Google is no doubt the mother of all search engines. Their search still is the best and Google got its brand value because of its superb search results, simplicity, accuracy and speed of search. But this is not to say that Google is the one and only search engine that one should rely on. We all know of others like Yahoo search, Ask.Com and Microsoft Live. In fact these are all pretty decent search engines and in the past few days these search engines have come out with improved search features. Really they are not far behind in their search engine technologies compared to Google with their new search features.
Letâ€™s look at some of the improvements in these three search engines.
The new Ask -â€“ “Ask 3D” from Ask.com is a major improvement. Ask 3D search incorporates a three-panel interface which integrates more multimedia content, including images, videos, music files as well as more structured text-based content. The search results are now presented in a new 3-tier format. This means you see search results in 3 different columns. The left column gives you the ability to widen or narrow your search even further. Ask.com has a Binocular feature which lets you preview the search result without leaving the site. The middle column has the usual search results and a smart answer future. The far right column of the search results gives you images, news, encyclopedia entries, video (you can even watch a few seconds of the videos just by placing your mouse over the picture), and music where just like the video, you can listen to a few snippets of audio selections and never leave the Ask 3D site. You can also customize your search experience by choosing different â€œskinsâ€. With its integrated search results feature, personalization and expanded search options Ask.com is worth using as a search engine.
Microsoft Live Search
Microsoft has come with some solid improvements. The main improvement is in the number of sites that it has in its index â€“ It now has four times the number of sites it earlier had. It now searches 20 billion Web pages which is 4 times the previous index. And Microsoft now has the technology to add billions of more pages without any hassles to its already impressive index of 20 billion pages. Their new search provides for improved snippets which means little snippets of text or â€œsummariesâ€ for each result that describe the site youâ€™re about to visit. It now incorporates enhanced ranking algorithms, auto-spell correction and better stop word handling to help us return the best results. It has a nice image search feature. When I searched for my name “Vinay Kumar Dubai” it nicely returned my photo from this blog. The pages load faster and there is a more streamlined look and feel to it. It offers more high-interest content like Entertainment, Shopping, Health, Local and Video search.
Yahoo has made major improvements to its search interface and the results of search. It now suggests complete search queries as you search. Yahoo’s search engine now integrates audio, video, and photos directly into the search results to help make Web search easier. Their new Search Assist feature helps users to zero on to what they are looking for on the web. This helps save users time in unnecessary searching. Search Assist also opens a drop down menu of suggestions and related concepts that can open the door to further exploration around the search topic. For example if you begin typing a query and you are unsure of how to put the question, then a box appears, sensing that you may be unable to formulate a query or are unclear on what the query should be. You can also close the box when you donâ€™t need it, so itâ€™s not intrusive. Users can now see new Yahoo Search Shortcuts, which aims to help save time when searching for popular categories such as events, music, movies, travel, sports, health, shopping, businesses and restaurants. Search Shortcuts integrate ratings and reviews, photos, official Web sites and other useful information, giving consumers a complete answer for their search. Yahoo is also bringing a good degree of structured data into its search results pages. If you search for a musical artist, you’re likely to get a specially-formed result at the top of the page that has links to albums, lyrics, and to music samples that play directly.
With such significant improvements these search engines are worth a trial before dismissing them as useless and have the potential to provide the information you are looking for. Google may after all not be very superior to these.