Searching online goes beyond using Google, Yahoo or Alta Vista to run a search for web sites and web pages. Although Internet users have been visiting search engines and directories for years in an attempt to find useful information online, a few creative programmers have started coming up with some unique ways to make searching more effective, or at least more fun.
This collection of "Cool Search Tools" serves to help you find new ways to make searching more effective, and to find a few ways to have a little bit of fun. The tools range from recipe finders to Internet Archives to tools that let you see what the search engines gossip about. Each listing provides a brief overview of the product as well as link to a full guide review.
If you've ever sat around wondering what to cook for dinner without having to make a trip to the grocery store, this is the site for you. This recipe search interface is programmed to search five of the most popular online recipe sites for recipes based on the ingredients that you enter into the search feature.
We've all had arguments at some point in our lives about one idea being better than another. If the Internet is any indication of popularity, the Google Fight tool stands to solve these battles for all time. Ever wonder if God gets talked about more than Satan (he does) or if the Internet thinks Saddam Hussein is alive or dead? (it's nearly a tie) Here's your chance to find out once and for all.
Ever wonder what was on the front page of About.com four years ago? The Internet Archive's Wayback Machine is an online research tool designed to create a searchable archive of the entire Internet. Displaying what web sites looked like back to 1996, this tool is a useful way to find out how your favorite sites have progressed over time. Ever want to see the slow progression from directory to portal site that Yahoo went through? Take a look.
This tool isn't so much a search tool as it is a URL tool, but since search results from sites like Amazon.com and direction sites like MapQuest can be made manageable with it, I've decided to include it anyway. A free tool, the idea is to let users enter in the amazingly long URLs that dynamic web sites provide and in its place, receive a manageable "Tiny URL" that can be sent to others via email without worry of the link breaking.
As with the Google Fight tool, the Googlism tool allows you to settle the score on what web sites think about you, your friends, or your favorite topics. Users simply enter a name, concept, or search phrase and this handy tool spits out a list of quotes about that topic that Google has gathered from its index. The results are not always flattering (for instance, someone thinks "mariah carey is talentless) but they do reflect online public opinion.
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April 21, 2005
Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.
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