I have seen an increasing number of companies releasing new methods of search all with common goals. Many simply organize results or increase functionality of major search engines and many create custom filters used against major search engine results. Whatever the case, it is always about relevance and how results are shown. Three search engines that have caught my interest are Gridwell, Scandoo, and Zeedex. They are all fairly new, each having interesting functionality that improves the way we search. I’ll briefly go over each one (ordered alphabetically).

Gridwell for Interface Improvement:

Gridwell is a search engine designed to make for an easier search experience by improving the common interface that results are shown in search engines. Your basic search engine displays results under a search form with paginated links below for more results. Gridwell on the otherhand immediately displays results on the top and search form on the right so all results fit without needing to scroll. Gridwell also shows website favicon’s for each result, pre-fetches pages of results, and has made navigating results with less mouse movement. What I like the most is how favicon’s are used on the left of all results. I can easily spot my most trusted sources and, for example, find results from Wikipedia without reading any descriptive information. Definitely a helfpul feature.

Scandoo for Secure Searching:

Scandoo is a search engine that extends functionality of major search engines (includes Google, MSN, Yahoo!, and Ask.com) by displaying security icons on the side of all returned results. Using its unique system, it scans each result and warns you when a website may contain malicious viruses and spyware or when a site may have offensive material. When searching with Scandoo, everything remains the same to the interface of the search engine you picked, except this time it will display their icons on the left of a result so you can easily spot trustworthy results. There are multiple icons, each meaning something different, but the main one you want to look for are the checks because they are the safe results. You’ll want to avoid red x’s or bug icons for your computers sake and second think results with question marks. I first didn’t think much of Scandoo, but after using it, I realized that it really does help and actually makes searching faster, and of course safer.

Zeedex for Filtered Results:

Although the interface needs work, the concept is a good one. Zeedex helps searchers find what they want by supplying them with relevant keywords from lists in which they can use to filter results. For example, if I were to search, “computers,” Zeedex will return lists of related topics (such as processors and computer manufacturers) with descriptions and images that I can select to narrow down on what I am looking for. Now, you may be wondering, where do these lists come from? Zeedex works much like a wiki. When you signup, you can easily add any list with different elements to any search term. For example, I added a list of client side languages and server side languages for the keyword, “programming,” and the lists now return when someone searches programming or any item I have in the list. Other users can edit lists and anyone can view the history behind a list. Searchers can also flag lists if they aren’t relevant or are inappropriate. Of course, there are benefits of having a wiki-style system, but getting users to contribute and not abuse the system is quite a task. As I have said, Zeedex is good in concept, but I feel it needs work with the interface and lacks some basic search engine functionality.

Overall

All three search engines have unique and helpful features, but will they win users that are already accustom to search engines like Google and Yahoo? Honestly, they won’t win me. They all have some great functionality but it is hard leaving the search engine I use many times a day, Google. It is what I am used to what keeps me stuck with Google. If anything, Scandoo would win me over because it’s simply extending Google’s interface, even at times making me think it is in fact Google itself. How about you? Can any search engine, other then the one you are accustom to, win you over?

Lastly, please feel free to share if you know of any other search engines. It’s always interesting seeing what companies cook up. Huckabuck is one that I am aware of and need to take a better look at.


7 Comments on “Search with Gridwell, Scandoo, and Zeedex”

  1. Ken Rossi : CivilNetizen.com says:

    Check out this site formerly known as More Google. Google didn’t like the name so they had to change it. This is a useful app and puts a thumbnail next to your search results. http://lostgoggles.com/

  2. Brian Benzinger says:

    Thanks for sharing, Ken. Lost Goggle’s looks pretty neat, although I don’t really like how its a download and that it’s for IE only. I’ll take a look at it though. Thumbnails definitely are helpful when browsing search results.

  3. Ken Rossi : CivilNetizen.com says:

    Unfortunately, the main reason why I don’t use it anymore is because it is only for IE. I still think it is a very valid idea though.

  4. Russell Limprecht » Blog Archive » links for 2006-05-31 says:

    [...] Search with Gridwell, Scandoo, and Zeedex hree search engines that have caught my interest are Gridwell, Scandoo, and Zeedex. They are all fairly new, each having interesting functionality that improves the way we search. I’ll briefly go over each one (ordered alphabetically). (tags: search Gridwell Scandoo Zeedex) Posted by Russell Limprecht Filed in [...]

  5. Ellis Web » Items of Interest: 2006.05.30 says:

    [...] Solution Watch reviews some new Search Engines (Gridwell, Scandoo, Zeedex…I guess good domain names are really in short supply nowadays) [...]

  6. Steve George says:

    I’ve been looking for search engines and tools that help you visualise/analyse your results better. Ones I found were Grokker, The Brain, Kartoo, Quitura, Clusty and Dogpile.

    I wrote a post Visualising web search on what I found.

    Steve

  7. Balaji Dutt says:

    I’ve found SiteAdvisor (http://www.siteadvisor.com/) to be a more useful way of “safe searching”. It’s an extension for both IE and Firefox and doesn’t require you to stop using the regular Google/MSN search pages which scandoo seems to require.

    An interesting feature of SiteAdvisor is that while it does automated testing of sites, people can log in and leave comments about a site and if you identify yourself as the webmaster of that site, you can provide further information about your site.

    It should be noted that Site Advisor is owned by McAfee and that is either a good thing or a very bad thing depending on where you stand.