Blog: Unified Seperate Search Engines Tools

By Susan KennedySusan Kennedy (1228274698|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

Unifying Separate Search Engines: Saving Time and Efficiency

These tools combine the capabilities of many search engines into one interface.

joongelpage2.jpg

Typically, you enter a query, select what type of retrievals you want (i.e. "blogs" or "news" or "images") and then the tool will bring you to the results page. From here you can select which engine you want to look at the results from. Not all of these are like that (i.e. Fast Eagle) but that is the general concept behind them. They are designed to bring all of the results to you in one easy interface so that you don't have to go to each site individually. Likewise, it makes it really easy to compare and contrast sites so you can figure out the ones that you prefer.

I tried out the following sites based on "Walt Disney Pictures" related information. Some of them were definitely an asset…while others I don't think I will bother with in the future. Check my reviews out to see if they help you in your research:


Useful Tools:

Joongel

For Joongel, I first entered the query Disney in the Blog search. Normally, under search engines like Google the only relevant retrievals I get are sites related to Disney's homepage. I then have to try query after query in order to get even mediocre sites. But with Joongel I was extremely surprised at the results. Four of the ten first retrievals were relevant (and I mean actually something I though was really valuable). That is ten times better than 90% of the searches I have done so far.

The best resource I found through Joongel was Disney Society which is a blend of all sorts of Disney current events with main emphasis on film. What is interesting is that it actually ended up being pulled out of Technorati, even though when I search Technorati exclusively I get nothing useful even after trying dozens of queries. The same thing for Google Blog Search. Until now, I have found searching for blogs very frustrating…I am really glad I found this.

Zuula

As far as news search goes, Zuula isn't that much better than any of these other sites. The real advantage I found with Zuula was that you can specify which sites you would like the "blogs" to come from. This saves a ton of time. This is similar to Joongel, but with Zuula you can compare and contrast the Blogsites right next to each other (there are 9 different blog sources). This time, I was interested in looking more at the animated side of Disney. The query I chose was "disney pixar animation". Although there was lots of stuff to be found on all of the the different blog source tabs, virtually none were completely relevant.

I think I am gonna come back to Zuula for future queries. This one didn't work out, but I can see how much time it can save if you have the right query.

Not So Useful Tools…

Fast Eagle

Through Fast Eagle I searched through Forbes, Wall Street Journal, and Google. I kept the queries relatively basic, depending on the tool. For example, WSJ only lets you use the stock name "DIS." The results were either exclusively about Disney Corporation Stocks, other franchises of Disney, or altogether not relevant. The interface for Fast Eagle was not very helpful - it seemed as though you had to do most of the work yourself and didn't save you much more time than going to each site separately. I really don't recommend this tool over some of the other Unified Search Tools.

Kendrix


For Kendrix I though I would try a slightly different query than some of the others: "walt disney pictures" Robert Iger". I thought the "Iger" would help specify the search and eliminate sites that only vaguely referred to Disney. This kind of helped…but not really. The only site that seemed somewhat helpful was this Disney Enquirer that was retrieved through the "Yahoo" tab. Sadly, this site really was a waste of time - it was all about the theme parks and taking trips. In general, I don't the problem is Kendrix. The problem is Google, Yahoo, Ask, and Live. They have never really been useful tools for me.

Soolve

Soolve was not very helpful. I entered in "Walt" and already tons of different topics come up on the seven different search engines it pulls from. The one query that seemed most promising was "Walt Disney Pictures Wikis" which ended up going through Google. Some of the links looked promising. But most turned out to be a waste of time. The only one that was useful was Zimbio. Compared with some of these other Unified Search Tools, I really wouldn't waste your time if you are looking for Disney Pictures information.

Seach!O

With Search!O I tried, once again, to be more creative with my queries using disney iger pictures movies film. I then ended up using the the Clusty tab which was my preferred search of all the others. Even through Clusty, there was not much to work with. Even though there was relevant information, there weren't any documents that I hadn't already found. And the other tabs where many of the sites I had already searched through these other tools ( like Google) that had already proven themselves unhelpful.

These Results are Not Generalizable

These tools, at least the ones that I found to be useful, are a huge asset to my research. I will definitely use these tools over and over again. However, keep in mind that these are only what worked for my research on Walt Disney Pictures. This doesn't mean that it won't be useful for other purposes. Also, for many of these, my results may have improved quite a bit if I had a better query…but I suppose that is true with all search engines. But since you don't have endless amounts to search over all these search engines (there is more where they come from too) I suggest you start with Joongel and Zuula. If those don't work out for you then try a few of the others. Here are two more that I didn't even go into because I felt it would have gotten repetitive (just in case you are extremely bored):

Intel Ways

Leap Fish

Even if you don't use these for research these unified search tools can be very helpful. If you are ever doing a search where you think you will need to go to multiple search engines, these are definitely the tools for you.

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