Japanese graphical search engine

MarsFlag is a new search engine in Japan (went live in March) that provides links as thumbnail images of returned results instead of text, with larger-version pop-ups when you rollover with the mouse. Supports full-text search (e.g. this search on wearable computer) as well as pictorial topic areas like movies, fashion magazines and motercycles.

According to Internet Watch [JP → EN], the search engine at least in part determines results ranking using bookmarks kept by the 35,000 subscribers to the Mark Agent web-based bookmarking service that the company also owns. MarsFlag claims this helps thwart attempts to gain page rank by creating link farms, a process called search engine optimization. (Presumably that’ll only work until SEO companies start generating fake Mark Agent accounts…)