining us at the Search Lounge. I know your blog was started in September, but how long has Icerocket been live?
We have been live about 6 months.

Can you tell us about any features or improvements to relevancy that are being worked on right now?
Features we are working on: RSS builder, we launched this about 10 days ago, it’s a free tool and we will be adding to it. We are working on several things right now, but I can’t really talk about them.

For the web searching tab, does Icerocket pull results directly from Alexa?
We actually don’t pull Alexa’s results, just the thumbnail images and the traffic numbers. We crawl and index a lot of it ourselves.

Any plans for Icerocket to crawl and index for web search?
Nothing is out of the question. [editor’s note: an interesting teaser.]

Currently, you are using your blog in lieu of help pages for searchers. Do you plan to develop help pages or will you continue on as it is? I find the blog to be very useful, but I took the time to look around Icerocket, whereas the first place many users will look for help is in a help section.
Yes we will have help pages in all sections soon.

IceSpy provides good insight into what users are searching for on Icerocket. Do you analyze user queries? And if so, how does that influence you?
No not really, it’s kind of fun to see what others are looking for, but that’s about it.

Lastly, what’s your favorite drink?

Thank you for your time Blake.