Unusual Search Engines
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know of the major search engines like Google or Yahoo. But did you know that there are many other smaller or niche search engines out there that can offer you unique help? Let’s take a look at some of these and get some insight into how they can be of benefit.
Developed in Australia, Mooter takes a different approach to showing results for your queries. Instead of delivering you “flat” search engine result pages with lists and lists of results, Mooter delivers its results in cluster categories. For instance, if you type the word “labrador” you will see clusters of categories related to your term into which you can drill: organization, retrievers, Canada, map, band, and nature. If these aren’t the results you are looking for you can simply click on the “next clusters” link.
Mooter is beneficial because unlike many search engines, you don’t have to perpetually backtrack and/or type in different sets of key terms in order to reach the result you want in the first place.
Girafa, which boasts that it “visualizes the Web,” shows its users more than the average list of results. Enter the term “marketing” into its Visual Search and not only will various related sites show up, but so will screenshots of each site. Talk about making a split second judgement! Now if you like the look of one site over another, you might just head there first…and buy from them!
Part of the Open Directory Project, Thumbshots.net is similar to Girafa, though Thumbshots.net starts with a directory of categories so there are two ways to search. Once you enter your search query you will see thumbshots on the left side of the screen followed by the title, description, and url of the site.
WiseNut, developed by LookSmart, is simple and easy to use. WiseGuide is like Mooter because it clusters your search into different categories like a directory but on the same first page, it will also display “normal” flat search listings.
Moreover, you can actually Sneak-a-Peek into each site result. Under each normal search listing you will find a description of the site followed by a url and the Sneak-a-Peak hyperlink. If you click on this a large screenshot will appear directly under the listing after choosing this option. You may then simply close it once you are done.
iBoogie clusters its results too, but it displays them like the Windows Explorer screen: you see the flat search listings on the right-hand side while on the left you see clusters you can research by.
Like some of the larger search engines, iBoogie allows you to search for your term from just one search bar by other means: MP3/Audio, Images, Video, Directory or Advanced.
An extremely powerful meta search engine, ProFusion combines search results across multiple engines. What’s even better is that it provides you with the option to limit your search to include specific categories such as career, entertainment, government, etc. There are 22 categories in all and each one of them has a vast number of subcategories from which to explore. In other words, you can search sites for very targeted content all in one query.
Picsearch searches solely for images related to your key term/s rather than sites. Plug in the term “Johns Hopkins” and you will encounter various images of the school, affiliated magazines, hospitals, family vacation photos, etc. Once you choose a particular image you can find out the url source of the image as well as file size, file type, and image size.
Picsearch is family friendly; all offensive material is filtered out by advanced filtering systems.
On your next foray into web search, why not test one of these search engines out for size?! They may even be of more use than say, Google??
Contributed to the Search Engine Journal by WebAdvantage.net Online Marketing