If you’re like most Internet users, you probably spend a decent amount of time using a search engine to find content and answers to your questions. Based on what you’re searching for, a lot of the top results that come up generally are social networking pages and profiles, especially if you’re searching for a person. But what if you only want to search social networks?
Social network search engines are designed to do this. They can filter out all the unnecessary results you might get if you used a regular search engine for your query.
In this article, I’m going to cover the most powerful social network search engines. If you want to be able to gather the results you need without having to search each social network individually, look no further.
Back in March, Ann wrote an article titled How To Search Multiple Social Media Sites At A Time. SocialMention was one of the websites she covered in that article, and for good reason.
SocialMention allows you to search blogs, microblogs, networks, bookmarks, comments, events, images, news, videos, audio, and questions for a specific term of your choosing. It also allows you to create alerts for your searches which are sent to your email daily and install a real-time buzz widget on your site.
Just type in your term and hit Search and you will be able to sort the results by date, source, sentiment, keywords, and more. The site provides you with a lot of good information and makes for a very powerful social network search engine.
We first covered yoName almost two years ago in an article entitled 3 Ways To Find People With Social Search Engines. Since then, yoName has grown to support a lot of the major social networking sites, including Friendster, Myspace, Twitter, YouTube, Digg, Facebook, Webshots, Flickr, LinkedIn, and DailyMotion, among others.
You can search by first & last name, username, email address, or phone number. Simply type the information into the search field and click YO!. Your results are sorted in a tabbed interface according to different social networks.
A directory listing of ours, snitch.name, also known as the social white pages, is a very powerful social network search engine. Right on the main page it gives you options of the all of the sites you can run your query on.
Sites are broken into categories such as Social (Facebook, Twitter, Friendfeed, Bebo, etc.), Professional (LinkedIn), Academic (Google Scholar, MIT, etc.), Blogs (WordPress), General (Pipl, yoName, Google, etc.), US.gov, and Regional.
When you enter the person’s first and last name who you are searching for and click Search you are taken to a very lengthy page where all of your results are separated by social network.
Folowen was also a directory listing of ours from a while back. This site’s social search is powered by Google and covers most of the top social networking sites, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Myspace, Ning, Vimeo, hi5, and Bebo.
After running a search, social links are broken up by social network, with the top result showing for each website. If more than one result was discovered for a particular website, you can click more results to see them.
Samepoint was also mention in Ann’s article that I mentioned earlier, but it’s social media search is powerful enough to make this list as well.
Samepoint is more geared towards following the conversation around a particular subject, so when you search, your results appear in a stream of content that provides snippets of the conversation, along with the symbol of the social site the convo is taking place on.
You can sort the results multiple ways by selection from the options at the top of the screen. Some of these include, real-time, bookmarks, wikis, networks, groups, microblogs, and news.
When you use the words ‘powerful’ and ‘search’ in the title, it’s pretty hard to leave Google off the list. Google’s social search feature, which we talked about back in November, offers a way for you to search for content within your own social circle.
If you are signed into Google you can search for a term (just like normal) and click on More search tools off to the left-hand side of the screen. When more options appear just select Social and your results will be filtered to include only those found in your social circle.
This is a good way of running a social network search when you are already following the person (or people) you are searching content from.
Social search engines are still a pretty new concept on the Internet. Considering most of these sites only became popular a few years ago I’d say there is definitely room for these social network search engines to grow.
What do you think of the idea of social search? Did I leave your favorite search engine off the list? Leave your comments below!
Image Credit: wagg66