The Top 4 Meta Search Engines: Mamma, IxQuick, Ithaki and iBoogie
written by: Anurag Ghosh•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 9/20/2011
Searching for a good metasearch engine to get comprehensive search results? Well, here are some of the best multi-search engines that give relevant search results by retrieving user requests from various databases, newsgroups, blogs and deep web search engines.
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Google, Yahoo and Bing are some of the best search engines we are familiar with today. However, users want comprehensive search results that only metasearch engines can provide. These multi search engine sites access several search engines, combine the results retrieved from them and display them as a single list on their results pages. Besides providing complete search results, the best meta search engine sites searches and retrieves multiple data from various newsgroups, deep web search engines and other databases in real time, categorizes them and displays them in a single list.
The one big feature that makes or breaks the integrity of a metasearch engine is the quality of the search result. Because these engines hunt various sources to retrieve and display user requests, one can expect the best results. But, if they fail to perform, one gets irrelevant, poor results. Hence it is very important to access a credible meta search engine, and not the ones that just list a few major search engines separately. Here are some of the best, no-nonsense metasearch engines that provide superior service and comprehensive search results:
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Billed as the “World’s Most Private Meta Search Engine" IxQuick lets you anonymously search for images, phone numbers, websites and videos. This metasearch engine has a simple and easy-to-use interface and it returns relevant search results. It searches for a list of the best and unique “top 10" pages from different search engines and displays the results in a comprehensive manner. My web search results for “Mistletoe" displayed 39 unique top 10 pages from over 900,000 search results, which was quite impressive as I quickly found out the required information.
IxQuick also has an Advanced Search option that lets users quicken their keyword searches and a unique “my settings" option at the bottom of the page that allows users to change font, language and keep family filter On or Off for images and videos.
The one thing that I liked the most about the site is its free phone search. One can easily search or reverse phone number search by typing in the name of the person or phone number. You can easily do a reverse phone lookup by selecting the country of the choice, and typing in the phone number.
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Mamma Search Engine
Launched in 1996, Mamma was one of the Internet’s first tier 2 metasearch engines. With a simple user-interface, Mamma allows users to search images, news, twitter and jobs besides web search.
The search results are quite relevant and deep when compared to other search engines. However, it may be difficult for users to distinguish between the sponsored results and other results, the main reason being the use of similar font color and style. For example, my web search results for “cheese" returned a mix of sponsored and non-sponsored results. If only they could have a separate section for sponsored results, the site could have been as good as IxQuick. But, full marks to Mamma due to its less clutter, quick response and simple user interface.
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This is the best Meta search engine when it comes to performing real-time clustering of search results. On the left side you will see a list of categories that are relevant to your search term. My own web search results for "bottlenose dolphin" returned a decent list of categories including “Facts about Bottlenose", “Names Bottlenose" and “Species of Dolphins" among others. Clicking on the ~ez_ldquo+ez_rdquo~ sign of each category returned more results. For instance, the "Facts about Bottlenose" category had two additional categories, fun facts and fact sheet, and clicking on any of them returned more results in the SERPs.
The real-time clustering of results can be of immense use for researchers, students and teachers, thanks to Clusterizer, a clustering engine developed by CyberTavern, the owners of iBoogie.
Another great aspect of this Meta search engine is that it allows users to add tabs of their choice from a multitude of options. iBoogie has a variety of tabs categorized under Blogs, News, Food, Government, Military and Technology. So, if you want real-time results from the blogosphere, just check the Technorati or Xanga Blogs search tab. Or if you want to know all about medical terms, check Healthline.com tab and click the add tab button to get it enlisted at the top of the main search results pages. When you want to search about a medical term, click on the newly-added custom tab and start getting relevant results from the website.
iBoogie perfectly fits the “comprehensive meta search engine" description. Users can not only search about images and videos, but can also seek advantage of their deep web feature to access search results from a variety of databases.
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Users looking for “global" metasearch engines can look forward to add Ithaki amongst other comprehensive meta search engines. It has over 30 categories of search, grouped into country-specific searches, image, webcam, MIDI and web radios. There is also a “Just for Kids" category that limits users to search kid-related content. What’s more, people can also search for music-specific sites by selecting Mp3 from the drop-down list.
The best part of this multi-search engine is that it sends user requests to local search engines and retrieves results quickly. If a person from India wants the search results from his country only, then he has to select India from the dropdown list and begin his/her search. Another great feature of this meta search engine is that it does not mix the sponsored ads with other results. The search results are quick, the interface is simple and easy-to-use, making this one of the best and the most comprehensive multi-search engines.