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Trends in Search Engines

While Google continues to dominate the search engine scene—with an almost embarrassing percentage of users—savvy searchers will want to know about some other search tools and trends. The three speakers in the Monday morning Track A session discussed some search engines that attempt to solve the problems of search relevancy, tap into the “Deep Web,” and offer new search interfaces and real-time search options.

They identified 5 major search trends and then reviewed recommended examples of each:

  • Human Powered Search – including Real Time Search
  • Semantic Search (such as Bing, Wolfram Alpha, and Cognition)
  • Federated Search (sites such as Scirus, and those from Deep Web Technology—mednar, biznar, etc.)
  • Vertical Search (domain-specific search)
  • Visualization

For human-powered search they mentioned directories, catalogs, and social media tagging. Two examples that are fairly well known in academic and scholarly circles are OIAster (, a union catalog of digital resources that was created by librarians for researchers, which is now part of OCLC WorldCat, and CiteULike (, a free service to help individuals store, organize and share scholarly papers. Real-time search engines tap the power of the social web from Twitter and others sites—Google, Bing, and Yahoo! are now including these in results.

But I was most interested in hearing of a site called yauba (, an Indian search engine that calls itself “The World’s First Privacy Safe, Real-Time Search Engine.” I’ll have to give this one a try. It offers three levels of privacy protection:

  • It uses no cookies.
  • It does not store any of the user’s search details.
  • It allows a user to visit third-party sites with the same level of privacy protection.

The market for visualization engines has been fluid—we’ve seen a number come and go (many of us were sorry to see Grokker go away). But the technology offers a lot of promise for sifting through masses of results. Here is the list of visualization search engines identified by Lynda Citro, if you’d like to do some exploring.

Paula J. Hane
News Bureau Chief, Information Today, Inc.
Editor, NewsBreaks

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