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A search engine you should try

Hakia.com – just read about it today on ZDNet. This site is worth a look!

They claim to be a semantic search site – I’m a little leery about semantic claims, which I’ve been listening to for about 20 years. But let’s not get into that…

From what I can see, they have created a sophisticated form of directory, like DMOZ, but much nicer – in addition to the normal search. If you look up “wine” or “recipe,” you’ll see what I mean. For this kind of “known” search, hakia brings back a tabbed result page – they call it a gallery. For example, “wine” yields:

  • Profile on wine
  • Wine varieties
  • Ratings and reviews
  • and more

Here’s something I really liked: I was looking for a recipe for acorn squash. Hakia really liked that search string: Great question. Wow, I never had a search engine compliment me before!

There’s much more here. It’s interesting to contrast this site with cuil.com, which was absolutely awful on launch, and will probably die as a result of severe over-hype and under-delivery. From the few minutes I’ve spent on the site, I can see this as a great search tool for the average user. It remains to be seen how good it is for deeper or more arcane searches. And I still use the USENET search on Google, so they’ve got me at least part time.

I participated in a short discussion on socialbrowse.com today about a blogger who said he found Yahoo to be better on some searches. This has also been my observation. Too many people have tricked Google – there are just too many intermediate search sites and patent sites, and other garbage that come back. This has gotten steadily worse over the years.

So, the discussion ended up with a comment about Google’s dominance, and how hard it will be to change the “verb” Google. Hooey. If something definitively better than Google comes around, how long will it take you to switch? Anybody here still use VisiCalc?

Now, if I can only remember their name…

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