Most people don't want or need hundreds of search engines, especially people who are internet beginners. Most users want a single search engine that delivers three key features:
With this criteria, 5 Reader Favorite Search Engines come to mind. These 5 search sites should meet 99% of the searching needs of a regular everyday user.
Below is a changing list of user favorites, compiled from a survey taken by over 700 internet beginners.
Google is the undisputed king of 'spartan searching'. While it doesn't offer all the shopping center features of Yahoo!, Google is fast, relevant, and the largest single catalogue of Web pages available today. Make sure you try the Google 'images', 'maps' and 'news' features... they are outstanding services for locating photos, geographic directions, and news headlines.
Yahoo! is several things: it is a search engine, a news aggregator, a shopping center, an emailbox, a travel directory, a horoscope and games center, and more. This 'web portal' breadth of choice makes this a very helpful site for Internet beginners. Searching the Web should also be about discovery and exploration, and Yahoo! delivers that in wholesale quantities.
Bing is Microsoft's attempt at unseating Google. Bing used to be MSN search until it was updated in summer of 2009. Touted as a 'decision engine', Bing tries to support your researching by offering suggestions in the leftmost column, while also giving you various search options across the top of the screen. Things like 'wiki' suggestions, 'visual search', and 'related searches' might be very useful to you. Bing is not dethroning Google in the near future, no. But Bing is definitely worth trying.
The Ask/AJ/Ask Jeeves search engine is a longtime name in the World Wide Web. The super-clean interface rivals the other major search engines, and the search options are as good as Google or Bing or DuckDuckGo. The results groupings are what really make Ask.com stand out. The presentation is arguably cleaner and easier to read than Google or Yahoo! or Bing, and the results groups seem to be more relevant. Decide for yourself if you agree... give Ask.com a whirl, and compare it to the other search engines you like.
Years ago, Dogpile was the fast and efficient choice before Google. Things changed, Dogpile faded into obscurity, and Google became king. But today, Dogpile is coming back, with a growing index and a clean and quick presentation that is testimony to its halcyon days. If you want to try a search tool with pleasant presentation and helpful crosslink results, definitely try Dogpile.
Zachary T. Brown