Thursday, April 17, 2008

Google, Bing and Yahoo!

NOTE: In using this blog, please click on the titles of each posting to visit the site that is the subject of the post!

Where's the Power Point?

I am a huge fan of Google, Bing and Yahoo! I began using Google back in 1998 when the address was in the domain . I began using Yahoo! back before it truly was powered by a search engine - it was a limited index in those early days. I continue to use both Yahoo! and Google driven searches on a regular basis. Here is a chart of recent stats of searches:

While similar, Google and Yahoo! results are not always the same - click on the title to run a quick comparison of responses for keywords of your choice.

Search Engine Innovations

Folden maintains a massive site with links to a wide range of search engines. Examine the links at the site (click on the title "Search Engine Innovation"). There are links in the right column of the Folden site that identify hundreds of search engines of many varieties.

TouchGraph Google Browser

TouchGraph provides a java-enhanced graphical display of linkages among returns from Google. It is a radical departure from the Google/Yahoo/Bings of the world. This is a great way to view the inter-relationships among web pages. There is an excellent filter entry form to further refine your searches.

This search tool is one of the most visually interesting among all of the search tools. Check out the animations as linkages are built!

Secret (search) Agents!

Perhaps one of the best alternatives to manual searching is to employ a search agent - a program that will repeat periodic searches for you - every day. There are some great ones available. Here are three:
Try out one of these and get daily updates via email or RSS!

The Internet Archive Wayback Machine

Arguably the most incredible search engine online is the Internet Archive - it allows time travel! This incredible database has crawled the Web since 1996. It hold more than 150 billion (!) web pages. You can recover Web pages from a decade ago - news items - track the development of a Web site over years.

For example, enter into the Wayback machine and see how the UIS home page has changed since 1996.

You can restore broken links to material that has been removed from the Web. There are special sections for moving images, text, audio, software and education. And, there are special collections for historic events. This is an awesome resource.


Exalead, like Page Bull, displays results with screen shots of the pages. This is a most useful display mode - saving much time. The screen shots are much smaller in Exalead, so I prefer Page Bull in this respect. And, Exalead includes sponsored links.

Hakia - Semantic Search

The search for meaning often eludes us in both real and virtual life! The goal of Hakia is to search for meaning in the terms or question that is posed in the search. In many cases this kind of search can get right down to what you are looking for. Many returns include "news" and Wikipedia links.


Combining many features of other alternative search engines into a single search utility, Quintura is powered by Yahoo! It provides a cloud that one can mouse roll-over to view groups of returns. As you roll-over terms, the listing of links and summaries changes dynamically.

RSS Micro

One of the growing technologies online is the RSS "really simple syndication" update and summary system. RSS Micro searches RSS feeds. It provides searches of feed sources as well as posts within feeds. RSS Micro searches more than 16 million different feeds overall. It provides clustering through suggested associated keyword search terms.


Search engine for streamed online music. Choose music by genre and mood.


Calling itself the first interactive sematic people search engine, WhoZat? provides a "cloud" of areas of information about people. The focus is on meaning rather than words. Users are able to rate information, creating an interactive approach. This is a useful tool that will continue to expand and evolve.


blinkx has built a reputation as the Remote Control for the Video Web. Now, with an index of over 35 million hours of searchable video and more than 350 media partnerships, including national broadcasters, commercial media giants, and private video libraries, it is a leader in searching online videos. Founded in 2004, blinkx searches videos in several ways, including speech to text that can translate from among many languages and capturing titles such as sports scores.


Congoo is a news service, search engine and people index combined into one. It is a valuable tool for staying current on anything. Congoo News says it is the most comprehensive news source on the Web aggregating stories from thousands of free and subscription content sources.

Good Search

This is truly a "good" search engine. Every search you do - does some good. Every search that is done results in a contribution to a charity. A portion of the advertising revenue is sent to the charity of the day or another charity of your choice.


Roll-your-own search engine. This is a particularly interesting and flexible search engine that allows you to select the sites you want to search. If you have trusted Web sources in a certain area, you can simply roll your own search of those sites for information. By aggregating the search results from these sites together, you get a reliable list of returns.

Twitter: We Can Do What Google Can't - Michael Learmonth, Business Insider

Twitter sees lucrative opportunities in search, albeit a different kind of search than what Google offers, and, as co-founder Biz Stone told Ad Age recently, "we'll certainly be exploring those." In the future, searches won't only query what's being said at the moment, but will go out to the Twitter audience in the form of a question, like a faster and less-filtered Yahoo Answers or Wiki Answers. Users would be able to tap the collective knowledge of the hundreds of millions of members of the Twitterverse.

Wolfram Alpha: A Search Engine that Does More than Search

Nova Spivack, CEO of Radar Networks, which developed Twine says Wolfram Alpha may be as "important for the Web (and the world) as Google, but for a different purpose." He says "Wolfram Alpha is like plugging into a vast electronic brain. It provides extremely impressive and thorough answers to a wide range of questions asked in many different ways, and it computes answers, it doesn't merely look them up in a big database." "In this respect it is vastly smarter than (and different from) Google.

Here's a link to an article that compares the IBM Watson approach to the Wolfram Alpha approach:

The Orginal BackRub

Google’s precursor in 1996 was called “BackRub,” a search engine research project headed by Larry Page at the computer science department at Stanford. BackRub might have been a reference to the underlying algorithm which counts backlinks as affirmative votes, the same approach that was then turned into PageRank.