The Meta Search Engines: A Web Searcher's Best FriendsWritten by Daniel Bazac
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EmailPinoy [ www.emailpinoy.com ] Sends your query to 15 search engines. Don't use Kanoodle, ah_ha.com and GoClick pay-per-click search engines, because you'll get irrelevant results. For better results enclose phrases in quotation marks. This MSE is from Philippines. 1 SECOND [ 1second.com ] Searches a good selection of 14 major SEs and WDs, throws out duplicates and summarizes results in a neat listings page. Use Advanced Search if you want to customize search, especially timeout of search engines. My Prowler [ myprowler.com ] Searches over a dozen search engines, news, images, audio/MP3, music videos, auctions and various other sites. Compiles results, weeds out irrelevant matches and provides a summarized report. It accepts "natural language" query. Gimenei [ www.gimenei.com ] Use of "Advanced Search" option is strongly recommended. You can customize results page, including my favorite option, "All Results" in one page. This is a comprehensive and fast MSE based in Manhattan, New York. Dug Dugi [ www.dugdugi.com ] Queries major search engines, collates results, eliminates bad information and aggregates results in an ultra-clean layout. For each match you'll get search engine and ranking of page. Search 66 [ search66.com ] Groups together pages from same domain. Beautiful. To avoid SEs timeouts, select "Speed": "Comprehensive". Obviously, you'll get more results from this excellent Australian MSE. Besides very good MSEs listed above, there are also some others that are worth a try: Internav [ internav.com ], NetXplorer [ www.netxplorer.de ] (Germany), Aaise [ www.aaise.com/meta ], Metengine [ www.metengine.com ] (Antigua), One2Seek [ www.one2seek.com ], Ithaki [ www.ithaki.net ], Fossick [ www.fossick.com/Search.htm ] (Australia), Pandia [ www.pandia.com/powersearch/index.html ] (Norway), meta EUREKA [ www.metaeureka.com ] (Netherlands), Widow [ www.widow.com ], VROOSH! [ www.vroosh.com ] (Canada), Meta 360 [ meta360.com ], 7 Meta Search [ 7metasearch.com ], Metor [ www.metor.com ] (Germany) and Ixquick [ www.ixquick.com ]. The following is a list of some unimpressive meta search engines. These MSEs do not provide breadth of coverage offered by sites recommended above. Each of these has its own flawed characteristics, but generally they are old and have not kept up with latest capabilities or they suffer from too many functional problems.
Metacrawler [ www.metacrawler.com ], Dogpile [ www.dogpile.com ], C4 (formerly Cyber 411) [ www.c4.com ], Mamma [ www.mamma.com ] (Canada), Pro Fusion [ www.profusion.com ], moonmist [ www.moonmist.info ] (UK), Bytedog [ www.bytedog.com ] (Canada), il motore [ www.ilmotore.com ] (Italy), METASEEK.NL [ www.metaseek.nl ] (Netherlands) and ApocalX [ search.apocalx.com ] (France). 2. Pseudo MSEs Type I The type I Pseudo MSE sends query to search engines, and then presents results grouped by search engine in one long, easy to read scrollable list. Be careful. Based on how many SEs you select, waiting time can be very long. Some people might find these MSEs useful, however. The best MSEs in this category are: Mall Agent [ www.mallagent.com/web.html ], which provides results from 38 SEs and WDs, qb Search [ www.qbsearch.com/ ] (from 17), Better Brain [ www.betterbrain.com/ ] (12), My Net Crawler [ www.mynetcrawler.com/ ] (12), NBCi [ nbci.msnbc.com ] (11), Planet Search (Sherlock Hound) [ www.planetsearch.com/ ] (10), Rede Search [ www.redesearch.com/ ] (8), 1 BLINK [ www.1blink.com/ ] (7), Search Wiz [ www.searchwiz.com ] (6) and Search Fido [ www.searchfido.com ] from 4 SEs and WDs. 3) Pseudo MSEs Type II There are two types of Type II Pseudo MSEs: a) You type your query one time and then select search engines. One browser window will open for each SE selected. The best are: Multi-Search-Engine.com [www.multi-search-engine.com] which opens 36 windows, GoGettem [ www.gogettem.com ] (30), Search Bridge [ www.searchbridge.com ] (24), The Info [ www.theinfo.com ] (15) and Net Depot [ www.netdepot.org ] (15). b) You choose SE, type query in SE' form and a new window will open. Every search engine has its own query form. Many users will find these window-opening MSEs annoying. The best of this type are: Alpha Seek [ www.alfaseek.com ], Westlaser [ www.westlaser.com/ ], Dan's No Overhead Search Thingy [ www.danielc.com hingy.html ], Express Find [ www.expressfind.com ] and Freeality [ www.freeality.com/meta.htm ] .
4) Search Utilities (also called Desktop Search Applications) These are downloadable meta search tools that search multiple search engines. Results are collated and ranked for relevancy with redundancies removed. They are not free but most of them have a free trial version available. The price? A few dozen dollars. The most popular are: BullsEye [ www.intelliseek.com/ ], Copernic [ www.copernic.com/ ], LexiBot (formerly know as Mata Hari) [ lexibot.com ], WebFerret [ www.zdnet.com/ferret/index.html ] and WolfBot [ www.wolfbot.com/ ].
Conclusions: Now, you might ask yourself: If MSEs are so good, do we still need search engines? Well, it depends. I use a search engine - yup, Google - when I search for general information. I use a meta search engine when I'm looking for a unique or obscure search term or if I want to make an in-depth analysis of what's out there on a specific subject. My suggestion is to find some time and give a test drive to MSEs; you might fall in love with these lesser-known search tools. And next time you use your search engine of choice, remember that there are search tools that can provide you many more relevant results. Good luck with your searches!
Daniel Bazac is Search Engine Marketer for Web Design in New York, a site design, Search Engine Optimization and promotion company ( http://www.web-design-in-new-york.com ). He's been online since 1995 and he's also an Internet Information Researcher. He can be reached at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Do You Know What Your Customers Think About You?Written by Andrew Lanciani
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If you have an opt-in email list of your customers or subscribers, then you are sitting on a goldmine. With such a list, you can efficiently survey your customers, providing you with valuable feedback and potential for making more money.
To survey via email, simply include surveys in an email to your list. Your response rates will be higher if your list is fresh and you have interacted frequently with list members.
2.Place a pop-up survey on your site.
If you are interested in opinions of customers and prospects visiting your site, you can utilize pop-up surveys to intercept people with a survey as they enter or leave specific pages on your site.
If you use pop-up surveys, it is usually better to intercept visitors once they leave a particular page, as opposed to when they first enter a page. This method allows a visitor to view page of interest first before being interrupted. In addition, you should activate window once per unique visitor. This will ensure that your customers are not annoyed by having to deal with more than one survey invitation.
Pop-up surveys yield relatively high response rates. Depending on demographics of your visitors and content on your site, pop-up surveys typically yield response rates between 10 and 40%.
3.Place a survey link or button on your site.
This option is less intrusive than pop-up surveys and will likely yield much lower response rates. If you use this method, place your link prominently on your site where people will see it.
In conclusion, surveys are a powerful means of gathering valuable information from your customers. You may be surprised to learn how many will tell you what they really think about you. Ask some questions and find out what your customers truly want. The information you gain could be exactly what you need to take your offering to next level.
Andrew Lanciani, an experienced marketing researcher, is president of Insiteful Surveys, an online survey company that enables individuals and businesses to quickly, easily, and inexpensively create their own online surveys, and collect valuable data. To open a free account, visit http://www.insitefulsurveys.com?fec