Sunday, September 14, 2014

Search Engines

With so much information available on the Internet, how are you supposed to know what search engine to use? Google is obviously the most popular but have you ever thought about using something new? Check out these search engines below and what all they have to offer!
Source: Photo from here.

This search engine is more about facts, calculations, and data. You can type in any mathematical equation, chemical reaction, or calculus problem and it will compute the solution for you. It will also give you any information about any sports team but focuses on statistics and data for sports teams. I would suggest using this search engine if looking for data, statistics, or odds in a subject. For example, the homepage is very simple with only a search bar and if you typed in “Dallas Cowboys” in the search bar, it would give you the city, league, division, team logo, and the current season’s statistics including the yards gained, total first downs, third downs percentage, and total number of plays. While it does offer information on people and popular culture, its specialty is hard facts, data, and trivial questions.
Visit Wolfram|Alpha here.

Yahoo! is an international search engine that searches the web for information using the key words you type in the search box. It has more of a social base to the website and has options for you to use its resources for email, to get the latest gossip in the celebrity world, or the latest news on what is happening in other countries overseas. The homepage for Yahoo! has many options other than the search bar including a slide show of the most popular stories, a “Trending Now” column, and a side bar with different categories of stories to choose from. It also has sidebars for you to look at the weather in your area, your horoscopes, the scores to the latest games, and even a comic strip box. To use Yahoo!, you could type in key words in the search bar and it would pull up various pages from the web and sort them by their relevance to your key words or you could explore what information it has to offer by clicking on the links in the categories column or any other side bars on the homepage. I would suggest using Yahoo! if you were interesting in popular culture and entertainment.
Visit Yahoo! here.

Bing is also a search engine that searches the web for information by using the key words that you type in the search box. For example, when I typed in “Dallas Cowboys” in the search box, it brought up a link to the most recent news about a player, then a link to the team’s official website, then the scores from the most recent game and links to any other pages regarding the team that held the words “Dallas Cowboys” in them. On the side of the page however, it had a link to a Wikipedia page about the team, the current coach, owner, venue, division, and the roster. At the bottom of the page it also had a link and live feed to the teams Twitter feed. It gives a variety of information about a subject and does not offer any distractions. Something that sets Bing apart from the other search engines is that it offers Bing Rewards. If you join and sign in as a member with an email address or through Facebook and search using Bing, you can earn points and redeem them for gift cards to places such as Starbucks,, Xbox, etc. or you can even donate your earnings to certain charities. I would suggest using Bing to earn rewards while searching and to look for detailed information on a subject without the temptations of distractions.
Visit Bing here.

Ask is a general search engine that focuses on questions and answers. For example, you can type in the search box “Why is the sky blue?” and it will pull up many web pages with the title “Why is the sky blue?” to give a quick and simple answer. It also has an option on the side to look at related images and videos. Ask has a simple homepage with a search bar, a “Question of the Day” where you can answer and it will give you the correct answer and how others have answered, and a poll. They do not offer too many distractions and give straight forward answers. I would suggest using Ask for general questions that do not need much research.
Visit Ask here.

WebCrawler is a search engine that combines the top search results from Google and Yahoo!. It has a simple homepage with just a search bar and a Featured Searches column with popular webpages. To use WebCrawler, type in key words or phrases to find information on a subject and it will give you the top web pages for those key words. I would suggest using WebCrawler to find the most relevant web pages on a certain key words.
Visit WebCrawler here.

InfoSpace is a search engine that gets its results from Google, Yahoo! search, and Yandex. To use InfoSpace, type in key words into the search engine and it will find the top searches from Google, Yahoo!, and Yandex then filter the searches to give you the most relevant pages based on your key words. The homepage is very minimal and other than a search bar, it only has links to inform you about the history of the website and how it gets information. I would suggest using InfoSpace to get a variety of top results without the distractions of popular culture.
Visit InfoSpace here.

DuckDuckGo is a search engine that also pulls webpages from the Internet according to what you type in the search bar. The homepage is minimal and only has the search bar, an option to make it your homepage, and a link to learn more about the website. This search engine is unique because it does not track your searches. Most search engines keep what you search in a data base but DuckDuckGo does not. That is why it will not have suggested searches for you and has a strict privacy policy which you can view on their website. They got very popular when the NSA scares about them spying on people came out and people wanted to protect their privacy by using private search engines. They focus less on keeping up with your data and more on finding you quick answers or information on whatever it is you are searching for. Since they are a private search engine, they also have fewer ads which means less distractions so you can focus on your results. I would suggest using DuckDuckGo when wanting quick results with no distractions and wanting the comfort of having privacy.
Visit DuckDuckGo here.

Blekko is a search engine that uses the key words you type in the search bar and uses its own system to filter through webpages on the Internet to bring you the best results with spam-free webpages. Blekko uses its technology to filter and specify the most relevant webpages based on your searches. For example, when I typed in “Dallas Cowboys” in the search bar, the site had a Wikipedia paragraph about the team, then a “Top Results” category with multiple web page options, a “Shopping” category with many pages where you can purchase team items, a “Latest” category to give you the top stories on players and what has been in the news recently, and many more categories to narrow down exactly what you are searching for. Since Blekko uses their technology to filter through the webpages to find secure sites, you can easily find the IP addresses to find where the site is run from to assure you of the sites safety. I would suggest using Blekko when searching for an unknown, general subject because it sorts the sites in categories for you so you can determine exactly what you want to learn about the subject. I would also use Blekko when searching on an unprotected computer since it does not allow spam pages on the search results.
Visit Blekko here. 

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