Top Five Disruptive Search Engines showcases some new thinking in search.

It’s always fun to look at new things, but none of these hits many spots for me. Clearly Google isn’t perfect, but improving on it has to be a key success factor for any new search engine. I’m not going to remember that one engine is better than another for a specific search until my default has failed and I’m searching around.

  • Recorded Future – I liked the “search the future” option, until it became clear that this was based on textual mentions of the future in pages rather than a clever futurism algorithm
  • Qwiki – very slick presentation of information and great if you need a primer on something new. Would I use it as it stands? Not really.
  • Wolfram Alpha – love it, but never use it.
  • Wowd – nice smart grouping of friends (by number of mutual connections, I guess). Not much use in, e.g. looking for all Spotify links people have shared.
  • Blekko – I don’t really get slashtags as part of search, so this isn’t much use to me yet. I already use a version of them in shortcuts (e.g. gm hong kong will give me a google map of hong kong).