The Battle of The Search Engines

Search engines? 

You mean there are others besides google? Why yes, yes there are. Quite a few at that! Todays post a battle between the classic search engine Google against two newbies (at least in my world) Instagrok and Duck, Duck, GoEntering the identical search term “potato” I shall evaluate the three search engines, naming only one the winner of “The Battle of The Search Engines”.

First up: Duck, Duck, Go..

The interface simple with a search bar and the sites logo, a creepy cute duck just begging you to just begin your search!! The simplicity of the layout quite nice and inviting. Upon entering my search term “potato” the search layout was quite neat and basic presenting a box at the top of the page with the different meanings of  potato – “The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial Solanum tuberosum of the Solanaceae family”; as well as some relating or similar terms such as the definition of sweet potato and informing of Potato- a thai rock band. (Sounds interesting, may have to google “duck, duck, go” them later…) Underneath this, all the search results. However, upon clicking them, I did discover they were all rather basic results; leading me to believe that perhaps Duck Duck Go is more intended for a quick not too in depth search. (This potentially could have something to do with my search topic…) For instance the “I’m Feeling Ducky” function taking you straight to wikipedia, a site which any-one who has ever been to school knows is not always the mos reliable of sources, but perfectly adequate to find out some quick facts. I did also like how there was an option on the side entitled “search suggestions” with topics such as ‘history’ and ‘recipes’ to truly help you logically refine your search and gather the information you were after. One thing I did not like about this search engine was its inability to display images or videos related to the search term, rather taking you to the image searches on Google or Bing…. hmmmm. It does offer very low-spam  search results, which is always a plus.

Overall, Duck Duck Go was quite simple, easy to use, quick  and visually pleasing in terms of a search engine. While it has not won me over entirely it was fairly good earning itself a sold 6/10

Next Up: Instagrok

The initial interface of Instagrok has a lot more going visually as opposed to most other search engines. The page suggesting that the term “grok” is in fact a verb meaning “to understand thoroughly and intuitively”…. hmm is the epitome of a good search engine, the ability to use its name as a verb?? (I’m sensing a pattern here!) Just from the exterior it looks to be an educational type of search engine. I type in my search term “potato” and was presented with a box reading “groking..” as my search loaded; and well, lets just say this the Insta in Instagrok most definitely must not stand for instant!! When my search eventually pops up, wow, visual excitement that’s for sure. I found the graph feature to be quite interesting, a visual flowchart presenting the topic and all things connected to it in a very easy to comprehend way. I also liked the way the sidebar presented easy ways to navigate through key facts, images, videos, websites, books, quizzes and even a glossary. The thing with Instagrok, it only sources from ‘educational’ websites, which is not entirely a bad thing! The only question with that: what counts as educational?

Overall I quite liked the concept of Instagrok and the layout also. And although I will not be starting to use the verb “Grokking” I will probably end up using it for a few assignments in the future! Instagrok you have beat one competitor already, earning a solid 7.5/10

Finally, Google

I don’t think the process of how to search with Google needs much explaining at all, seeing as everyone who has ever used the internet ever has most probably encountered Google and used it with ease. Like each of the search engines before, I typed in “potato” into the search bar and am displayed with an instant a variety of search results are displayed clearly. A box on the right displaying a definition, whilst links to the left and at the top make it easy to navigate through other sources such as images and videos. Google just seems to have it all! Functionality, simplicity and diversity with its results.

Overall I still thoroughly enjoy Google as a search engine, an oldie but goldie that’s for sure!! It earning itself a good 8.5/10

So the overall consensus?? Whilst it was interesting trying out other search engines and will probably use the other two in the future also, for me Google is still the ultimate champion. It truly making searching the internet that much easier!! It shall definitely remain being my default search engine.

THE FINAL TALLY

1- GOOGLE 8.5/10

2- INSTAGROK 7.5/10

3- DUCK, DUCK, GO 6/10

Alert! Alert! Alert!

Just recently I have discovered a Google application called Google Alerts, what are Google Alerts? I hear you ask! Well  quite simply the are email updates of the latest relevant Google results based on any query you may have. Curious to see what results it may bring me, I set up a few different alerts, one on ‘ballet’, one on ‘shopping’, one on ‘north melbourne football club’ and another on ‘fashion’.

For the past week I have been receiving alerts on the latest google results surrounding my topics and today I decided it was about time to go through them! First up shopping, because lets be honest, when am I not in the mood for a bit of retail therapy, online or otherwise!! First post: “Burning Man Shopping: The Best Places To Buy Costumes”, which would have been perfect if I was looking for costumes and lived in San Francisco; second post Personality Quiz: ESCAPE OR DIE – ZOMBIE SHOPPING MALL. Now THAT sounds intriguing! A quiz that upon completion informs you wether you would survive or die if zombies were to invade the shopping mall! I know you are all dying to know whether I would in-fact survive! The sad verdict, no, I most certainly would not make it out of that mall alive!! Which means I will definitely have to undergo some serious training if I want any hope of survival when the Zombie Apocalypse does happen!!

The next alert I decided to check out was the “North Melbourne Football Club”, curious to know what they had to say about the last game my team played against Collingwood. A game I had attended on saturday night.  The alert lead me to  a page entitled: Preview: Collingwood v North Melbourne Melbourne Football Club. I found this article particularly interesting, posted before the game, it outlined key information about each of the clubs which would ultimately affect their game play, before making a final prediction: that Collingwood would win by 19 points. The article did not show a lot of hope for North who had lost the last four games to Collingwood by an average of 80.5 points!! The fact that we would be missing key midfielders such as Leigh Adams and Daniel Wells not exactly a great sign either. This combined with the return of some of Collingwood key players and following an 8-point win over Sydney who currently sit at the top of the ladder, all well and truly establishing North as the underdogs of the match. The best thing about finding out all these sats and prior predictions now after the game: it makes North Melbourne’s victory over Collingwood by 30 points that much sweeter!!!

“Andrew Swallow of the Kangaroos leads his team from the field after winning the round 21 AFL match between the Collingwood Magpies and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Etihad Stadium on August 18, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia.”
(August 17, 2012 – Source: Scott Barbour/Getty Images AsiaPac)