Using the Right Search Engine for the Job

An old broken book There is no one perfect Search Engine. There cannot be. If we think about it, we all know this – different people will search in different ways for different types of information, and for a single Search Engine to be able to cater to all these different needs would mean it would have to be a huge a huge monolithic beast. Phil Bradley lists the Search Engines which he uses, and the jobs that he uses them for.

Two weeks ago, a new Search Engine called FactBites was announced. FactBites describes itself as “cross between a search engine and an encyclopedia”, and gives results formed from definition type phrases found on other websites. For example, a search for “email” gives you the following right at the very top of the results page:

Email is cheaper and faster than a letter, less intrusive than a phone call, less hassle than a FAX.

Email thus tends, like conversational speech, to be sloppier than communications on paper.

Email also does not convey emotions nearly as well as face-to-face or even telephone conversations.

Certainly not a bad result for the term! Although FactBites currently only covers 800,000 topics, it does answer queries on topics that it knows about really quite well. As its press release says, “Factbites is never going to be the place to locate your lost aunt, or order items from your corner store. But for meaningful content about real topics, there’s nothing out there like us”. Whether it turns out to be that good is anyone’s guess, but the results it gives for topics that it knows about are certainly very promising.

Even though FactBites has only been around for a couple of weeks now, it does look like it could turn into a very capable Search Engine for certain types of searches.

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Neil Crosby now blogs at The Code Train and also runs, The Ten Word Review and Everything is Rubbish.