Specialized Search Engines

Everyone knows about the most common search engines such as Yahoo, Google, AltaVista and Dogpile.  These are considered generalized search mechanisms.  They gather all kinds of content from the internet and reference said content using keywords.

But – there are literally thousands of search engines available to web users that specialize in topical content.  It would be impossible to list all of these search engines, especially as new ones are added on a daily basis, but let’s review a handful:

  • Entertainment Searches.  You can use Media Channel to find Internet Television and Video sites.  Find that YouTube video you’ve always wanted to watch or the latest internet television schedules.
  • Financial Searches.  Find out more information about publicly traded stock quotes and company financials from EdgarOnline.  Keep up to date on which companies are making money and which companies are being sold.
  • Yellow Pages and White Pages searches.  Search for that long lost high school friend or look up the numbers of pizza restaurants, sites such as SuperPages.
  • Shopping pages are sometimes the most often used specialized custom search engines.  One such site is DealTime.
  • Do you ever wonder what your local congressman or senator says about pending legislation or hot political issues?  You can use the Politics Web Directory to find
  • Library News Searches.  Find information about multiple topics including Education, Law and the Arts at WWW Virtual Library.   This is a great way to find information for that term paper due next week!
  • Children’s search engines.  These are some of the most popular search options for families with smaller children.  Yahooligan is one such engine that filters inappropriate content from little eyes.
  • Want to find out which team won last night or what the point spread is for the game tonight?  The Sporting News site can provide you with the information you are looking for.

In addition to these customized searches, you can actually create your own.  Sites like Google Coop or Eurekster Swicki allow you to create your own specialized search engine.  In the instance of Eurekster Swicki, you can actually search pre-built search attributers or in both cases, you can create your own search attributes and insert into your blog, personal website, or company site to allow your users to find information related to your topics or line of business.

For example if you have a business site devoted to the care and maintenance of dogs, creating a search engine that specifically looks for canine-related information and placing it on your site will give your users more specialized information.  They won’t have to wade through non-relevant material to get to the grooming products or dog breed information that they are looking for.

If you don’t have a site that you wish to put your search engine, yet you wish to showcase your pictures, recipes, services or personals, you can use the new Beta version of Google Base.

The bottom line is that multiple search engines exist.  If you know you are looking for something special or information about a specific topic, using one of the topical search engines might be better than using a generalized search engine.

For businesses, these types of specialized search engines can be extremely beneficial for businesses.  You can reach your specific target market or provide targeted content to your customers.  The one drawback is that many internet searchers continue to use generalized search engines as their favorite search tool, so don’t forget to list your site with generalized search engines as well.  By listing with all applicable search engines, a business can cover all the possible search results no matter the user’s preference.

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