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SHALLY: “Zuula is my new favorite Meta Search!”

Posted on January 22, 2007
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By Shally Steckerl, Chief Cybersleuth, JobMachine
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OK I never really had a favorite because as many of you know I have always been very much “anti-metasearch.” I have long advocated that for deep research purposes aggregators are pretty much useless. Even UC Berkley agreed with me until I changed my mind (just now).

 

Before I tell you why Zuula rocks, let me at least start with listing the metasearches I have been using for “general research” purposes (listed in order of my personal preference):

Ithaki.net: one of the most powerful with 450 engines and tons of choices for filetypes, and international search.

  • Vivisimo.com: searches Wisenut, Ask, MSN Live, and Gigablast, then clusters the results for easy refinement.
  • Ixquick.com: customizeable, easily handles multilingual searches, and also has a neat International Phone search (both white and yellow pages).
  • Dogpile, Webcrawler and Metacrawler are all owned by Infospace and fetch results from Google, Yahoo, MSN (Live) and Ask, but by default they mix the results in one page of results. Unfortunately they won’t translate special syntax like intitle: or inurl: etc.
  • Beaucoup: works with results from the top ten search egines but also has a nice “reference” directory.
  • Mamma.com: Copernic’s claim to be the mother of all search engines would be a bit more believeable if it returned results from the top search engines, but its really only limited to Ask, Gigablast, Wisenut and Entireweb.
  • I know there’s many others, so feel free to add them via the comments below, but I just wanted to point out a few of the ones I actually use.

     

    Enter  zuula :

     

    Technically Zuula isn’t an aggregator because it provides results from each search engine separately. What I like about it is that unlike with many aggregators, you can use the same advanced syntax you use regularly, but do it on all six major engines right from one common interface on Zuula.
     
    In other words, if you search Zuula for SONET DWDM (intitle:resume OR inurl:resume) you will get pretty much the same results as you would from Google, MSN (Live), Yahoo, Ask, Gigablast and Exalead. (By the way, you can also search blogs via Google, Technorati, IceRocket and Topix.)
     
    A few more things:
    • Ads are pushed to the right so you know which ones are paid results and which are organic. It doesn’t have the tricky “sponsored” in-line results you get from most other aggregators.
    • It keeps a history of your recent searches which helps with tracking.
    • If you are a blogger and you are looking for images, the image search lets you see thumbnails directly from the image searches on Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask and Flickr. 
    • Uh… so… why bother using it if its basically the same as doing searches on each of the search engines?

       

      Well, frankly, I like it because its NOT an aggregator. I could manually copy and paste my search into all six of those engines, or I could use a bookmarklet I wrote to translate my search from one search engine to another, or I could even use the multi-search features built into Opera (my favorite browser), Firefox and IE7, but I like Zuula because I can just click on each of the tabs and get the results I need. Its simple, and I like the interface. So… if you must metasearch, I recommend Zuula.
       
      Happy CyberSleuthing!shally
      Shally View Shally Steckerl's profile on LinkedIn | Bio | MSN | Skype
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