More Google Search Alternatives
When you just aren’t finding what you want via Google, Bing, or Yahoo, it’s time to take a walk down the roads less traveled. Some alternative search tools are trying to do better than the big boys in terms of providing more useful results. Here are more alternatives to the most popular search engines...
Are You Ready to Try a Search Alternative?
I'll admit that I use Google every day, and most of the time, it does the job. But there are quite a few specialized search tools that may do a better job of finding what you're after, or help you get there faster. Recently, I’ve written about Google Search Alternatives -- alternatives to the Big Three search tools (Google, Bing and Yahoo) and today I've got a bunch more for you to check out.
You may find that one of these alternative search engines is capable of finding the information you seek, or will help you to solve a particular problem. Let's take a look...
You might not think of YouTube as a search engine, but depending on how you look at the numbers, it can be considered the second most popular search site. Almost a billion people visit YouTube every month, and it's actually a great place to find how-to videos to learn about almost anything. Try searching for "how to paint kitchen cabinets" or "how to play stairway to heaven on guitar". (It's not as hard as I thought!) It's also a great way to search for songs. When I can't get Pandora to play a specific song, I search for it on YouTube, and there's almost always a hit.
The Internet Movie Database is an online database of movies, but it also encompasses TV programs, actors, fictional characters, production personnel, and even video games. As of April 2013, IMDb had 2.5 million films and over 5 million personalities in its database. Founded in 1990, IMDB is one of the most popular reference resources online, with over 100 million unique visitors per month. It was acquired by Amazon.com in 1998. User ratings and reviews make IMDB particularly valuable for finding the best films and TV programs. It's also great for answering questions like "Who played the role of Miss Caswell in All About Eve?" Or what other shows has Seinfeld's Soup Nazi character appeared in?
Quora is a tools that's great for writers and researchers. But anyone with a burning question can join. Registration is required so that Quora can tailor its results to your needs. On Quora, you search for resources that can be used in your research. That can include people as well as writings of others. The idea is that people who are experts in your field of inquiry will see your question, and help to answer it. Quora covers business, cooking, economics, entertainment, health, politics, science, sports, technology and other areas of interest. You can also create “boards” or mini-blogs to organize and share information that interests you.
411.com is an online telephone directory. You can search for people or businesses, or do reverse lookups by entering a phone number to see who it belongs to. If the number is listed in a public phone directory, it will be displayed for free. No strings. If it's unlisted or a mobile number, it will tell you so, and offer a paid lookup service. But I recommend against using those, as they usually don't pan out. To see who lives at a particular address, use the reverse address search option. (Tip: Omit the street number, searching for the street name and town, to get a list of everyone who lives on the street.) You can also query area codes and zip codes to associate them with their related towns.
Dogpile is a meta-search tool thats has been around since before Al Gore invented the Internet. Dogpile searches multiple search engines, combines the results, and returns it in a unified listing. SeekFreak is similar, in that it allows you to search with more than one search engine. But it displays the results from each engine side by side, instead of combining them.
Pikimal is a shopping resource that aims to level the playing field. Starting with a philosophy that the most popular search engines tend to favor companies that can buy their way to the top of the results, Pikimal's algorithm aims to remove the bias of brand names, big marketing budgets and search engine optimization tricks. Instead, Pikimal focuses on the facts associated with products to help consumers make the best buying decisions. You can browse categories or search by keywords. Pikimal users rate the products they find or recommend on criteria that are explained in each list of search results. Information on each product or service is written by Pikimal editors.
RedZ is the most bizarre search engine I have ever seen. It looks like the dark, slightly shocking homepage of a deranged video gamer. Gracing the page is the Redz mascot -- an odd-looking red-and-white rubber zebra, which really isn’t what anyone searches for, ever. Search results (which appear to come directly from Bing) are presented as thumbnails of Web pages, not as excerpts of the pages’ text. The idea is actually cool, you can flip through the search results in a carousel fashion, choosing which link to follow based on the thumbnail preview.
But the execution is poor, in my opinion. First, the thumbnails are too small and blurry to give you an idea of what you'll be clicking into. Second, the thumbnails show the home pages, not the actual page on the site that represents the search "hit". So if you click the thumbnail, the page where you end up won't look like the image you clicked. And finally, there's not enough of a text snippet to give you any guidance as to whether or not you should follow any given link. But that's all the opinion of a text-oriented geek. Give it a try and see what you think.
What's your favorite alternative or special purpose search engine? Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 3 Jun 2013
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- More Google Search Alternatives (Posted: 3 Jun 2013)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved