Our project this week is searching search engines. Sounds crazy, but it was actually enlightening. I didn't know there were so many types of search engines out there and most I actually knew, but didn't think of them as search engines. We were not allowed to use Google as one of our 8 findings, but a confession... I used Google to find them! Amazingly, there are tons of lists and "2014's Top Search Engines" or "Search Engines for Beginners" out there. So here is my list and reviews on each of the 8 I found.
#1. Free Book Search: This search engine was created for bookworms like myself. It is run off of Google Custom searches, but scours the internet for books, audio books, free PDF downloads of books and more. I played around with it and the book search was great. It had a lot of results and pulled from lots of sites for downloads and purchases in just seconds. For some reason I wasn't able to figure out the audiobook search, but don't let that stop you from using the book search!
#2. Zillow: I have used this site before looking for real estate and housing, but never thought of it as a search engine. It is easy to use and can find property all over the U.S. Whether you're looking to rent, own, or window shop, it is a great and reliable search engine for housing and property. It even has a button to start pre-approval on a mortgage!
#3. Pic Search: A great search engine for images. It searches over 3,000,000,000 pictures and gives you a similar layout to Google Images. When you are first on the screen to search, you will notice images in the background. They are the top searches over a certain period of time, as far as I can tell. You can scroll over these images and click on them for more related images. Once you've found the image you like and click on it, you are taken to the website with the image, but at the top of the page you can select to see the image by itself. Very similar to Google Images, but easier to use.
#4. Dogpile: Is similar to Google, but instead it literally "dogpiles" (hence the name) all the related searches from other major search engines. It has a cleaner page set up than Google and I find it user friendly. On the homepage you can also search for images, shopping, video, news, local listings and white pages. They also have an app for your phone.
#5. WebMD: Everyone knows this one, I'm sure! It is a source for all things medical from questions about symptoms to the latest news. You can find just about anything you need on this one search engine. You can check your BMI, you can plan your food and fitness, you an even find healthy recipes. It even has a symptom checker tool. But beware, self diagnosing can be hazardous to your health!!
#6. Map Quest: The GPS before there we could afford GPS. (And before it came equipped on our phones!) Who hasn't used this search engine before?! I mean really, my In-laws still use it to this day. But, they have added a few new features. You can now look up hotels, charging stations, restaurants, travel services, shopping, activities, and other local services. I find that even my Google maps on my phone gives me fits trying to find all those things and don't get me started on Siri! This search engine I think is still very useful, but has been pushed into second place by our smart phones. (when they work)
#7. Webopedia: This search engine is there for the people like me who get into a computer class and have no clue what some of the lingo is! You can search for terms and knowledge on computer technology with easy to understand answers. It also gives you the latest news on a variety of technology. Its a great search engine for students and beginners.
#8. Wolfram Alpha: Another great search engine for students. It is a computational knowledge engine that you can enter a math problem or subject and get an easy to understand report. For instance, I searched William Shakespeare and it gave me a long list of information and facts on him. Did you know he was 6'4"? I didn't! This is a search engine everyone should try when stuck on a math problem or doing research for any subject!