20 Metasearch exercises

Integrated meta-search

Your task today is to determine how well each of the integrated meta-search engines compare to the most popular search engine (Google). You should do the following:

  1. Devise a moderately complex search related to your term project (use phrases, multiple words, stuff like that).
  2. Submit the query to each of the tools below.
    1. For each tool, count the number of relevant results among the top 10 results delivered by the site.
    2. When you are done, record each of the numbers in the table below. You can use the template below (except replace samoore with your username) to put your data into the table.
    3. You need to do this before leaving today's class.
samooresamoore
Metasearch tools
User Google Info StartPage Search InfoSpace Clusty DogPile URL Scour
aegreenaegreen 9 8 7 8 5 6 5 7 8
maverboomaverboo 4 3 3 1 2 1 3 3 2
bavidarbavidar 4 7 3 3 6 5 2 7 1
campandrcampandr 3 5 3 2 4 4 2 4 3
dabilendabilen 7 6 3 7 5 5 3 3 4
dbaodbao 5 6 4 7 5 6 7 7 8
ranfanranfan 4 3 3 2 2 1 4 4 2
imontyimonty 10 10 7 6 10 4 10 10 10
JEgererJEgerer 8 9 9 7 6 5 9 6 8
jenmmartjenmmart 10 10 10 9 10 9 10 10 9
jkimsaljkimsal 6 9 8 7 9 3 4 8 8
joshuaaajoshuaaa 7 5 4 5 5 3 5 4 4
keyurpatkeyurpat 4 5 2 7 6 8 3 7 5
kfreelskfreels 9 9 7 4 8 3 5 8 8
mike_danhofmike_danhof 10 7 8 9 9 9 6 6 5
mkeagymkeagy 9 9 8 6 9 9 4 9 8
rolay117rolay117 4 8 8 3 6 2 7 8 6
jadwinjadwin 5 6 6 3 3 4 6 6 3
tfornerotfornero 8 5 7 8 8 6 4 9 9
moonparkmoonpark 5 7 2 5 5 4 4 3 2
npajanknpajank 8 9 6 5 9 8 4 9 8
eboweebowe 8 7 5 4 7 5 5 8 6
vivanovvivanov 7 8 4 4 3 2 4 5 5
WdchenWdchen 7 7 2 2 3 2 4 4 2
nikguptanikgupta 5 6 9 6 8 3 6 7 6
lwarbasselwarbasse 6 5 6 5 7 6 6 4 5
rachbasarachbasa 10 8 2 6 10 8 8 5 6
joecoxjoecox 9 7 6 8 7 6 5 8 7
robo24wolverinerobo24wolverine 9 9 7 7 5 5 7 7 8
oish330oish330 8 5 3 4 5 3 5 4 4
Average 6.74 6.93 5.41 5.22 6.26 4.85 5.19 6.33 5.60
Record 6/5/16 5/19/3 4/20/3 8/12/7 4/20/3 5/18/4 10/12/5 6/17/4

(Interpretation of the "Record" row: This is a comparison to Google. A/B/C: A is the number of times this search engine is better than Google; B is the number of times Google is better than this search engine; and C is the number of ties.

Here are my observations from this experiment:

  • Info, on average, gave better results than Google. Info won 6/5/16 directly compared to Google. Both of these are slight wins for Info, but nothing really significant. Last year, Info was also the only metasearch engine to beat Google.
  • The only other metasearch engines close to Google are URL and InfoSpace.
  • The rest of the metasearch engines (StartPage, Search, Clusty, DogPile, and Scour) are not even close to Google in this experiment. Last year Dog Pile was also soundly beaten by Google, so we need to drop it from this exercise.

Unified interface

  1. Go to Soovle and enter the query that you used above. Watch the interface. Press the right arrow key.
  2. These tools are not necessarily about search results but about the search process. The point is to help you explore the topic, explore different results, explore different ways of looking at things.
  3. What do I want you to do? I want you to go through these eight tools (Soovle, Search.IO, etc.). When you are done, I want you to send a twitter only about your two favorite tools:

#bit330 #meta Tool: observation

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