Other than the big four: Google, Yahoo, MSN and Ask, how many search engines do you know? One? Two? Five? Or Ten? Most people don’t realize that there are LOTS more search engines than just Google, and a great proportion of them are targeting great niches and providing useful information (and features) that you can’t find in the big players.
Below I have compiled a list of some of the great alternative search engines.
Video search: Blinkx
Blinkx is one of the more successful video search engine. Other than searching for audio, video, and podcasts with keywords, you can also use content within the clips to search for the videos you want. For example, if you are looking for the Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator clip, you could type in the famous phrase “I’ll be back” and Blinkx will fetch the files for you.
Sound search: FindSounds
If you are looking for a particular sound files to embed in your site, you won’t have any luck with Google. Instead, you should look toward FindSounds where you can find a huge database of sound effects and musical instrument samples. You can easily narrow down your search by limiting the file formats, number of channels, sound resolution, sampling rate and file size.
Meta Search: Clusty
Meta search engines are those that search and display results from a variety of search engines. Rather than searching Google, Yahoo, MSN and ASK one by one, you can now get the most relevant results from the big Four all displayed in one page.
Clusty is one such meta-search engine that combine its search results from various sources. There are two panel of search results. On the right is the results gathered from various sources. On the left is the cluster result of your search terms. In case you are wondering, a cluster is a group of categories or topics that are related to your search terms. For example, if you enter the search term “Linux”, Clusty responds by displaying “Operating System”, “Open source”, “GNU” in the cluster tab.
Visual cluster search: Kartoo
For those who prefer to see more visual details, Kartoo displays your search result in the form of a image cluster. You won’t see the usual web title and description, but the screenshot of the websites, the keywords they are associated and the relationship among the different sites. It gives you an overview of your search results and the alternative websites that you can check it out.
Forum search: Omgili
Although forums are a good place to look for advices and solutions, it can be time consuming to find the right forum, right category and right post just for one answer. With Omgili, you can now search for a specific forum post that contains the answer to your question.
For programmers who need examples/sample codes/guides for your coding project, Jexamples and Koders are two great search engine specially catered for your needs. Jexamples contains only Java-related examples. Koders allows you to search for code in all programming languages.
Glossary search: MetaGlossary
As its name implies, MetaGlossary is a search engine specially for glossary and word definition. If you have some technical terms, or phrases that you don’t understand, MetaGlossary will find the definitions for you.
Ask a question (and get it answered on your mobile): Chacha
Chacha is different from the conventional search engine because you don’t ‘search‘. Instead, you ‘ask’. Whenever you have any questions, you can ask Chacha either by the website, phone in or via text message and the answer will be sent to your mobile in the form of a text message. Ask and you shall be given.
All-in-one search engine: Soople
Soople is where you can search for all kind of information, all in one place. In the front page, there are rows and rows of search fields, each one meant for different search. There are Google web search, image search, music, videos, movies, books, stocks and many more different search options for you to choose. Just find the most relevant field and enter and search terms. That’s it.
Custom sites search: Rollyo
Rollyo works just like Google custom search, but it is much more easier to manage and handle. You can personalize the search engine to show only results from a list of websites that you trusted. and define the source of websites Rollyo allows you to personalize the search engine to show results only from the list of websites you provided. The best thing is, there is no limit to how many search engine you can create. Thus, you can create one for technology stuff, another one for parenting information, one for health issue, one for travel and hotels, and so on and so on…
Chinese material search: Baidu
Baidu is the largest search engine in China. Whatever Chinese stuffs that you want to find, be it news, websites, blogs, images, mp3, lyrics, videos etc, you can find it here.
Interest search: Boxxet
Boxxet provides an unique way for you to search the Web. Instead of providing a field for you to input your search term, it prompts you to choose the category that you are interested in (What are you a fan of?). Upon choosing your favorite category, Boxxet will then fetch the latest blog posts, news, videos, photos and whatever stuffs that are related to the category. If you are looking for information, this might not be the place. But if you are looking to keep yourself updated on your favorite topic, Boxxet is definitely the site you must bookmark.
Torrent search: ISOHunt
ISOhunt is the most comprehensive bittorrent search engine. With 24.92 million of torrent file in its database, you can easily find the torrents you want.