Search engine interfaces come in many styles and designs, some more usable than others. Since the success of Google’s clean and functional interface, other search engines have followed the trend. Accessing the advanced features and specialized functions is often a little off putting. Usually they will be found on another webpage which may or may not require learning new syntax for the search operators. Here are some alternative interfaces for popular search technologies and tools for working with advanced search operations.
Alternative Search Interfaces
- Fagan Finder provides alternative interfaces for many types of popular search engines. Search tools are grouped to create specialized interfaces for blogs, RSS, media files and much more. There’s even an interface for Google’s advanced features, called Google Ultimate Interface. Advanced features for other search engines are available via the Search Ultimate Interface. The site map gives an overall view of what’s available.
- MSN Spaces Updates lets you see recently updated Spaces and provides detailed information about each user including; images, name, location, title, number of posts, last entry, technorati profile and site RSS feed. MSN Spaces can be searched using a filter for entry type and user name. Eric Swanson created the interface which is vastly superior to the official Updated Spaces list. Due to the popularity of his idea Eric needs help with server memory and bandwidth. Drop him a line if you have any advice, here’s the thread.
- Soople makes it easy to use google’s advanced search functions and required syntaxes. Many specialized seaches can be run from the multi-input interface.
- Normal search with Google:
- Search for a topic:
- Search in multiple sites at once:
- Search within one site or domain:
- Filter search for filetype:
- Specific image search:
- Search in latest news:
- Translate Text:
- Scholar search:
- Search in language/country:
- Search by number:
- Search for sites that relate to:
- Search for movie reviews:
- Search for stocks in 5 finance sites:
- Look who’s linking to your site:
The Calculator tool lets you do all kind of (very advanced) calculations. A free My Soople account lets you create your own personal soople page, with just the tools you like and set up your own miniwebs to search in with Soople Search Sets.
UJIKO uses the brand new Yahoo search technology, which indexes more that 5 Billion Pages. The 3D Flash interface evolves and mutates the more you use it. You can also add your own skins and customized notes.
From the help page"Basic principle: each time you visit a new site, you are gaining one point of expertise. With every 10 points, you move to the next level. Your search engine is mutating, new buttons appear giving you access to advanced features (search video, images, news, encylopedia, advanced filters, animated skins, web archive, traffic details…)Animated transitions between each level are displayed to show you the new tools, which you have just acquired. 1 new site visited = +1 point of expertise, 10 points = +1 level……Starting at level 10, you can extend your search through the acclaimed Kartoo meta search engine, which gives you access to over 10 billion pages."Your search results are grouped into themes and colored blocks are displayed in the center circle showing which sites are associated to specific topics (see picture below).
Clustering Search Engines
- brainespot is a meta search engine that clusters results from many different search engines across the Internet. There’s a choice of options to direct your search using Whole-Web Search, News Search, Mental Models User Interaction Design Site Search or Blog Search. The Preferences page allows you to select your preferred clustering methodology.
- Clusty uses Vivísimo’s Clustering Engine to organize search results into folders grouping similar items together. Clusty can organise results from many different search services including the Web, News, Images, Shopping, Wikipedia, Gossip, eBay, Blogs, Gov, Jobs.
The Blogs search clusters results from Blogdigger, Blogpulse, Daypop, Feedster, and Technorati. Theres also an alternative interface and search for Wikipedia the collaborative encyclopedia.
- iBoogie combines metasearch and clustering with the ability to create your own personalized search tabs. A custom tab can be created with up to 8 different Templates (search Engines) which can then be searched simultaneously. Users can also add their specific library, scientific, government or educational search sources to the database. This makes it possible to create powerful and unique search tools using your favourite search engines.
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