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Wednesday, December 28th, 2005, 7:34 am

Search Engines Assembly

Cards deck with the player peeking
Why I put my cards on the table and wound up using Google

UNTIL about 3 years ago I was using Webcrawler as my text and graphics search engine almost exclusively. Webcrawler offered some nice features, without a doubt. I can clearly recall suggestions for completion or extended/refined searches on the side of existing SERP‘s. This assimilates to Google Suggest, which came about much later. In due time, Webcrawler also harvested results from Google, which made the results rather pleasing.

At present, Webcrawler has an interesting feature, which enables the user to see results from all major search engines (crawlers rather) side-by-side. One can see the top 10 from each on the same page. This is nothing like Dogpile (bad name for a business) that is composing results artificially. Rather than getting a mishmash of results, Webcrawler gives a more comprehensive and impartial view that brings together many search engines into one (overloaded and cluttered) page.

A9 is doing something similar to Webcrawler, but it very Google-centric. The user can see results from the Web, alongside images, videos, and more. Speaking of video search, see my previous post on search results bias.

The disadvantages of the approach are speed and visual clutter. Much of the information on the screen will be discarded. Yet, having plenty of information, both textual and visual, might be helpful sometimes, especially over a quick Internet connection where traffic is expendable.

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