Fagan Finder Search Engines

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Search Engines
Answer Engines
Hybrids
QnA Sites
Blog Search Engines
Real-Time Engines

Information and Tips

The Search Engine Industry

Search engines come and search engines go; some become extremely popular and others never do. Today there are really one two globally popular search engines, Google, and Bing, which is built by Microsoft. The most recent noteworthy change in this landscape is Yahoo! which formerly used their own technology but is now based on Bing. Yahoo is still included here as it provides somewhat different features compared to Bing itself. Blekko is the newest major search engine, which uses slashtags as their gimmick, slashtags being handy shortcuts for making more sophisticated searches.

Hybrids and More

Traditionally a web search engine crawls the web to find web pages, indexes them by keyword, and presents a list of the best pages for your search query (a more detailed description can be found in the Wikipedia article linked to below). Most search engines today do this, but add other things in as well. They integrate other types of content (images, video, news, etc.). They often store some information themselves (or partner with a company that does) so that they can include exactly the content you were looking for before the regular search results are listed. An example of that would be showing the actual weather when searching for the weather in your location.

The search engines listed here as hybrids have their search results page made up of various components, usually combining several other search engines, other types of results (images, news, etc.) with their own results, answers, or other features. For particular details on each one, see their websites.

Wolfram|Alpha doesn’t include an index of web pages or use results from another search engine. Instead they only search their own sets of curated data. Both Wolfram|Alpha and True Knowledge are more like “computing” engines, as they try to understand the actual meaning behind your query/question and calculate an answer for it, but their approach differs considerably. Wolfram|Alpha presents results with rich data and graphics and limited interactivity, while True Knowlege focuses more on being able to give concise factual answers. True Knowledge's information comes from extracting them from web pages and user-contributed facts. Ask.com is a search engine which has put a lot of focus on handling natural-language questions as well.

Question-and-Answer (QnA) websites (other than SnappyFingers) are essentially web forums where anyone can ask questions and answer others’s questions. The QnA Sites listed as just links on this page are not directly searchable.

Real-Time Search

These tools search content created in the very recent past. All of them use Twitter as their primary source but most also include others as well.

Changes to this Page

subscribe to changes
  1. November 16, 2010: The Various category has been split into separate Hybrid and Answer Engine categories. I also added a new QnA Sites category with three tools (Answers.com, kgb answers, SnappyFingers) into it as well and added links to another three non-searchable QnA sites. OneRiot was removed, as it no longer offers search.
  2. November 1, 2010: Added Blekko, the new search engine.
  3. September 29, 2010: Added Exalead back in.
  4. September 28, 2010: Major overhaul. Updated/removed all the existing search engines, added some new ones, and added a new 'various category'. Also moved blogs into this page, no longer a separate page. Rewrote all the textual content as well. Removed all the existing links and added one new one.
  5. December 9, 2004: MSN preview changed to MSN beta.
  6. October 10, 2004: FyberSearch has been added.
  7. October 9, 2004: Yahoo!’s search and MSN’s technology preview have replaced AlltheWeb, AltaVista, and Inktomi. I have also moved Gigablast into the section with the more important engines.
  8. December 8, 2003: Logging updates from now on. This page was created previously.

Search Tips by Tool

Google
See also Advanced Search and Search Help.
Bing
See also Search Help.
Ask.com
See also Advanced Search and Search Help.
Yahoo! (Bing)
Search tip: Bing-powered search with different features.
Exalead
See also Search Help.
blekko
Search tip: Augment your search with /slashtags as described on Blekko. See also Search Help.
Gigablast
Search tip: You can use full boolean (AND, OR, NOT), quotation marks for phrases, and other special fields. See also Advanced Search and Search Help.
Wolfram|Alpha
See also Search Help.
Kngine
See also Search Help.
Yebol
See also Search Help.
Kosmix
See also Search Help.
DuckDuckGo
See also Search Help.
Answers.com
See also Advanced Search and Search Help.
SnappyFingers
Search tip: This searches questions collected from FAQs around the web.
Google
See also Advanced Search and Search Help.
BlogPulse
Search tip: You can use full boolean with AND, OR, and NOT. See also Advanced Search and Search Help.
Topsy
See also Advanced Search and Search Help.
Twitter
Search tip: Use quotation marks for phrases, exclude terms with a hyphen (-), special fields include from:, to:, @, #, and near:some_location See also Advanced Search and Search Help.
TweetMeme
Search tip: Use AND, OR, quotation marks for phrases and a hyphen (-) to exclude terms
Google
See also Search Help.
Collecta
See also Search Help.