By Salman A. Siddiqui

Today, the Internet is the prime medium to access and share information worldwide with millions of users logged online daily. On the worldwide web, there are also millions of websites and a number of search engines to explore any detailed or general data a viewer might seek. To better refine a search for particular information, meta-search engines have or are being developed. With respect to the water industry, there are thousands of sites available, although most are either related to a specific company or product or represent some particular agency or institution. That industry, however, is very broad and narrowing your search to get results relevant to a specific interest often becomes very difficult. One can rarely refer to a website that offers a comprehensive package of being business-oriented and supporting good technical information impartial to any certain commercial interest.

In the United Arab Emirates, one team of talented individuals has been developing an idea for the colossal global water industry, one which can fulfill the needs of potential users in virtually every manner possible. Hence, watergenius.com was born in 1999. One can find data and information about every single water purification company on this water portal, whether it’s engaged in manufacturing, distribution, wholesaling or retailing. And you can also reach a number of water professionals who are either owners, consultants, teachers, dealers and agents, etc. Surely, anyone browsing a few minutes for information on water companies, related events and industry professionals wouldn’t likely leave unsatisfied with the bulk of quality, precise data available at this water portal.

The most notable feature of this website is its popularity in the water world. It draws huge traffic to its website and this is the reason why Alexa.com—a division of Amazon.com that rates websites by popularity based on user traffic—has for several months ranked watergenius.com as the No. 1 website in the water category as well as in utility categories. This—for sure—highlights the wonderful achievement of the team at watergenius.com. In all, there are 38 main categories for the water industry spotlighted at the website, giving way to a further 779 sub-categories, thus helping any user to reach his or her pinpoint of information in no time. The icing on the cake is it’s an absolutely free-of-charge concept, as one doesn’t find any hidden expenses to get a business listed on this web portal, place classified advertisements, offer products in its “Storefront,” inclusion among water professionals in “Who’s Who,” or enlist in a free banner exchange program in all categories.

Why WaterGenius.com?
Today’s Internet is enriched with voluminous data about the water industry, but this jumbled data are so without organization that it doesn’t fulfill the needs of one of the world’s largest industries, i.e., water quality improvement, due to a number of reasons:

  • There’s a dearth of specific water categories on the Internet to help narrow the focus of an information search.
  • A lack of a universal water encyclopedia online.
  • Water companies don’t find any method or procedure to submit websites in various categories, as most search engines don’t allow them to submit a website in multiple categories.
  • An exclusive listing of water professionals is lacking on the Internet.
    WaterGenius offers the following:
  • A very powerful search engine that’s specially designed to provide a browser with pinpoint information on any specified subject related to water.
  • Complete database of manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and retailers of all the water-related products for domestic, industrial and commercial applications worldwide.
  • Links to all the major organizations and agencies related to water with particular emphasis on specific topics.
  • Information section providing knowledge about water-related topics; this also includes ready-to-use presentations and detailed information’s on specific subjects.
  • Water news from around the world from all major newspapers and magazines.
  • Free personal emails with a user ID and a password.
  • Introduction of new products updated on a daily basis.
  • Online registration of websites.

This last feature is available for all companies that would like to register just by filling in a simple form with specific categories to select from and a hotlink to the company’s own website.

Salient features
Principal sections of watergenius. com include:

  1. Categories system
  2. Search and advance search options
  3. Encyclopedia section
  4. Storefront
  5. News
  6. Books
  7. Events
  8. Articles
  9. Banner Advertisement
  10. User Registration Page
  11. Classified
  12. Who’s Who

Categories
WaterGenius is the first and only water-related search engine that’s powered by a system of hierarchical categories and subcategories. Each and every category is well described and defined by the team of experts. This structure system is almost similar to what you’ve experienced at Yahoo! The difference is that Yahoo! covers a number of fields whereas WaterGenius covers only the water industry. These categories are focused and well defined as compared to other search engines.

Main categories—The whole water industry is distributed among 38 main divisions on the home page. Each main category is an umbrella to further sub- and root categories. The main categories don’t carry any data about companies or products. They simply lead you further into more detailed sub-categories, where you can find information on the specific topic you’re investigating.

Sub-categories—With 779 of these, here’s where you’ll have the option to narrow down your search for the desired root category.

Root Categories—Finally, the root categories carry the data of relevant manufacturers, dealers, wholesalers and retailers, etc.
Search & Advanced Search

Search—To access any information through the “search” function, one simply types in a few words and a list of related companies unfolds. Since the website only returns that data which contains just the words entered for a particular query, it would show a huge list of companies. As that could be confusing for a browser, it’s advisable to add more words to describe what you’re looking for more specifically and narrow the number of responses closer to your targeted topic.

For a quick search, it’s important to select proper keywords. For example, if you’re searching for UV lamps, enter “UV lamps” rather than “equipment.” Always use words that are likely to appear on a site with your specific search info. Never use superlative for your search, e.g., “High quality and economical RO units.” It’s needless to use “and” between words. The search results will only depend on the order in which you enter the terms. Also, never use common words and characters such as “how”, “what” and “where” as well as certain single letters and digits because they may slow down your search process. All letters should be deemed in lower case irrespective of how they are entered in search. The search results in popular general search engines are in the thousands, so a visitor finds it difficult to reach a short list of data.

Advance search—To expand your query even more, you can click on “Advance Search,” which allows you to select a specific country of residence, trading region, type of company, show exhibitor and/or type of products.

WaterPedia
The name suggests this section offers some academic data but it offers a bit more. Almost all key words and terminologies used in the water industry are listed with definitions supported by appropriate images, besides a number of articles or press releases related to that particular key word. Hundreds of books on specific topics of water are also found under this category.

The most effective attribute of WaterPedia section is the role it plays in the sub- and root categories as linked off of the home page, which is the most informative and creative section of watergenius.com.

For instance, from the main categories of watergenius.com, i.e., “Bottled Water,” a visitor can find sub-categories with definition of bottled water on right side with image. They will also find articles and books on bottled water as well as featured equipment manufacturer listings and products.

Each and every category is designed in the same way, which is helpful to visitors to improve their knowledge while surfing watergenius.com. Indeed, this is the unique idea that was missing from the general web search scenario.

Other home page features include “What’s New,” “Today’s News,” “Feature Products,” “Latest Articles,” “Latest Events” and “Latest Books” sections.

Registration page
A simple, pre-defined format unfolds in front of you, which upon completion awards you a user identity along with a password and a hotlink to the website of your company.

Admin area
Once you get listed, you can enter an account administration area where you can add your website to different categories, etc. This is available to every registered member.

Edit profile
In this section, you can also:

  • Update your profile.
  • Edit the different categories for your website.
  • Add your products in storefront.
  • Access and manage all inquiries directly in your mail box
    (For registrations and other detailed features, you can visit the help section.)

Classified
As apparent from the name, this section offers a series of specific placements of advertisements. It may include free publicity for your products, invite applicants for any vacant job position, announce a course on water treatment, offer any specialized services, provide an instant reply button, or even inquire about a product one is interested in buying. Furthermore, this link can be used as a platform for announcing “XYZ” promotions and other related announcements or messages.

Who’s Who in Water
The idea here is certainly to promote key personnel of the water industry. Whether these are the owners or higher management officials of any commercial or non-commercial water firm as well as engineers, technicians and other related professionals. This section is also open to people in their individual capacity who excel in the water industry if they’re a consultant, scientist, professor, etc. And all the leading assemblers, distributors, dealers and agents of water purification products can also earn a berth by completing this form, which is also free of charge.

Conclusion
Compared to competitors’ efforts, this site excels by quite a significant margin. And being awarded No. 1 status by Alexa.com for so many months speaks volumes about its rich substance. Still, expect more useful additions over the coming years such as chat facilities, discussion forums, e-commerce facility, software for calculation of various water requirements and conversions, etc. To date, it remains one of the best referral, commercial and academic websites if one is researching anything about water.

About the author
Salman A. Siddiqui is general manager of watergenius.com, which is coordinated from Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. Before that, he was with So-Safe Products LLC, also of the U.A.E., and a key partner in the website’s development. He has spent over 15 years in public relations, advertising, event management, professional training, exhibitions and corporate business management, having also written a number of articles published in newspapers and magazines. He can be reached at +(971) 6 542-1798 or email: [email protected]

 

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