Five Search Engines Your Friends Don’t Know About

nihalar By nihalar, 16th Mar 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Web Sites

Everybody uses Google. Probably the only search engine to have inspired verbs like ‘googled’ (when you scour the Net for stuff on that handsome boy you once met) or ‘Google whacking’ where you tempt Google with unique entries that return only one result. But your quest for knowledge need not be limited only to the pages indexed by Google. Other search engines have tiptoed into the search domain and have, at some point, even been touted as Google-killers.

Five Search Engines Your Friends Don’t Know About

Vivisimo (Spanish for very lively, clever), is a search service with a unique ability of indexing and clustering your search results. Vivisimo prevents you from link overloads and takes you directly to the information you need. Type a query, the software calls other search engines (most major ones, a few government sites, and many corporate, news and university sites), extracts relevant information (titles, URLs, and short descriptions) and groups the results. Which means you do not have to go through each and every result thrown up by the search to find the one that fits the context you are keen on. Also, the results that would otherwise be buried deep come into easy view. Another plus is the ‘open in new window’ button which is a great tedium-reducer, one-rightclick- less option.

Type a question in the query box of WiseNut and the answer pops up in the headline or description of documents, so if you do not need more information, there is no need to click any of the results. For those who want to delve deeper, WiseNut organises results into neat folders, and even offers you a sneak-a-peak view, in which the home page of the results shows up within a window within the search results window itself. You can move on if the page does not match your interest. WiseNut claims to index 50 million Web documents a day. You can keep track of its progress by looking at the top left corner of the home page—it read ‘1,571,413,207 Web pages and counting’ the last time we stopped by.

Teoma, derived from the Gaelic word for expert, takes Google’s searching strategy to a higher rung—it ranks your search results based on topical directories created by experts, which translates to more usable searches from a user perspective. The results to any query will not only get you Web pages neatly classified into folders and a ranked list of Web pages (the way Google does) but also recommended 10 ‘expert links’ specially created or favoured by the enthusiasts on the subject. The same sparse look of Google shows up in Teoma. Its home page loads quickly, the results are delivered quickly. The main limitation, however, is that the index is relatively small at about 100 million pages (Google is close to 1.5 billion). Also, Teoma is currently in public Beta release. It is possible that the current site may not be the incarnation that survives.

iLOR, which calls itself a research engine, combines the power and relevancy of Google’s results with some nifty features that searchers are bound to love. Hover the mouse over the listings and ‘LORlinks’ show up. The ‘Put In My List’ option adds the listings to a new browser window allowing you to pick out the listings that interest you to build a custom list. The ‘Go Now’ option ‘anchors’ you to the original search results; use the anchor window to get back instantly to the original search results. Click on ‘Open In Task Bar’ option and iLOR opens the listing in a new window, but immediately minimises the window, so you can still see the original results list.

Surfwax searches 14 leading search services, including Northern Light, and handles syntax reasonably well. But what makes it useworthy is its unique display of results (just titles), summaries of some pages (SiteSnap), and focus words to aid in refining the search. This meta search engine analyses both the search statement to create FocusWords—the lists of words that pick out the main topics and concepts and then displays results, offers a definition and sets of broader and narrower words for each. Another amazing feature is SiteSnaps—you click on the lens icon in the results page and on the right half of the page, you get to see a ‘snap’ of the result page.

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author avatar Dafeenah
19th Mar 2011 (#)

Thanks for sharing this! Sometimes I forget there are other search engines out there besides google.

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