Integrated Search: Multiple Search Engines

Introduction

Integrated search for multiple search engines is as simple as its said. The idea is that you use one search engine, or more like a search site, which will find you your results based on other search engines that do the actual retrieving of the data. One site will do the search for your query for a number of search engines, that you would have otherwise had to do individually one site at a time. Some of the integrated search engines are:

You can access these integrated search sites just by going to their urls as shown in the list above. The reason these tools exist is so that we as users can be more efficient when conducting our web searches. These integrated search sites save us time and hassle, and that is their main purpose. Along with providing the user with better search results. The best time to use these sites are when you would like to have a quick glimpse of  what your results would be if you were to search in sites like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Another great time to use integrated search sites are when you want to save time, and just have the best results from some of the best search engines. In this chapter, we will look at three integrated search sites, and see how they perform. What are the best techniques for each site, and how they compare to traditional search engines like Google.

DogPile Instructions

DogPile Homepage

InfoSpace created the Dogpile search engine and is powered by  Metasearch technology, Dogpile returns all the best results from leading search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Yandex, so you find what you’re looking for faster. You can check out this search engine at Dogpile.com To start, you open up the Dogpile home page and you will see the traditional search box. Right below the search box you can see some of the search engines that Dogpile will integrate results from. Which in this case are Google, Yahoo, and Yandex, and many more. Above the search box you see some tabs with typical options filter your results by. In Dogpile, these include the Web, Images, Videos, News, Local, and White Pages (which is essentially like searching through yellow pages). On the Dogpile homepage right below the search box, it shows you “Favorite Fetches” which are simply popular searches. Right next to the “Favorite Searches” are “Quick Starts” which are just some tips that Dogpile recommends.

Conducting a Search

When doing a search in Dogpile, you just enter into the search box what you would like to find information on. For example, in the case that you are searching for College Football standings, and BCS bowls,, you could easily enter for your query “2012 college football standings”. As you type your query, Dogpile shows you some queries that you could use. You can click on one of these if you liked it better than yours. Once you press the “Go Fetch” button, Dogpile will conduct a search through the top search engines, and compile the best results for your query. As you can see in the image below, this is how Dogpile returns your results for “2012 college football standings”.

Dogpile puts their advertisements at the top highlighted in brown, and then your results below these. Also, as you can see from entering such a simple query, you are able to find the exact information that you need. You can also see the source of the results, and from which search engines the results were compiled from. These two things are right below the title of the source, which are in green and grey.

DogPile Recommendations and Trends

Another great thing in Dogpile is that it gives your search recommendations or suggestions to the left of your results, under the heading “Are you looking for?”. These suggestions are queries that you can click on, and will give you similar results. Right below the suggestions, Dogpile also shows you some more trending fetches which you could explore.

Advanced Search

In addition, you could specify your search for “2012 college football standings”. Lets say that you wanted to know the standings for Michigan, Notre Dame, and Michigan State, but you also wanted to know what BCS bowls they are eligible for. You could easily enter these extra criteria into your query, but you would lose some results, and Dogpile might not focus as much on some of your words in the end of your query as the words in the beginning of your query. For example, if you just extend your original query to “2012 college football standings for michigan, notre dame, michigan state and their bcs bowl eligibility”. You will get some results that are outdated, and they won’t be exactly what you are looking for.

As you can see in the image above, some of your results do not even have matching time frames. One result is about BCS standings in week 9, and another is about BCS standings in week 13. In addition, you do not really see any results mentioning the schools you were looking for. However, there is a much better way to find the results your looking for without having to include everything in your query.

With your first query of “2012 college football” standings in the search box, you then go to advanced search right next to the “Go Fetch” box, and a pop-up box with some choices appears. In order to find what you are looking for, in the the “The exact phrase” box, you are going to put “BCS bowl predictions”. After that, in the “Any of these words” box, you are going to put “Michigan, Notre Dame, Michigan State,”. You leave the “All of these words” section as is, and then click “Go Fetch”. In the results, you can tell a big difference right away from your  previous search with all your criteria in the search box.

In the image above, you can see your results. From looking at the results, you can see that you were returned BCS Bowl predictions, along with NCAA College Football standings, and resources mentioning Michigan, Notre Dame, and Michigan State. So it is clear that using the Dogpile “Advanced Search” option is much more useful and helpful, than just entering everything into one long query.

Comparison with Google Web search

In this section, you will be looking at a comparison of Dogpile and Google. You will learn about the strengths and weaknesses of Dogpile compared to Google. You will also learn about some pluses and minuses, and the very distinguishable differences between the two. For this comparison, the search topic will be “Hector Camacho”, a boxer who recently died.

Basic Search

To start off, you will begin by entering the simple query “hector camacho” in each of the search engines. You can see that as you type “Hector” in Google, there  are search suggestions that appear, or queries related to or similar to the one you are entering. However, as you enter the query in Dogpile, the search suggestions don’t appear to be related or similar at all to “hector camacho”.

DogPile 

The image above shows you how Google and Dogpile differ in their instant search suggestions. The reason that Google might be better than Dogpile in this instant is that Hector Camacho’s death is very recent, and Dogpile might not be as good as Google for recent events and trends. However, you can’t count out Dogpile yet, without actually making the search. Type in the full query “hector camacho” and press enter to see the results. You’ll see that again, Dogpile has advertisements even though Google doesn’t this time. In addition, you can see that some of the results are similar and that is because Dogpile retrieved them from Google. From this search, you can see that Dogpile does a good job of finding great results for you, just like Google does. However, how does Dogpile compare to Google when using their search operator tools.

News Tab in Dogpile and Google

With the same query that you had before, you will continue to look into the “News” tab now. Click on the news tab of both search engines to see what the results are for “hector camacho”. As you would see in the results page, they are agin very similar. However, Google provided images of some of their results, and also provides an image section in the results page, Dogpile does not provide any images in their results. While you may not need to see images, or care about them, having the images on the results page makes the results more attractive and interesting.

Dogpile

Google

In addition, you can see that even though some of the results are the exact same ones, Dogpile does not provide an image while Google does. This is a minus to Dogpile, but something that they might fix in the future.

Image Tab

With your same query of “hector camacho”, now look at the image results of Dogpile and Google, and compare the results. You can see that there isn’t much of a difference in the results from Dogpile and Google. In fact, Dogpile seems to do a better job since they compile images from multiple search engines, which allows you to select from a larger variety.However, that attractive thing about Google is that they tell you how recent the image is, and all the images are on a continuos page. Overall, both sites do a great job here, while Dogpile may find you a wider array of results.

Search Tools

Search tools are anything that can help you specify the kinds of results you would like to find. You have already looked at the News and Images tool, and the tabs above the search boxes function about the same. You are now going to look at a comparison of the search tools from both search engines pertaining to their “advanced search” options. You looked at Dogpile’s advanced search options earlier, and got to learn about how useful they can be. However, how does Google compare to Dogpile in these search settings? You can access Google’s advanced search box by clicking on their gear image to the right of the search box, and then click on the advanced search option. In the table below you can see Dogpile’s search tools in comparison to Google.

Google definitely has more search tools that you can use to find your specific results. However, Dogpile is still a great source to have and know how to use because you can retrieve sources from a great variety of search engines, and they are all compiled neatly to you, without the two same results.

 How to get the most out of Dogpile

To get the most use out of Dogpile, you have to take advantage of their search tools. The search tools will allow you to find the best results possible, and this will eliminate your hassle of searching through other search engines. Use the advanced search settings like in the “Hector Camacho” example, and your experience with Dogpile will be more enjoyable. The search settings that will help you out the most are looking for specific words in the sources, and limiting, or specifying the domains you would like to get results from.  You can’t create an account with Dogpile, but this is ok because you can set the search engine as your home page. While Google might be an overall better search engine, the fact that Dogpile can compile results from Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other sites makes it a very user friendly and time saving tool.

Yippy Instructions

Yippy Homepage

Yippy is another integrated search engine, however, this search engine is much more user interactive than the last integrated search engine you looked at. You can visit Yippy.com and learn about who they are  at their about page. However, on Yippy’s homepage you will find the traditional search box, with other features on the homepage. Some of  these features are being able to sign in, register, or install the Yippy plug in. You also see a menu button below the search box, which if you click on, you will see many of Yippy’s products, information page links, tools, and applications.  This is a great resource where you can really learn what Yippy is about.There is even a video which you can watch, that serves as a tutorial for them. The only awkward thing about the homepage is that they have a section below the search box where you can click if you are on a PC, Tablet, or Mobile phone. You would think that Yippy could just remove that, and be able to detect on their own which kind of device you are using, but that’s not how it is.

In addition, Yippy does not track your activity on their site, store your history in their browser. They strive to keep your searches private, while at the same time retrieving the best results for you from some of the leading search engine sites. In the next section, you will see how some searches with Yippy compare to Google.

Comparison with Google Web search

Conducting a Search

Google

Yippy

In this comparison of Yippy with Google, the search topic will be Twinkies. The query that will be used to start, is just “twinkies” to see how both search engines do. In the results page, Yippy found results pertaining closer to news about the Twinkies, while Google found more results that were just about Twinkies but not necessarily news. Something else that you can notice on the results page is that Yippy had some advertisements at the top of the results page while Google didn’t . While this may not be a big issue, it is a very obvious difference, that could either serve you well or annoy you depending on your opinion. The set up of both results look similar as well, and the only other significant difference is that Google provided images while Yippy does not. Over all, both sites provided great results, even though Yippy’s were more inclined to news resources. The next exercise will be to focus  more closely on a specific search. It will be the News filter tool, to see how Google’s news compares to Yippy’s. Will Yippy do better since their results were more news related?

News Search Tool & More

With the same query as before, you will now click the “news” tab on each of the search engines. From observing the results you will see that Google’s results are much more recent than Yippy’s. Google retrieved results that were only released hours ago, while Yippy only found 4 results, and the most recent one was from 5 days behind Google’s. Yippy didn’t do so great in this test, and this is a weakness of Yippy. However, Yippy is still a great competing website because it has as many search tools as Google, many of which are the same. What Yippy has the upperhand on Google for is that it can retrieve resources from multiple sites and save you time, similar to like how DogPile did which is what distinguishes them as metasearch sites. In addition, Yippy has a sources box to the left of its results which is a convenient way to filter out from where your results come from. You can see that Yippy is retrieving results from a Cloud, while Google does not do this. This is another one of Yippy’s innovational things along with their privacy feature, and integrated results.

How to get the most out of Yippy

While Google may be a better search engine, you can still get great use out of Yippy. The best way to do this is to register and create a profile. The reason for this is that Yippy provides tons of other features aside from just being a search engine. Yippy gives you 2 GB of Cloud storage as a registered user, which in todays technological world is becoming a useful and very important tool. Yippy also gives you an email account, and other tools like calendars, organizes your contacts, and more. Some other great features you are available to as a registered user are having video conferencing and chat, free television, cartoons, movies, news feeds, and many more features.

You can see a full list of these features in their about page. The fact that Yippy is allowing you to have all these extra features from a metasearch engine will definitely put the site above other metasearch engines like DogPile.

Yippy's Free Features

 

Info Instructions

 

Info Homepage

Info.com is another great integrated search site that saves you time, and brings you some of the best results out on the web. While on the homepage, you can check out their About page, which tells you more about the site and what they have to offer. For instance, some other things that Info.com offers are:

However, you can also access all of these other sites  on Info.com’s homepage because they are also listed as tabs above the search box, and in the “more” tab. In addition, using Info.com is very similar to how you can use DogPile.com and Yippy.com. Info.com also has advanced search settings which are in the “more” tab under the name of “Search Wizard”. You can use these advanced search settings, and preferences when you would like to make concise and exact queries so that you can have the best results possible. Info.com does not give you the option to create an account, like you could have at Yippy.com. Info.com is strictly an integrated search engine.

Comparison with Google Web Search

In this section, Info.com will be compared to Google, to see how they compare in results and tools. The topic that will be in the exercises is rental properties in Ann Arbor, MI, specifically houses. To begin, the query will be “houses for rent in ann arbor”. You enter this query into the search box, and then press the enter button. In both the results pages you see advertisements at the top of the page, and then sources for some realtors that may have houses in Ann Arbor. Both sites returned great results, and the amount of good results also looked great.

Info.com

However, Info’s suggested queries, which is under “Are you looking for?” to the right of the results at the top of the page were not even relevant to houses for rent in Ann Arbor. On the other hand, if you take a look at Google’s suggestions for searches, which are at the bottom of the results page, they relate to the query and can provide new information that we are looking for. In this comparison, we can see that Google is better than Info.com which gives the metasearch engine site a minus.

   

Google

To keep comparing Info to Google, the next exercise is to see how well Info’s “Search Wizard” functions in comparison to Google’s search tools, which have shown to be superior to the other metasearch sites. For Info, in their Search Wizard, in the “exact phrase” box the words “central campus” were entered. These same words were entered for Google in their “exact words” box in their advanced search tools. The results were again very similar, and some of the same companies for realty were compiled by both sites. However, Google provided a section of some realties with their contact information that had houses on central campus. This feature is really convenient and nice because for these realties you don’t have to click on links and do further searching. You can just take down the contact information and call to ask for exact information. Also, one more nice thing that Google provides that Info does not, is a map of where the properties are located. While Info provides the same great results that Google does, it is loosing to Google because it does not provide a map, or contacts list which would make it more user friendly.

How to get the most out of Info.com

While Info may not be as great as Google, it is still a great tool. The best way to take advantage of this tool is to use their Search Wizard, and make your queries more effective. You should also use Info’s specific search sites like their jobs.info.com and so on. These specific sites are catered to find what you want specifically in that type. Furthermore, don’t forget that Info is an integrated search engine, so using it will find you the best results from leading searching engines out there.

Recommendation

After looking more closely into these three metasearch engines and comparing them to Google, there is one Meta search site that worked the best. That site would be Yippy. If you are to use any integrated metasearch engine, you should use Yippy. The reasons for using Yippy are because

  • You can become a registered user with an email
  • Free 2 GB Cloud Storage
  • Free Conference Calls
  • Privacy of your searches
  • Free RSS Feeds
  • Free Television and shows
  • As many search tools as Google!
  • It compiles the best results from the leading search engines on the web, which will save you time!
As a web user in today’s world, you must be as efficient as possible, and integrated search sites are going to save you so much time. Yippy will be that site to help you out the most, and allow you have everything you need in one collective place.

About the Author

Eduardo Salas is a sophomore at the University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business. He will be graduated in May 2015 with a focus in Accounting and Strategy. He enjoys playing sports like basketball, baseball, and football, and spending time with his friends and family. This upcoming summer of 2013, he will be interning at Pricewaterhouse Coopers in Detroit, MI.

Appendix

Dogpile, http://www.dogpile.com/info.dogpl/search/home : This is one of the meta search sites we focused on in the chapter.

Blucora, http://www.blucora.com/ : This is the site where Info.com’s “about” information came from.

Yippy, http://yippy.com/ : This is another meta search site we focused on in the chapter.

Google, https://www.google.com/ : This is the site that we made the meta search engine comparisons with.

Info, http://info.com/ : This is another meta search site that we focused on in the chapter

Professor Scott Moore: Integrated Search Lesson, http://bk4a.com/bit330f2012/lesson-unit/1685/meta-search-engines-integrated-results : This the lesson which talks about Meta search engines, and introduces what they are.

 

2 Responses to Integrated Search: Multiple Search Engines

  1. jfarran on November 29, 2012 at 7:01 pm says:

    It looks like you did a lot of research for this chapter and spent a lot of time on it, great start so far!

    Your introduction paragraph explains all the information that is necessary but could you a little cleaning up the grammar/typos. I also think it’d be beneficial to create a link for when you list the URLs to the four websites you’re going to cover.

    One other thing I thought of in the introduction is that you could mention the main point of the integrated metasearch engines is to provide the user with better results. They aren’t trying to necessarily save time or make the search more efficient, but they believe by compiling results from different locations they actually provide superior results. There was an exam question very similar to this so it might be a good idea to include that.

    I found it a little bit hard to follow your instructions for Dogpile. You start describing things in all areas of the screen and it was hard for me to understand exactly what you were talking about. If you could add in a screenshot and maybe highlight or circle some areas of the screen it would be easier to understand.

    I think adding more images throughout the chapter would be advantageous. There are many instances, especially in the instructions sections, where you say something like “as you can see…” but don’t show any screenshots so the reader actually can’t see what you’re talking about. If you add that in it will be much easier for an inexperienced user to know what you mean.

    I also think you could expand upon your how to get the most out of X sections. One idea would be to focus on one specific feature within each of the sites (possibly one that is unique to that site) and then go through a detailed example of why it’s so important. By doing this you can at least leave the reader with your one key point of what’s more important or most helpful about each respective search engine.

    Overall, great chapter. As long as you make a few updates and go through and re-read each sentence for fluency and grammar you should have a great final product to share.

  2. jbwj on December 3, 2012 at 5:17 pm says:

    After reading the previous comment, I agree with it for the most part. I’m going to try to add some more information, and comment on other areas.

    Some of the formatting seemed a little off. I liked that you separated the text with different headings, but it would have been helpful to break up listings using bullet points. This will be

    Your Screenshots are a little small, it was hard to read them. If this was intentional, it made sense because the specific results are not very important. But then I would question whether it’s actually necessary to include these screenshots. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have pictures of the features/options?

    My one of my favorite graphics was the one advanced search comparisons. That summarized the information very well.

    The tone is pretty informal, and sometimes you could have used search jargon from the class. I’m not sure if you purposefully avoided this, but because your topic is near the end, students will have already had a lot of experience with the jargon. In the Dogpile section I feel that you explain a lot about search processes but don’t really say what’s specific about Dogpile. We know the intricacies of regular searches; we just want to know about Dogpile.

    For Analysis, do you think that using the time sensitive Hector Camacho affected the results because I don’t

    List of the some of smaller the errors and places of confusion I found throughout, in order:
    Introduction
    “simple as its said.”
    You introduce the term “search site,” that confused me.
    “respected urls”

    Dogpile
    I have question on the capitalization, in the logo, “P” isn’t capitalized but you seem to go back and forth.
    “hassle, and that”
    Is Yandex a top search engine?
    “in the case that you”
    “As you type your query, DogPile shows you some queries that you could use. You can click on one of these if you liked it better than yours.” By now we know how search suggestions/related searches work.
    You mention that some of the search results are outdated, but don’t mention anything about limiting the date of the search results.
    After the advanced search section, I’m still confused about how it works, it sounds like it doesn’t use operators?
    “However, How does DogPile compare to Google when using their search operator tools.”
    “However, that attractive thing about Google”
    What is PileDog? I assume it’s a type (found under Image Tab)
    For the image section, can you talk about the type of pictures or the precision of results?
    “use our of DogPile”

    Yippy
    For this section, I didn’t look for any more grammatical mistakes or typos, but just on the information overall.

    Introduction-maybe Yippy has the section for device type incase the site doesn’t recognize the right type of device.

    Comparison to Google- I really liked the analysis about the increased number of news sites in the search results. This was insightful and will influence how I search with Yippy. How well did the source filter box work?

    Info
    The comment on “Are you looking for” helped. More analysis like this lets the user know if the site is worth using, or what parts of it to focus on. The comparison to some of the extra information from Google results on contact information helped show the inadequacy of info.com.

    Make sure you annotate the Appendix.
    Overall, you had a lot to do, and you presented the information pretty well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *