Montreal startup Wajam has picked up three honours from the International Business Awards, popularly known as the Stevie Awards.
The social search engine firm won gold for best online press room, plussilvers for best social app and most innovative company in the U.S.and Canada.
Wajambeat out competitors of all sizes and nationalities in itscategories, a coup for the 20-person startup that was founded threeyears ago.
“One of the companies we beat for (online) press room was Accenturewhich has over 200,000 employees. So there’s a lot of high profilecompanies that win. In the social app category, the people who came infirst and third were from Korea, so it’s really an internationalaward,” said Wajam marketing manager Alain Wong.
Wajam.com is a social search engine that adds recommendations from auser’s social media contacts to online search results. When users do asearchonGoogle, Bing or Yahoo, the Wajam Social Search Everywhere plug-in alsoadds recommendations from the user’s Facebook, Google+ and Twitteraccounts.
“It’s really giving users more relevant recommendations and results.Instead of just organic results from Google, you’re gettingrecommendations from friends you trust,” Wong said.
For example, if someone searches for “hotel”, Wajaml will include“likes” for hotel brands posted by the user’s Facebook friends, or anylinks to hotel chain Web sites posted on the user’sincoming Twitter feed. It can also be used for searches onsiteslike Yelp, TripAdvisor, YouTube, eBay and Amazon.
The overall trend in online search is a shift towards more personalcontent, with Google recently adding content from users’ Gmail accountswithin Google Search results in a trial run that’s underway now.
Wajam is just one of several Canadian IBA winners at this year’s Stevie Awards, which will behanded out in Seoul, South Korea on Oct. 15. Afull list of 2012 Stevie Award winners can be found here.
The U.S.-based IBAs are part of the Stevie Awards, which honourcompanies and non-profit organizations from around the world under thebanners of four awards: the IBAs, the American Business Awards, theStevie Awards for Women in Business, and the Stevie Awardsfor sales and customer service. This year’s IBAs receivedentries from over 50 countries.