The Google I/O 2012 conference brought us a whole bunch of new stuff from the software giant. But who can argue with the fact that the service that made it this massive company is also the one thing we're all so dependent on - Google’s search engine. It’s quick, it gives you the information you need and there’s a huge environment built around the search engine that we’ve all gotten so used to. However, there are some downsides that aren’t very apparent, but they exist. Google’s search engine uses a certain algorithm and there’s a system which prioritizes sites based on how reputed a site is, along with a bunch of other variables that ensue in the background.
Now, what if you were looking for information on photography tips for a particular camera, say a new Nikon D3200 DSLR, you might find reviews and information about the D3200 on the popular sites, because it’s a popular product, not you might not necessarily find the best techniques and details you’re looking for. That quality information from an expert might be there, but hidden away in Google’s search results, probably because that page or site doesn’t figure in Google’s top ranking sites. What do you do in such a case? Well, there were several search engines in the past before Google came up and they were all actively used but since then, few seem to consider any other search engine. Here’s our list of some of the interesting search engines that are worth exploring.
DuckDuckGo is one of the most basic looking search engines out there. It’s pretty much empty as far as its interface goes. But what makes DuckDuckGo special is that they don’t track users and the information they’re searching. This is a major issue many feel, when it comes to Google or other mainstream search engines. Search results are filtered and catered to your profile. DuckDuckGo is a more classical search engine without any of that. DuckDuckgo also does not filter out pages because of their ranking so you’re likely to get more related content from not so popular sites more often. Of course, this depends on what you’re searching for.
A simple, clean but feature-rich search experience
If you like it, you can add it as your default search engine by clicking on the Add to Chrome link at the bottom of the page. The other things we like about DuckDuckGo is that you get the option of customizing the way DuckDuckGo looks in terms of colour schemes and layout. You also don’t need to switch between page numbers in the search results, the site automatically loads more results as you scroll down. All these settings can be saved anonymously on the web.
Great for statistical information
WolframAlpha is not the traditional, everyday search engine - it’s way more technical and precise with its results. It’s more of a computational, knowledge engine as they like to put it. It’s great to do math and science, if you’re a student. The search results don’t appear in the form of a page and if you type in your favorite actress’ name, you probably won’t find anything more than some facts, her page and other statistics. It’s a great search engine if you’re looking for specific information. It even tells you how it calculated the information using the keywords within your search term. Most of the search results are also depicted in the form of graphs and shapes, making it really easy to understand. Of course, to really make the best use you’ll have to learn how to use it correctly and there’s plenty of help on that in the form of examples provided by WolframAlpha.
Million Short is a rather simple search engine with a simple purpose. It removes the top 100 to the top million results off the search result. We’re not sure what powers the search engine but the user gets the option to sort results as per his wish. The site even tells you all the sites that it ignored before displaying the search results.
Cuts out the unnecessary pages from search results
There are different levels of filtering you can do. You can choose to remove the top 100 sites, thousand, ten thousand, a hundred thousand or a million sites. This doesn’t work flawlessly so you need to alter the setting depending on how vague your search keyword is. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting way to discover new sites that would typically be hidden away because they’re too new or have poor SEO implementation.
Joongel is not the best search engine if you’re looking for search results quickly and it’s not like Million Short, looking for non-poular sites. It actually uses the most popular sites to get you the information you want. The site requires you to enter the search keywords and then select a category - images, music, videos, etc.
Search from one of the popular 100 sites
You can choose which of the existing sites you’d like to search for this information and then the results are displayed to you. The only neat thing about this search engine is that you don’t have to manually visit each of the sites and search for the keyword, it does it much quickly. You can quickly switch from one search engine to another even from the search results page. This is great if you know exactly what you’re looking for and where. The interface isn’t too well designed and it’s basically a mix of a 100 logos put together in a page.
Driven by slashtags, monitored by humans
Blekko has the similar idea to DuckDuckgo and Million Short, the search engine is designed to keep out spam and irrelevant pages as much as possible. It uses their own version of tags called slashtags to help with finding the correct results. Blekko is one of those services that uses the power of humans to determine the best results. It has a bunch of other interesting features such as the ability to find IP addresses, similar sites and even a cached version of the page. Blekko is rather feature rich and neatly designed.
So that’s it. Start trying out these search engines. You might not find all the results here but you never know, you might dig up some way more interesting stuff that you might have missed on Google.