20 Metasearch

Topic

Today's class covers a special type of search engine known as a metasearch engine. This is a search tool that combines the results from many different sites (Google, Bing, Yahoo!) in order to return the highest-quality results. Below are the two main types of metasearch engines

  1. Integrated results: This type of metasearch engine gathers results from the different search engines around the web and meshes them into one set of results. It is one search activity, accompanied by one set of search results. (ex. info.com)
  2. Unified-search engine: This type of metasearch engine allows you to search different topics within search tools (such as blogs, news, images) and then returns results from all of the websites. The difference is that the results are displayed separately by site, with sites separated by tabs on the results page. This lets you scan the different web site results without having to visit each site individually.

There is also another type of metasearch engine that is more of a hybrid type engine. This returns the results both separated by tabs and combined, whichever the user prefers.

Exercise

Today's class exercise involves visiting the various metasearch sites and comparing the search results to those of Google. This exercise aims to show use the benefit (or disadvantage) of using the metasearch sites. The exercise guidelines and results can be found here.

In addition to the exercise, we were assigned to post two twitters about our favorite two metasearch engines. Below is a list of some of the major metasearch tools and a brief description of what they do:

Tool Description
symbaloo Symbaloo is a type of metasearch tool. It's a page meant to be set as a homepage for your internet browser that gives you access to the many different search and media tools around the internet. Very cool tool.
search!o Search!O is a tool used to return results from many different sites separated by tabs. It's almost like tab browsing search sites, but within a web page. This allows you to browse the results of many different sites without having to actually visit each individual site.
soovle Fun, interactive search site. Useful when wanting to search a bunch of different, unique sources for one topic. For instance, finding youtube videos on a topic as well as visiting the wikipedia page for further information.
scour Nicely designed, easy to use metasearch tool. Nothing too special or unique about it, just returns accurate and easy to navigate results.
dogpile One of the most widely known metasearch tools. Searches for results on the main four web browsers (ask, yahoo!, Bing, Google)

To view a complete list of the metasearch tools, visit this site here.

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