Search engines to explore

I’ve come across two new search engines that I’ve found useful.

Fastoise

Fastoise dubs itself as a “multiple instant search engine.” You can search YAHOO!, YouTube, bing, and Twitter at the same time and view search results from each of these sources on a single screen.

You don’t have to click endless next pages; just keep scrolling as results will continue to populate your screen.

Some less likeable features of fastoise: you can’t do anything to customize your results page, so you won’t be able to eliminate the image strip on the top of the page or do any filtering operations. The YAHOO! track is also inexplicably larger than the bing track. Additionally, sometimes the engine is a bit too smart and automatically makes assumptions about what you are searching for. For example, enter the keywords “comparative genomic hybridization” and you’ll quickly pull up results about computers so you need to wait a few seconds for the search engine to “see” all the keywords your interested in (vs reacting to the “comp” of the first keyword).

Features that make fastoise worthwhile:

  • Speed
  • Minimal sponsored ads (there are some but not as much as Google)
  • You can scan multiple sources of information at the same time
  • No next pages

Duckduckgo

In contrast, Duckduckgo has a very clean-looking, easy-to read search results page with a large number of tools that allow you to customize your searches.

Duckduckgo features:

  • Little spam
  • Respect for privacy (Duckduckgo does not collect or share search information)
  • Relevant information in red boxes above links (e.g., definitions, instant answers to some questions)
  • An ability to customize many search settings (including displaying your favorite types of sites at the tops of search results using the !Bang feature)
  • Special searches
  • Suggested filters at the right of search results

You can also avail yourself of additional filters using the dropdown menu by the search field.

Conclusion

Fastoise and Duckduckgo are very different search engines that are likely to appeal to you at different phases of searching. You might prefer fastoise when you are just trying to get a quick lay of the land and Duckduckgo when you are doing deeper dives (and as an alternative to Google’s more invasive search engine). The compelling reason for using either in my view: They’re not Google. Use them to mix up your search results so you don’t develop a Google view of the world.

For additional search engines to explore, take a look at this Symbaloo  search engine webmix.

Additional resources on search engines:

2 responses to “Search engines to explore

  1. Pingback: Search tools update | Instructional Design Fusions

  2. Pingback: Search the way you like it, with Slikk | Instructional Design Fusions

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