When to Use Other Search Engines

When does it make sense to go beyond Google or Bing for your search?

A bunch of new, cool search engines are cropping up with different strengths. To decide which one to try, let’s use the analogy of looking for a good movie to see. If any of you tried, you know searching Google with “What movie should I see?” isn’t going to get you results fast.

There are three ways to go. You could:

1) Call/email a friend or group of friends who would know what movie you’d like

2) Post the question somewhere for a big community to opine (like on Facebook)

3) Search a specialized site (for movies, sites like www.rottentomatoes.com or www.fandango.com)

These categories are the same three ways to look at the other search engines.

CATEGORY ONE:   Reaching out to targeted person or persons who would know

  • www.vark.com:  Aardvark is good for finding a certain individual (or expert) who might know the answer to your question.
  • www.hunch.com: Hunch uses your preferences and profile to find someone who likely shares your tastes.

CATEGORY TWO:  Reaching out to a broad community for a more diverse response.  This format has been around awhile with sites like:

This is the area with the most growth right now. Front runners Quora and Facebook Questions are both still in beta testing but look promising.

CATEGORY THREE: Searching a specialized site. If you don’t know one already, these general search engines help you figure out where to dig down.

  • www.duckduckgo.com Has a feature called !Bang that helps narrow your search by category. For example, searching !movies leads you directly to specialized sites to search like fandango.com. Works for many categories like !travel or !handbags for example.
  • www.blekko.com Still in beta testing. Blekko has slashtags that limit your search to websites that will most likely have what you’re looking for. There are preset slashtags (/movies) and you can make your own (/startups).