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June 12, 2007

Day Without Google? Exploring Alternative Search Engines

Today shall be an interesting one. Day Without Google Begins! from Read/Write Web announces that today will be an experiment in searching. AltSearchEngines are seriously asking everybody to go one day without using any of the five major search engines; Google, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, or Ask.

The "ground rules" according to AltSearchEngines:

  1. All day Tuesday, June 12th, don’t use any of the 5 major search engines.
  2. Avoid Meta search engines, since most of them include the major search engines. (for this day only! Meta search engines are important; see the Great Debate Tuesday night!)
  3. Likewise, the specialized vertical search engines may be too narrowly focused. (for this day only. It’s the vertical search engines that usually search the best; within their niche.)
  4. Consider changing your homepage or downloading their toolbar. You can always uninstall everything and change back on Wednesday.
  5. On Wednesday, leave a detailed comment under this post and share your experience with the rest of us. Which alt search engine did you chose? How would you rate the experience?

Can you survive without the big G? Sounds scary, huh? Well, I’m going to give it a shot.

AltSearchEngines provides a list of The Top 100 Alternative Search Engines to choose from. I tried out a couple of searches on both kartOO and Quintura, which tied for Search Engine of the Month. Both use an interface that incorporates tag clouds to refine your search terms. kartOO uses colorful graphics and presents results with thumbnail images of the sites, while Quintura presents a more traditional text based tag cloud.

Personally, after only a few searches on each, I think I prefer kartOO. This may be just because I got better results – better meaning my sites were ranking higher for my terms. ;)

I am going to try as hard as I can to steer clear of the big five today. Join me and other searchers today and explore the alternative search engines for just one day and share your experience here or over at AltSearchEngines.

~Kimber Cook