Google recently announced that the number of unique pages on the web has ticked over to a trillion (1,000,000,000,000). Peter Blasina offers some tools to help you locate relevant information among all that noise.
When Stanford University students Larry Page and Sergei Brin launched Google’s index of the web in 1998, they found 26 million pages. By 2000 this had grown to a billion. Now it’s a trillion, or twice as many pages as there are stars in the Milky Way. They also calculate this number is growing by several billion per day.
How do you navigate an online world with that much information? For a businessperson, the process is daunting – and time consuming.
The best way to find anything on a trillion pages of information is to use a search engine such as one of the big three: Google, Yahoo or MSN.
However, there are some very interesting new search engines that I’ve found to be wonderful alternatives for time-poor online business surfers. Let’s start with the absolute new kid on the search engine block, Cuil.
Cuil claims it has indexed three times as many pages as Google and 10 times as many as MSN. Cuil’s management team says it can accomplish this by searching and ranking pages based on content and relevance rather than “superficial popularity metrics”. When the search engine finds a page with keywords, it stays on the page and analyses the rest of its content, concepts and inter-relationships and coherency.
Results appear in an interesting magazine-style layout with an associated image. While some results from my keywords lead to in dead-ends, I quite like the layout and getting different results than what Google typically comes up with. I also like the category tab that delivers a range of related links.
mnemomap breaks down your search keywords and puts them into a multi-tabbed, dynamically branching network or visual map of related keywords to help you extend your search. mnemomap is therefore part search engine, part visual-word networking structure and part multi-search tool.
Type in a word or phrase, get a map of terms of synonyms and neighbours, tags and translations.
Below the word tree you get a list of more traditionally laid-out results with an associated image that you can add to del.icio.us, digg or remove. This is a unique search engine with loads of potential, lots of reliable results and highly navigable once you became familiar with it.
inSuggest is a search engine that builds its taxonomy from personal recommendations. I found this terrific for locating business-related content. Type in a site you like, and it remains at the top of the page. inSuggest then produces a list of other pages that have similar content to the one you have entered. Find the ones you feel are similar, drag them into the stack at the top of the page and the search then refines itself and delivers more results. You can do this a total of four times to get some very precise matching.
Exalead is one of the best business-optimised search engines. Based on a unified technology platform for desktop, intranet or web search, Exalead offers is easier to deploy, administer and use than any other business search software. This is true whether it’s installed for one or thousands of desktops, a small business or global enterprise, and conforms to any technology environment. It also adapts to user habits for a uniquely satisfying search experience.