In a strange way, it was a good moment when I discovered that the world is not only about Google. Well, it has a huge chunk of the search engine pie, but there are some really good alternative search engines that make for occasional pickings. Of course, ‘good’ is a very relative term depending on the information you hit while using them. The good thing though is that if there’s some type of data on the web, you can be sure that there’s a search engine out there trying to get it for you.
These ten alternative search engines are offbeat in two ways – firstly, in the way some of them get to the data, and secondly in the way they display it (at least some of them).
You should keep a few other search engines in your search toolbox. Will you be keeping any of these? Let’s find out.
Initially, I thought it was a cool visual search engine. Then, from its name, I clued in that it has to be about searching blogs. I was right on both counts but not completely so, as Blogumbus is actually a search engine that’s been specifically optimized for mobile phones. It connects similar blogs (finds relationships) and allows you to browse those relationships with point-and-click or pinch-and-zoom.
On this search engine you get to play ‘Google God’ by ranking the search results. Tall Street works on your recommendations and ratings. What’s interesting is that with a log-in, you can ‘trade’ results using fake money. You invest in your favorite websites by choosing keywords. Ratings for these keywords and websites determine how your ‘stock’ rises and falls. Thankfully, to play trader, it doesn’t take real money!
Zanran Numeric Data Search [No Longer Available]
This one is really a niche search engine that gets graphs, charts, and other forms of ‘semi-structured’ data for you. Zanran’s About page says that conventional search engines are more textual in their search, so this specialized search engine is a good way of mining what they miss or bury deep inside their search results.
A search engine that relies on you to make a mistake has to be classified under offbeat. Typobuddy tries to give you a leg up in the bidding on eBay (and Craiglist) by searching out misspelled auction items. Misspelled auction items just might escape the eye of a regular search and you can profit from the mistake.
There’s nothing much unusual about this search engine if you keep your eyes on the search results derived from Google Custom Search. What’s unusual though is the sexy girl who’s dancing and gesticulating away near the search box. You can turn her off with the little button on the page.
Ask Cerebra [No Longer Available]
Just a simple comic blog search engine for the guy who loves web comics. It uses a Google Custom Search backend to scout the web for online comic books.
This neat search tool acts more like a search aggregator as it assembles search results from a variety of other search engines and news feeds. You can instantly create a ‘page’ with the latest information on any topic.
Radio-Locator is a niche search engine that helps to locate radio stations that can be tuned into at a specific geographic location in the United States. It takes into account each radio station’s transmitter power, antenna height, frequency, and antenna pattern, and also the topography and geology of the surrounding area.
Oamos packages itself as an entertaining search engine. It combines news, images, synonyms, music and videos from sources in answer to your keywords. The search engine is tagged as a ‘meta-inspiration’ engine. You can use the slider to choose between varying degrees of objective results and entertaining ones. Check out the interactive shows you can generate with music, videos, and text.
Search Engine Colossus is not a search engine in itself. But this international directory of search engines could be a jumping off point to find cool search engines around the world. The directory lists search engines from nearly 312 countries.
We have a huge lineup of search engine based articles. Here are a few interesting ones in themselves:
10 Search Engines to Explore the Invisible Web
3 Fascinating Search Engines That Search For Faces
13 Alternative Search Engines That Find What Google Can’t
The 5 Most Advanced Search Engines On The Web
10 Web Tools To Try Out Sentiment Search & Feel the Pulse
Have you come across an alternative search engine which can be described as unusual? Let us know.
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