Category Archives: Search Engines

SearchMe Redesign

Update from TechCrunch: SearchMe May Go Offline Tomorrow (Updated: Offline Now) — “The company needs a new round of financing or a quick acquisition to stay online, but so far neither are happening…Bottom line, The site may go offline at least temporarily tomorrow if a buyer does not step in (Update: The site now redirects to Google)” — July 24, 2009

[I have edited this post to remove embedded content from SearchMe, but I am leaving the link and screenshot, and hoping that SearchMe will be back soon, one way or another! ]


SearchMe is a search engine known for its elegant visual display of search results. I have written about it here before [August 5, 2008] and I often include it in presentations — the visual display looks glorious projected on the big screen. I was a little concerned to hear they were doing a redesign, but it’s only taken me a couple of visits and a little fiddling around to feel comfortable on the new version.

The default results display is still a flowing series of page images, by default displayed as in a ribbon format [see screenshot below.]

SearchMe's Redesign
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SearchMe : Visual Search Results Display

SearchMe — This new search engine has one truly beautiful feature — the highly visual way that it presents search results. As you can see in these screenshots, search results are displayed as a stack of images which you can scroll through horizontally. You can click on the arrows to move through the search results one at a time, or the scrollbar to move through quickly.

This is the search engine equivalent of Cover Flow on the Apple iPod and iPhone, and for many visually-oriented people this is both a fun and functional display. The display of search results is an interesting and active area of development, with many contenders looking to improve on the utilitarian, text-based Google display. Search engines like Truveo and Cuil have taken a multiple-column, concise grid approach to getting more information on the results screen, and SearchMe is taking the opposite approach with this highly visual, three-dimensional display.

There are many interesting features here, including the ability to save and share your own “stacks” but you’ll learn more about trying it out yourself rather than reading about it. Be sure to try all types of searches, including Images and Video, and to explore some of the featured news links on the main page. I thought the current New York Times Bestsellers presented as a stack of Amazon pages was especially interesting.

Truveo : Search Engine for Video

I love YouTube, and have found some amazing things on there, but there’s whole world of video online beyond what you’ll ever find on YouTube. I used to use Google’s Video Search , but was never particularly impressed with the results. I knew there had to be something better…

And then I found Truveo, a video search engine that makes it easy to find all kinds of video content from around the web. A Truveo search on Puffins, for example, finds videos from professional media organizations like National Geographic, the BBC and NECN, as well as social sites like YouTube and Vimeo — the best of both worlds.

Truveo is a great reference resource, a way to find relevant video on all kinds of topics. For example, someone interested in information about the journalist Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point and Blink, might be very interested in the Malcolm Gladwell videos found in a quick Truveo search, which includes videos from sources as diverse as Business Week and Comedy Central’s Colbert Report, as well as podcasts from the New York and Pop!Tech, and speeches from Fora.tv.

It’s not just the quality of the search results that make Truveo so useful, it’s also the way those results are displayed in a concise, grid format, with lots of options for sorting and refining the search results. There are options along the top of every page that let you sort results by Most Relevant, Most Recent, Most Viewed This Month, Most Viewed of All Time, etc. If you scroll down below the main search results grid, you’ll find various featured content. This varies depending on your search. For example, for a search on origami, you’ll find featured channels (content providers) like MetaCafe and Revver, and a list of other channels, like HowCast. A search on the name of jazz trombonist Jack Teagarden also has facets for channels, but also tags like “ukelele” and “armstrong.”

Every set of search results also has two buttons, Feed and Snag. Feed is an RSS/XML feed of your search results, handy for putting into your feed reader, personalized Google page, etc. Snag is lets you create a nice blog widget of search results, which you can add to any blog or webpage. Here’s my snag widget for the Malcolm Gladwell search:

I highly recommend Truveo — I can’t imagine how I lived without it!

Links

Google’s Universal Search

Google made an interesting change two weeks ago, ranking and integrating web links, books, images, music and more all in a single search results page. Images and videos are displayed with thumbnails. I especially like the way results from Google Video and YouTube are displayed:

Clicking on the link or the thumbnail takes you to the video’s page on Google Video or YouTube, and clicking on the Watch Video link lets you watch it directly from the search results page.
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