CURRENT VERSION IS SEY 2003
Meta Search Engines
This page on meta search engines is not
an updated discussion on Meta Search Engines, please refer to the current
vesrion of the Search Engine Yearbook.
What are "meta
A meta search engine looks a lot like a regular search
engine when you arrive at the main search page.
But there is a BIG difference below the surface.
A meta engine typically does not have its own
database of indexed web sites. It takes your search query, runs off
to a number of "real" search engines and displays a list of
results from all of them. That could be great - more search results from
more sources - great for finding obscure information, right?
The problem with
meta search engines
They are a commendable effort, but very seldom does
a search on a meta engine provide better results.
Apart from major limitations like the absence of
advanced search and the real possibility of timeouts, they often retrieve
only to top 10, top 50 or top 100 results from each search engine. You
end up with fewer results than you would if you searched directly
at one of the engines it queries.
Phrase and Boolean searching are rarely processed
correctly, because the search engines being queried implement it differently.
Some of the more
popular meta search engines
searches an impressive list of sources:
LookSmart, Overture, Thunderstone, Yahoo, Open Directory,
About.com, Lycos' Top 5%, Direct Hit, and AltaVista. It offers other searches
for Usenet, FTP, News Wires, Business News, Stock Quotes, Weather, Yellow
Pages, White Pages, and maps.
The wide reach and ability to customize results makes
Dogpile one of the most popular meta search engines.
"Mamma.com is the largest independently
owned metasearch engine on the Internet.
· is a Nielsen/NetRatings Top 10 Search Engine.
· is a Media Metrix 500 Company.
· reaches over 7,000,000 unique users per month.
· returns results for over 30,000,000 searches per month.
· provides its search functionality to over 13,000 third party
· further increases its reach with over 100 major strategic alliances."
Mamma also has its own "Mamma Collection"
-a quality, human reviewed collection of web sites. Once your site is
added to this collection, it receives a ranking boost in normal search
results at Mamma.
Submitting your site to the Mamma collection is not
free. You have a choice of "Velocity Submit" and "Standard
Your site is reviewed within 2 business days. The price is $59.99 with
a $19.99 annual subscription.
Your site is reviewed within 8 weeks. The price is $29.99 - again with
a $19.99 annual subscription.
NOTE: paying to have your site reviewed does not
guarantee that it will be included in the Mamma Collection - only that
it will be considered for inclusion. If you have a quality site with no
dead links or images, your chances of getting in are good.
C4.com (previously "Cyber 411")
The C4 engine offers a deceptive "Submit Your
Site" link. Deceptive because it takes you to a page where you choose
between 2 "instant submit" services that they claim not only
submits your site to many engines, but also optimizes your site for maximum
traffic - (and I'm the king of England).
More about instant submit in Section 3 of this book.
C4's "Search the Web" function provides
you with the ability to search using Alta Vista, Lycos, FindWhat, Kanoodle,
Yahooligans, Ah-Ha, Sprinks, MSN, GoTo, and HotBot.
A big plus is that C4 allows you to register (for
free) and then customize it, giving you custom search preferences, e-mail
and "portable bookmarks". The registration form asks far too
many questions though.
What do they want a physical address for?
A neat, uncluttered homepage and a French/English
In the English version, it uses AltaVista, Yahoo, Excite and Lycos.
In the French version, it uses Yahoo France, PagesWeb, Ecila, Infoseek
France, Excite France and Lokace.
page is based on information contained in the Search Engine Yearbook 2003.
For more detailed search engine information & help, please refer to the
current version of the book.
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