Omgili is a search engine that allows a user to find topics on discussion boards that are relevant to their interests. It’s very similar to regular search engines like Google, but its scope is focused exclusively on message boards only, and nothing else.
Like Google or Yahoo!, one only has to type in a search term and press a button to generate a list of relevant board posts. There is also an option to specify the timeframe you’d like Omgili to search in, which can come in handy for several situations.
The results displayed will always reference the first posts from their respective message boards. The title of the post forms the header of each result, with a truncated version of the first post’s contents below it. Clicking on the title link opens up a new browser tab and loads the discussion thread proper, where you can read the posts in its entirety and its original form.
Apart from the title and content, Omgili also provides some extra information about the post, including the name of the sub-forum the thread is in, along with the post date, the number of replies generated by readers and a link to the discussion board’s main page. However, it’s missing a ‘number of times viewed’ count, which would have proven quite useful when judging the popularity of a given topic.
Although simplistic in design and usage, Omgili is an excellent tool for competitive intelligence work. This is because discussion boards, apart from social media platforms, are the only places where users can interact in an entirely casual setting. Without any obligations whatsoever, these users are able to articulate their thoughts with complete honesty, which is valuable information for anyone seeking an unbiased opinion on a product, service or brand.
With that said, discussion boards – especially defunct ones – can be rife with spam posts that do nothing but act as blatant advertisements without contributing anything of interest. Omgili unfortunately does not filter out such posts, which can prove to be a nuisance when one is doing research.
However, Omgili is still an immensely helpful tool. With it, you can:
- Monitor customer opinions regarding a product, service or brand
- Gauge consumer interest and trends based on discussion activity
- Track and discover public opinion about your business, or your rivals
- Understand your audience’s preferences (likes/dislikes)
In some ways, using this service is somewhat similar to conducting a survey. They are both tools for gauging public perception, with the sole exception being that one may tend to lie on a survey, but speak the truth on a public discussion board.
Omgili is entirely free to use, and it supports multiple languages.