NowGoogle: Unified Interface Meta-Search Engine

By ranfanranfan (1260067579|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

NowGoogle is a Multiple Search Engine.

First, as far as I can tell, this is NOT a Google Product. Its name doesn't actually even make that much sense relative to what it does. So if the site no longer works when you're reading this, it's probably due to its name infringement.

About nowGoogle

nowGoogle can be best described as a unified interface meta-search engine so it enables easy and quick switching between the results of different search engines

Like all meta-search engines, its purpose is to collect all the information out in the web in the most efficient manner. Most people normally use the biggest Google or Yahoo, nowGoogle offers the chance to access multiple engines in a same time.

It is a category base sites so you can search web, videos, images, blogs, music, lyrics, downloads, books, social bookmark etc.

multiple-search.jpg

Search Categories
1. Web Search
2. Blog Search
3. Files Download
4. Ebooks / PDF Download
5. Images Search
6. Jobs Search
7. Music Search
8. Lyrics Search
9. Social Bookmarking Search
10 Videos Search

Web Search

When I conduct a web search on something like Starbucks, it returns "tabbed" results from various search engines. The pages look EXACTLY like the actual search engine page. What I like most about it is that it gathers information from multiple sites, but at the same time, it doesn't change the interface of the websites that we are familiar with.

An example of this would be searching for Starbucks in the books section within the Amazon tab. Under this tab, it IS the Amazon website page. So essentially it would be this page, a Starbucks search on Amazon filtered in the book category. In nowGoogle, I can browse through the amazon website by reading reviews or even going to related books all while still being on the nowGoogle site. The "tool bar" with all the other tabs are locked such that if I was reading the reviews on Amazon and then decide to switch to the B&N tab to see its' user reviews, when I switch back to the Amazon tab, I'll still be on that page. This is a nice feature that saves me from clicking back and forth too many times

toolbar.jpg

The search engines it compiles include:

  • Google
  • Yahoo!
  • Bing
  • Ask

Some less "popular" ones like

  • AllTheWeb
  • AOL

Broad base Entertainment Search Engine

  • Lycos

News Search

  • AltaVista

But also meta search engines like

  • Dogpile
  • Clusty

Blog Search

If I switch the option to a blog search, it will look at different sites.

It'll instead look at

  • Technorati
  • Google
  • Blogs
  • Blog Catalog
  • Twingly
  • Blogged
  • Ice Rocket
  • Ask

Books

The Books search looks at

  • Amazon
  • Alibris
  • BooksaMillion
  • Barnes and Noble
  • Buy.com
  • Google

Other Categories

This is the case for each of the other categories as well: the developer really put thought into what would be the best search site for each category and built this platform accordingly.

Special Syntax

nowGoogle enables special queries: and, OR, -, site:, inlink:, inurl:, are just some special query terms that work. This means the search experience is similar to what it might be on each individual sites. But if the query syntax is not enabled on the site itself, it will not work. This is because it doesn't actually conduct the search itself, it merely gathers the search results the other engines conduct.

Impressions

I am actually very impressed with the idea behind unified meta-search engine sites. I did not know about them until this class when we learned about Soovle, Search.IO, Joongel, and Zuula.

Comparisons to these meta-search engines

  • Soovle - Only has web search, it separate searches for Google, Yahoo, Ask, Wikipedia, Amazon, Answers.com, YouTube
  • Search.IO - Separate searches for 8-10 sites in each category; Separate tabs for Audio, Blogs, Books, CSS Galleries, Fonts, Images, Jobs, Lyrics, News, People, Recipes, Search Engines, Social Bookmarks, Stock Photos, Torrents, Tutorials, Videos, Web 2.0 Sites
  • Joongel - Integrates the "10 leading Websites" in each category; Separate tabs for General Search, Images, Music, Videos, Shopping, Social, Q&A, Health, Torrents, Gossip
  • Zuula - tracks recent searches; Separate searches for Google, Yahoo, Bing, Gigablast, Exalead, Alexa, Entireweb, Mahalo, Mojeek (for the Web; others for the other categories); Separate tabs for Web, Images, Video, News, Blog, Jobs

nowGoogle is very similar to the later three of the above. Its categories are slightly different but many of the usage functions are the same. Its interface is very similar to Seach.io. Due to the fact that these meta-search engines merely collect sites, I guess the only thing that separates them from each other is the categories they use and the sites they search from. However, since engines like Search.io and nowGoogle both only vary slightly, I personally wouldn't care which one I use. I would pick the one with the better looking interface, which in this case, would be Search.io.

Conclusion

This is a very sweet tool (especially useful for BIT330 students conducting "web search" experiments. From this year's web search experiment results, we came to the conclusion that using multiple search engines would be more effective in finding information. nowGoogle does that for its users by putting the best search engines for multiple categories together in one unified interface. It does not differentiate it self from other prominent unified meta-search engines out there aside from minor variations such as different categories and the sites it chose to search. Perhaps that is why it attempted to use "Google" in its name to generate attention. Either way, it is functional in its category, but does not stand out.

Site Statistics

According to Alexa, 60% of hits come from Indonesia, the guy or gal who developed it must be from that site. It is getting a decent about of recognition, it was on AltSearchEngines and it gets 9,810 hits on Google while Searchio gets 149,000 hits, Joongel gets 48,200, and Zuula 209,000.

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