25 Useful Search Engines Beyond Google

About this article
Internet searching has become pretty much synonymous with Google - ever hear the term 'googling'? But even Google can't do everything. The following is a list of some of the best new alternative and real time search services on the Web, from semantic technology to useful plug-ins to special interest searching.
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Search the World Wide Web

Before we dive in, here's a quick glossary of terms:

Semantic searches: Semantic searching was invented in the never-ending quest to offer more relevant search results. Basically, a semantic search engine uses semantic networks, or relationships between concepts, to better understand the query and provide results that go beyond keywords.

Real-time search: Even a constantly active web crawler can't keep up with the speed at which Web content is produced. Real-time search engines query many online activities as they're happening, providing you with up-to-the-second results. These work best with social media searches because social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook are designed to allow real-time indexing. (What then, you may ask, is unreal time? Unfortunately, I can't help you with that.)

Keyword Search

Intuitive Search Engines

These sites use semantic technology to find the answers to your most burning questions, such as 'What is Chinese drywall?'

1. Bing

Bing is a 'decision engine' developed recently by Microsoft. It performs all the hot new semantic tricks, like answering complete questions, differentiating synonyms and computing human language.

2. iSeek

Voted 'Alternative Search Engine of the Year' in 2008, iSeek is a 'targeted discovery engine.' The site can narrow your results by a number of parameters, including location, topic, definitions, source and time and date. iSeek also features an educational search engine focused on educational news and resources.

3. Kosmix

Kosmix offers to 'organize the Web for you.' Enter a search term and Kosmix will return a magazine-like page with all your results. Image a feature article with sidebars for news results, images, videos, reviews and more.

4. Powerset

Powerset is one of the first 'human language' search engines. It focuses primarily on Wikipedia articles, using intuitive technology to find direct answers to your query and lots of related 'Factz.'

5. Viewzi

Viewzi has transformed the way that searches are returned, offering several different ways to visualize your results. Try the Power Grid for a tile wall of either page titles and descriptions or screenshots. Or go for the Photo Tag Cloud for a fun cloud of clickable images tagged with your search term. They even offer extra visualized services like weather and book searches. This site wins extra points for elegance.

6. Worio

Worio helps you find the results you never knew you were looking for. In addition to your regular search results, Worio offers sidebar 'discovery feeds' that offer results related to your search without being restricted to your keywords.

Connect to the Internet

Specialty Search Engines

The following niche search engines allow you to do things like narrow your search by topic, type of result or special feature. Many use Deep Web Technologies, which scours more of the Web than any other engine, and clusters the results.

7. Biznar - Businesses

Biznar is a Deep Web site that helps you research business topics, histories, facts and more.

8. Collecta - Social

Looking for the hottest topics in the Twittersphere? Trying to find what's fashionable on Facebook? Collecta is a real time search engine that continuously pulls keyword results from all over the social Web.

9. Deepdyve - Academia

Deepdyve searches thousands of scholarly journals to return academic articles on your search topic. You can preview the articles for free, or 'rent' them for a nominal fee.

10. GazoPa - Images

This site allows you to input an image as a search and return similar images from all over the Web. You can upload an image, use their interface to take a webcam photo or even use their online drawing pad to hand-enter your illustration.

11. Go Planit - Travel

Go Planit is a travel info and itinerary planning site. Enter your destination and get tons of results on activities, restaurants, hotels, local attractions, etc.

12. LiveHit - Social

This free social network and search service is geared toward social media marketers. It uses real-time data analytics to help you explore event-driven interactions within the social Web.

13. Mednar - Medicine

Looking for information on swine flu? Need to know what to do about that rash? Just curious about Alien Hand Syndrome? Mednar will give you all the medical knowledge the Internet can deliver.

14. One Riot - Social

This real-time social search engine delivers the latest news, photos, videos, blogs and more from the social networking world.

15. Pixsy - Multimedia

Keyword search for photos and videos, or search for related items in sports, entertainment, music, travel, celebrities, etc.

16. RSS Micro - Syndication

This engine searches RSS feeds, sorting them by time or date, and offering continual updates in real time.

17. Science Research - Science

Need help with a biology paper? This Deep Web site streamlines your online scientific research.

18. Scitopia - Science

Science Research returns more accessible information for the layperson, but hard core scientists may want to jump to Scitopia. This Deep Web search engine focuses on scientific journal articles, related documents, patents and other government data.

19. Taptu - Mobile

Glued to your cell, PDA, smart phone or Blackberry? Built just for mobile devices, this site (and iPhone app) helps you find mobile-friendly results.

20. The Find - Shopping

This popular product search can help you streamline your online shopping experience. They also offer special searches for local and green products.

21. Green Mavent - Green

Want to learn more about how your new Prius works? This green engine takes your keyword search and returns environmentally-related results oriented more toward useful information than products.

22. Videosurf - Video

Search for videos from popular sites like Hulu, Comedy Central, CNN, ESPN, Metacafe and more all from one convenient engine.

Search Bot

Downloads

The following sites offer extensions, add-ons and plug-ins for your browser that help you improve your searches right from your desktop or toolbar.

23. Cooliris

Cooliris is a powerful image search aggregator. Once it's installed on your PC you can use its slick 3D image wall to browse through and collect image results from hundreds of sites, including Facebook, Flickr, You Tube and Hulu.

24. Surf Canyon

Surf Canyon works with 'Discovery for Search,' a patent-pending technology that helps you comb through search results from any engine to find the most relevant information.

25. Tazti

Tazti is a great resource for the vision-impaired or people looking for hands-free computing solutions. This free voice recognition software helps you search the web, navigate popular sites and manage bookmarks.

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Johns Hopkins University

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