Thursday, June 23, 2005

Beyond Google

Many of us have come to rely on Google when searching the web. And, I admit, Google gives me the results I want, most of the time. But no search engine can find everything. Try these options in your spare time and post a comment when you do:

Did you know that Yahoo! now crawls the web on its own? Yahoo! News gets selective feeds directly from publishers and crawls over 7000 sources for news. You can set up keyword news alerts for free with Yahoo! Alerts. Still like Google's clean interface? Get it on Yahoo! at http://search.yahoo.com/.

Have you ever tried A9 from Amazon.com? A9.com includes results from Amazon's "Search Inside the Book" feature - the service that allows you to search the full-text of over 120,000 current books. Searching A9, I found out the average commissions paid to Avon independent reps. for a Buffalo advisor's recent inquiry.

Clusty is a different kind of search tool. It uses a Clustering Engine to organize search results into folders grouping similar items together. If you type "pearl" into the search field, the results show folders for: jewelry, Pearl Harbor, Pearl Jam and oysters, among others. Simply click on the appropriate folder and you'll get more relevant results.

If you want to compare search engine results, go to Thumbshots Ranking. Type in your search term and choose the search engines you want to compare. The results show the number of overlapping pages and the number of unique pages. In general, there is very little overlap in the web page databases of the major search engines. Learn how to use this tool in depth.

If you want to become more of an expert on search engines, visit my favorite site - Search Engine Watch.

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