25 Metasearch Engines

We discuss and evaluate metasearch engines.

Class held on 12/01/2008. Student notes are available on this page. Possible questions are available on this page.

Class structure

  1. Go through “At beginning of class” information
  2. Go through highlights of some of the amazing search tools that are available.
  3. Work on exercises

At beginning of class

  1. Blogs — I have graded a bunch.
    • ummmm: “definately”? “it's” vs. “its”
  2. Rest of the semester:
    1. 12/03: Yahoo
      • same protocol for the visit
    2. 12/08: Semester summary, project unveiling
  3. You still need to post blog entries that received a “10”
  4. Go over any other announcements you might have missed since last class.
  5. Check the start page for any blogs you might be interested in that you might have missed.

My notes

The search community has a tool called a meta-search engine. These tools derive their functionality from other search engines. A complicating factor is that there are two very different types of tools that are called meta-search engines. The search community does not recognize these subtypes, but they are very real and quite significant:

Integrated search for multiple search engines
the meta-search engine uses an algorithm to combine the results from multiple search engines into one result list
Unified interface for separate search engines
the meta-search engine provides a single interface, enabling easy and quick switching between the results of different search engines

These are very different tools. In the first case, the functionality provided by the meta-search engine revolves around an informed method of combining the results of multiple search engines, while in the second case the functionality is simply based on providing a unified interface while simply passing through the results from one external search engine at a time.

Resources

Integrated search for multiple search engines

  1. Search.com (review, help, search tips)
  2. Info.com (about, review)
    • examples: carbon trading (web), carbon trading (images), carbon trading (reference)
    • other: separate columns for Web results & sponsored results
    • Features
      • Integrates Google, Yahoo, Live, Ask, About
      • Separate tabs for Web, Research, News, Images, Video, Health, Shop, Classifieds, Flights, Jobs, Hotels, Movies, Audio, Yellow Pages, White Pages, Webmail
  3. ixQuick (about, review)
    • examples: cannot link directly to results
    • other: explicit aggregation (with stars), refinement of results with user input
    • Features
      • Integrates All the Web, Ask, EntireWeb, Exalead, Gigablast, MSN, NBC, Open Directory, Qkport, Wikipedia, Winzy, Yahoo
      • Separate tabs for Web, International phone directory, Video, Pictures
  4. Mamma (about, help, review)
    • examples: carbon trading (web)
    • other: refine your search
    • Features
      • Integrates Open Directory, Business.com, About.com, Ask, Gigablast, Wisenut, EntireWeb
      • Separate tabs for Web, Videos, Jobs, Shop, Yellow Pages, White Pages
  5. Clusty (about, review)
  6. DogPile (about, review)
    • examples: carbon trading (web), carbon trading (images)
    • other: favorite fetches (on home page), related searches
    • Features
      • Integrates Google, Yahoo, Live, Ask
      • Separate tabs for Web, Images, Audio, Video, News, Yellow Pages, White Pages
  7. ShoppingVale — a metasearch engine for shopping
  8. Others

Unified interface for separate search engines

  1. Soovle (click "secrets" in upper right)
    • other: top searches,
      • automatic refinement of search in multiple search engines in real time (really cool)
      • Be sure to hit the right arrow key after you have entered a search (but before pressing enter)
    • Features
      • Separate searches for Google, Yahoo, Ask, Wikipedia, Amazon, Answers.com, YouTube
      • Just Web search
  2. FastEagle
    • other: a "tools" tab
    • Features
      • Separate searches for about a dozen Web sites in each category
      • Separate tabs for Home (Web), News, Business, Tech, Lifestyle, Interests, Fun, Video, Music
  3. Kedrix (review)
    • Features
      • Separate searches for Google, Yahoo, Live, Ask
      • Just Web search
  4. Search.IO
    • other: latest searches
    • Features
      • Separate searches for 8-10 sites in each category
      • Separate tabs for Audio, Blogs, Books, CSS Galleries, Fonts, Images, Jobs, Lyrics, News, People, Recipes, Search Engines, Social Bookmarks, Stock Photos, Torrents, Tutorials, Videos, Web 2.0 Sites
  5. Joongel (review)
    • Features
      • Integrates the "10 leading Websites" in each category
      • Separate tabs for General Search, Images, Music, Videos, Shopping, Social, Q&A, Health, Torrents, Gossip
  6. Zuula (about, help)
    • other: tracks recent searches
    • Features
      • Separate searches for Google, Yahoo, Live, Gigablast, Exalead, Alexa, Entireweb, Mahalo, Wikia, Visvo
      • Separate tabs for Web, Images, Video, News, Blog, Jobs
  7. IntelWays
    • other:
    • Features
      • Separate searches for 10-20 web sites per category
      • Separate tabs for General, Images, Video, News, Social, Files, Reference, Academic, Business, Tech, Shop
  8. LeapFish (about, review)
    • Features
      • Separate searches for Google, Yahoo, MSN
      • Separate tabs for Web, News, Answers, Videos, Images, Shopping, Blogs
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