One of Google’s most used products is their search engine. It’s what made Google famous. However, they aren’t the only ones in the game. There are a couple of big contenders such as Bing and Yahoo!, along with a couple of lesser known engines such as DuckDuckGo and Blekko. Being the Trekkie that I am, I’m going to be going on a Search for Spock to prove which search engines are the best.
As with any science experiment, you need a control group. For the sake of this post, I’m going to use Google and figure out what the ‘best’ search engine gives me for answers.Google gives me a list of people similar people to Spock. It also gives me some photos of the beloved 2nd in command along with some sites for more information. Surprisingly, there were no ads on the search. This is what the other engines need to compete against.
Just look at that interface, and those ads!
Next up is Yahoo!. Yahoo! also gives me photos, and links. However, the links aren’t quite as useful. There’s also no list of related people. Along with this, there are ads. I hate to continue to bash on Yahoo!, (okay, that’s a lie) but the interface looks ugly. That may just be a matter of personal preference, but I don’t think it’s attractive at all.
I took the Bing It On challenge. Google won.
Bing is our next contestant. Bing offers a good amount of information including similar searches, some information about Mr.Spock, images, and decent-ish links. But, there are ads to the side. Along with that is a place for social networking results. Bing appears to be very similar to Google in terms of information, but Microsoft’s search engine takes a slightly different approach to it.
That ‘Sponsored Link’ is a DuckDuckNo.
After Bing comes DuckDuckGo. DuckDuckGo (or DDG) is a lesser known engine with a strong following. The strength of DDG comes from its bangs (!). For example, typing ‘Spock !i’ will do a search for Spock on Google Images (helpful since DDG doesn’t have image results). There are a lot of different bangs for DDG. Heck, if you want to search this blog from DDG, just type in something like ‘Going Google Free !boardman’. It’s also notable that DuckDuckGo doesn’t track your every move on the web. Anyways, DDG gives you ‘Meanings’ of Spock, along with links to other searches for it on different sites, and some regular results. I also noticed that DuckDuckGo has a ‘sponsored link’, which is essentially an ad.
Blekko is probably the best search engine.
Last but not least is Blekko. Blekko is probably the least known out of all of the search engines. Blekko uses slashtags to greatly improve searching. It’s different from bangs in that it keeps you on the Blekko site, and it gives you an even wider range of results. I should also note that, unlike DuckDuckGo, Blekko has image search and video. Unlike other engines, Blekko is bias towards sights. It will do its best to filter out low quality sights. Blekko gives some pretty impressive search results for Spock. It has images (powered by Bing), and some good links. Actually, the links are a bit better than all of the other search engines.
Of course this test was only a search for Spock. Results will obviously be different for other searches. However, I think that through these tests, Blekko is the winner. For the next couple weeks, I’ll be giving Blekko a try. I’ve previously been using DuckDuckGo as my primary search engine, so I recommend that if you aren’t entirely crazy about Blekko. As Spock would say, ‘Live Long and Prosper’.
Do you know of any other search engines or have thoughts about the ones mentioned? Sound off in the comments below!