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Kidzui launches Zui.com search engine

Many parents will be familiar with Kidzui, the downloadable web browser for kids that received The Online Mom CHOICE Award in the fall of 2009. Kidzui has now launched Zui.com, a brand new search engine designed for kids ages three and up.

Search engines have always been a concern for parents with young, computer-savvy kids. Although Google and other search engines have introduced safe-search features to block inappropriate content, they are far from perfect and it’s usually relatively easy to disable or by-pass the safe-search settings.

With Zui.com, there is no need to worry about inappropriate content, because it has all been filtered out already. Zui.com only returns search results from its library of more than five million parent and teacher-approved web sites.

With the tag line “Be Curious,” the Zui.com home page is a colorful montage of games, images, videos and links to web sites. If you just want to browse, then there are “Zui Favorites” and a list of some of the more popular search terms to inspire you. Click on “Games,” Images,” or one of the other headers and you are presented with an endless scroll of additional suggestions.

Although the search engine emphasizes fun and popular culture, there is also a wealth of more serious material. When we typed “Dinosaurs” into the active search bar, Zui returned some great images and links to dozens of educational web sites – in fact, everything your child would need to complete that school project!

Kidzui estimates that more than 9,000 kid-friendly topics are searchable through Zui.com. While free to users, the search engine is supported by sponsors and advertising. Although each ad is clearly marked "advertisement,” Zui could do a far better job of separating the colorful display ads from the regular content.

One other thing to keep in mind: Zui.com is not a closed web environment like Kidzui, so it’s easy for kids to type something into the web address bar and jump to another site. If you really want peace-of-mind, then it’s best to have your child access Zui.com from with the Kidzui browser.

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