Top 7 Semantic Search Engines As An Alternative To Google

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search   Top 7 Semantic Search Engines As An Alternative To GoogleThere’s no denying the power and popularity of the Google search engine, and in comparison to other similar search engines such as Bing, where results are based on page rankings and algorithms, they excel.

But there are other ways to search the web, using what are known as semantic search engines. Using a semantic search engine will ensure more relevant results based on the ability to understand the definition of the word or term that is being searched for, rather than on numbers. Semantic search engines are able to understand the context in which the words are being used, resulting in smart, relevant results.


This is a list of the top 7 search engines to get you started in the world of semantic searching.

Kngine

Kngine1   Top 7 Semantic Search Engines As An Alternative To Google

Kngine’s search results are divided into either web results, or image results. They are preceded by information about the search term, known as ‘Concepts.’ For example, searching for the iPhone 3GS will be preceded by the device’s specs. Searching for a film will be preceded by information about the film, links to trailers, reviews and quotes. Searching for a city will be preceded by information about the city, local attractions, events, weather and hotels.

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Kngine currently contains more than 8 million Concepts, and that is where the site’s strength lies.

Cairo Kngine   Top 7 Semantic Search Engines As An Alternative To Google

You can quickly share results from Kngine on Twitter, Facebook, Digg and Delicious and Kngine can be set as your default search engine if you are using Firefox, Google Chrome or Internet Explorer.

Hakia

hakia   Top 7 Semantic Search Engines As An Alternative To Google

Hakia’s search results are divided into Web, News, Blogs, Twitter, Image and Video, and can be re-listed according to relevance or date. Depending on the search term, results can also include an excerpt from its Wikipedia entry. They also have what are labeled ‘Credible’ results that come from trusted sources.

hakia2   Top 7 Semantic Search Engines As An Alternative To Google

Each link is followed by a text excerpt, giving you an idea of what you would find in that search result.

Hakia can also be added to the list of search engines included in your browser’s quick search bar.

[NO LONGER WORKS] Kosmix

Kosmix   Top 7 Semantic Search Engines As An Alternative To Google

Kosmix has a start page which is more elaborate than the most of the other semantic search engines listed here – with popular content featured on its front page from Yahoo Buzz, Digg, YouTube, Fark, Flickr, and a ton of other sources, making it a hybrid aggregator and search engine, with results included from Google and Bing.

Despite this, it is still considered a semantic search engine because it uses semantics in an attempt to link data from all over the web, giving you relevant search results.

When it comes to the search results themselves, they are divided into Video, Web, News & Blogs, Images, Forums, Twitter, Amazon and Facebook. In the case of some results, such as searching for the iPhone 3GS, you will also find Fix-It and How-To Guides.

Kosmix results   Top 7 Semantic Search Engines As An Alternative To Google

Kosmix is one of the few semantic search engines which does contain sponsored content, but that is a small price to pay for the wealth of information you can find all in one place.

DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo   Top 7 Semantic Search Engines As An Alternative To Google

DuckDuckGo is a feature-rich semantic search engine, that gives you countless reasons to leave Google behind. Searches are divided into a classic search, information search, shopping and their own spin off from Google, “I’m feeling ducky.”

If you search for a term that has more than one meaning, it will give you the chance to choose what you were originally looking for, with its disambiguation results. For example, searching for the term Apple will give you a long list of the possible meanings – including the fruit, the computer company, the bank and many others.

Apple   Top 7 Semantic Search Engines As An Alternative To Google

You can also set DuckDuckGo as your default search engine, and still get results from other search engines without ever leaving the page using their !bang feature. You can search any major site such as Google, YouTube, Amazon and eBay by preceding the search term with “!youtube” or “!google” and so forth – and you will automatically be taken to a list of search results from that service. It also works with keywords such as weather, images, and lyrics.

A full list of the !bang keywords can be found here.

DuckDuckGo features ‘Zero-click info,’ where like with Kngine, information about the search topic precedes the search results.

ZeroClick   Top 7 Semantic Search Engines As An Alternative To Google

Other features on DuckDuckGo include category pages, keyboard shortcuts, customisations, and it can detect calculations, WolframAlpha conversions, colour codes and much more.

Evri

Evri   Top 7 Semantic Search Engines As An Alternative To Google

Evri, like Kosmix, has an information rich landing page, with top news stories from around the web, which you can scroll through using the navigation at the top of the page.

Search results can be filtered into Articles, Quotes, Images and Tweets, and can also be shared on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. You can either share the entire page of results, or one specific item from the list.

EvriResults   Top 7 Semantic Search Engines As An Alternative To Google

Signing up for an account gives you the added benefit of following specific information streams on certain results. However, not all search results can be followed. So while searching for “Barack Obama” can result in a stream that can be followed, searching for “Obama” alone does not give users the same option.

Additional information about each search term will also be displayed on the page, but again, this is limited to certain results. Using the example of Barack Obama, additional information includes links to other world leaders, an excerpt from Wikipedia, and product results from Amazon.

EvriObama   Top 7 Semantic Search Engines As An Alternative To Google

If you don’t want to sign up for a new account, you can connect your Google, Twitter, Yahoo, Facebook, Windows Live or Blogger accounts in order to sign in.

Like DuckDuckGo, Evri has its own disambiguation results, in a sidebar, giving you the chance to choose a more specific and relevant term.

Evri has a toolbar which supports Firefox and Internet Explorer, allowing you to easily search for and share content. They also provide users with a slick, free iPhone app [iTunes link] which is divided into 3 main tabs – Recent popular news, a search tab, and collected items. Searching for any given term will result in the option to view recent news, images, a profile page, and related items.

It should be mentioned that if you want to use the follow feature on the iPhone app, you will have to create a new Evri account, as connecting to one of your existing accounts will not suffice.

iPhoneEvri   Top 7 Semantic Search Engines As An Alternative To Google

Evri recently joined forces with Twine, so it will be interesting to see how these two services are brought together, in an attempt to provide even more relevant results.

Powerset

Powerset   Top 7 Semantic Search Engines As An Alternative To Google

The Microsoft-acquired search engine Powerset focuses on doing only one thing – and doing it really well. All search results on Powerset come from Wikipedia, making it the ultimate way to search Wikipedia, using semantics.

PowerSetResults   Top 7 Semantic Search Engines As An Alternative To Google

Search terms can be formulated as questions, which will be answered, or as simple terms, and results will be aggregated from all the relevant pages on Wikipedia.

Truevert

Truevert   Top 7 Semantic Search Engines As An Alternative To Google

Truevert presents an interesting twist on the semantic search engine, labelling itself as a ‘green search engine.’

All results are filtered and organized from one specific perspective – with the topic of environmental awareness in mind. Searching for any term will be put in the context of environmental concerns, so for example, searching for ‘meat,’ – the first page of results consists of meat in relation to climate change, organic options, and sustainable food.

TruevertResults   Top 7 Semantic Search Engines As An Alternative To Google

Truevert’s front page features the latest news from popular environmental websites and blogs.

If you’re interested in semantic search engines, you should also take a look at Stefan’s article about Juice, a Firefox addon whose results are also based entirely on semantics.

Have you tried out a semantic search engine as an alternative to Google? Let us know what you thought of it in the comments.

Image credit: Chris Chidsey

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40 Comments -

Nat Jay

Kngine is a good extension to Google while Evri is something I can see a ton of uses for. I’ve been using sites like Mashpedia when the content from Google was less than satisfactory. I’m checking out the rest of your recommendations for nuggets.

Anonymous

Thanks Nat Jay, good to hear that you appreciate the work we are doing at Evri!

Guillermo Garron

Given the size of Google right now, it is really difficult any of these alternatives to beat it.
I have a blog myself and some 80 to 85 percent of the visitors come from Google, and if we on consider search engines, is ti 95 % of the traffice coming from Google.
So if they ever are going to take an interesting part of the cake, it will take a lot of time.
Google won its possition, because it has a neat page, and the options when Google first appeared, like Yahoo, Lycos, Infoseek, Hotbot, etc, where not as nice and minimalistic as Google was, and still is.

Nat Jay

The dominance of Google in search engine traffic is undisputed — no doubt about that. But the point of these “alternatives” is that, when it comes to content and semantic search, there’s a whole host of almost unheard-of engines that do a pretty good job. In many ways, they complement what Google already has in place.

nm

I agree that Google is clearly the dominant search engine – no one could possibly deny that. But the way that these search engines work is very different to how Google works – so the comparison to Yahoo, Lycos etc. isn’t really relevant. These search engines offer a very different alternative, and it’s always good to have more than one choice isn’t it?

Anonymous

It is beyond a doubt that an alternative, in this environment, especially, is very important. A Corp as big as Google could take away your rights of choice and will, given the chance.

Guillermo Garron

Given the size of Google right now, it is really difficult any of these alternatives to beat it.
I have a blog myself and some 80 to 85 percent of the visitors come from Google, and if we on consider search engines, is ti 95 % of the traffice coming from Google.
So if they ever are going to take an interesting part of the cake, it will take a lot of time.
Google won its possition, because it has a neat page, and the options when Google first appeared, like Yahoo, Lycos, Infoseek, Hotbot, etc, where not as nice and minimalistic as Google was, and still is.

Guillermo Garron

God yes!, sure alternatives are great!, and it would be great if some of this search engines or some of them together grow up. At least to the point of having at least 30 or 20 percent of the search market share.
It is never good to have only one company/person with that power.

Guillermo Garron

God yes!, sure alternatives are great!, and it would be great if some of this search engines or some of them together grow up. At least to the point of having at least 30 or 20 percent of the search market share.
It is never good to have only one company/person with that power.

Anonymous

When talking about semantics, the license/content terms of use become so much more important. Hoping these articles will start to recognize and prefer CC/AGPL solutions as part of the very best answer that can be combined or adapted as required.

Shreya Arora

there’s http://www.ixquick.com too
it only shows the best 500 to 1500 or so, along with ratings as to how closely it
relates to your search

Shreya Arora

there’s http://www.ixquick.com too
it only shows the best 500 to 1500 or so, along with ratings as to how closely it
relates to your search

kiaran finn

I do quite like Hakia-it has a different look and feel and has a neat representation of videos and graphics

Nat Jay

Same for me as well. I was able to compile work study notes for an electronics project totally using Hakia. The way it displays information makes it easy to sift through the clutter.

Gabriel Weinberg

Thx so much for the nice write-up of DuckDuckGo (and the others)! I’m the founder :). If you or anyone else here as any feedback, I’d love to hear it.

Nat Jay

I really like the name (to start with). The search format is nice and pleasing to the eye, and so are the links to authority sites. However, you could include in-built components for visual search as well (image search). The same could be integrated with your regular search listings.

Anonymous

I favor Kngine over the others

Anonymous

Thanks for the post and for recognizing the work we are doing at Evri. We will add the ability to follow any stream in a few weeks, and we will be synchronizing the streams on Evri.com with our mobile applications in a few weeks also. Look for our technology news Android App next week!
-Will

Will Hunsinger
CEO, Evri

whunsinger

Thanks for the post and for recognizing the work we are doing at Evri. We will add the ability to follow any stream in a few weeks, and we will be synchronizing the streams on Evri.com with our mobile applications in a few weeks also. Look for our technology news Android App next week!
-Will

Will Hunsinger
CEO, Evri

Rubén Vinagre (equipoGNOSS)

Great semantic review. Congrats.
One proposal. In gnoss.com we’re working with semantic tech. Do you know our project?
Cheers ;-)

Rubén Vinagre (equipoGNOSS)

Great semantic review. Congrats.
One proposal. In gnoss.com we’re working with semantic tech. Do you know our project?
Cheers ;-)

Stacy

I quite like Evri – its a great site! I found it using Buzzdock and it delivers great info!

cmd

iCurrent.com is similar with regards to honing in on relevant news content. (and has been reviewed here in MUO)

cmd

iCurrent.com is similar with regards to honing in on relevant news content. (and has been reviewed here in MUO)

Anonymous

Interesting! I,and many–would really like a site that is non-prejudicial,no right-no left,no “this is my opinion of X,FIRST,but for instance,should I.we want the words of President Wilson,or…along with someone’s view of the meaning of as to what his meaning is–would be nice.THAT would be refreshing,instead of just Lenin’s view,or Washington’s view of what/how a nation should be,but what THEY said-verbatim. –Hope I said this clear enough,as I’m NOT a writer of…

Anonymous

All good,but I/we would like a site that along with their view of a philosophy,we could get the exact view of the person. For instance: wikipedia has their view of saul alinsky–it is left biased–google is left biased,many are right biased,so let’s have something that is without bias,by having a ref.from the person who developed it–wilson,washington,obama,whomever.

3r1c

I dont know if this qualifies as a semantic search engine, but its worth to take a look : http://www.wolframalpha.com/

3r1c

I dont know if this qualifies as a semantic search engine, but its worth to take a look : http://www.wolframalpha.com/

Aibek

here is the link,
http://www.makeuseof.com/dir/i

shashy

searchgreener.co.cc uses same concept and provide daily green message on their website I hope they would be coming up with more features soon.
It has a nice layout and a frog popping up which says plant more trees. really nice search engine powered by google.

website design franchise

I used duckduckgo and changed my default search engine from google to @duckduckgo. Because my friend told me it has 80% better results.

fruitgeek

Try goodsearch.com, they donate to your favorite charity when you use their search page- its powered by Yahoo, so it should be a nice engine

fruitgeek

Try goodsearch.com, they donate to your favorite charity when you use their search page- its powered by Yahoo, so it should be a nice engine

Mark

Kngine is great I love it, also Evri is very nice news engine.

Sri

What about Cuil
http://www.cuil.com

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lord xeon

i don’t really mean to be a hater here, but here are just my first impressions of all of these:

Kngine – trying to go for a Search Engine look, half succeeds

hakia – the worst home page i have ever seen, their site obviously was not designed for a screen that wasn’t on a EEE PC

Kosmix – not a search engine, not sure what it is, but i would not think that it’s a search engine, just a portal for all other information i already get from other places

Duck Duck Go – looks like a search engine

Evri – again, wtf are you, another portal

Powerset – there is no reason for you to exist, I cannot believe microsoft spent money on you. Wikipedia has a decent to good search already, and using Google properly can find you anything you want on Wikipedia anyway

Truevert – nice, I can get all my pro Global Warming BS from one place, just what I need

I also did test searches on all of them, and nothing stood out in the various searches I did, surprisingly, the worst website (from a visual perspective), Hakia, gave the most meaningfull results.

I’ll stick with Google thank you very much, it’s never let me down before.

lord xeon

i don’t really mean to be a hater here, but here are just my first impressions of all of these:

Kngine – trying to go for a Search Engine look, half succeeds

hakia – the worst home page i have ever seen, their site obviously was not designed for a screen that wasn’t on a EEE PC

Kosmix – not a search engine, not sure what it is, but i would not think that it’s a search engine, just a portal for all other information i already get from other places

Duck Duck Go – looks like a search engine

Evri – again, wtf are you, another portal

Powerset – there is no reason for you to exist, I cannot believe microsoft spent money on you. Wikipedia has a decent to good search already, and using Google properly can find you anything you want on Wikipedia anyway

Truevert – nice, I can get all my pro Global Warming BS from one place, just what I need

I also did test searches on all of them, and nothing stood out in the various searches I did, surprisingly, the worst website (from a visual perspective), Hakia, gave the most meaningfull results.

I’ll stick with Google thank you very much, it’s never let me down before.