Q. I do lots of searching for information on the Web—not just for my professional work, but also to help my kids with their homework. What’s a really good all-around search engine?
A. Up to now the one I used most was Google. It’s received loads of accolades from the technology press, and Yahoo and Netscape even use it to augment their search services. It’s fast and very thorough. But I may switch—or at least expand—my list of favorites. Recently, a new search engine has come along that one-ups Google.
The new one, iLOR ( www.ilor.com ), uses Google as its search engine and then adds some very user-friendly extras. When you begin a search with iLOR, the opening screen looks just like Google’s. But when your mouse passes over one of the suggested search results, a small box appears offering you several options. For example, I entered my name in the search box and clicked on Search . When my results appeared, I moused over to the second item on the page, triggering the options box (see below).
The first option, put in my list , triggers a second box that keeps track of links you’ve already selected and lets you e-mail a link to someone or add it to your Favorites list.
Another iLOR option— go now-anchor here —opens yet another window with a link to the original search results page so that, no matter how deeply you proceed with your search, you can get back to the search page with one click rather than having to tap, tap, tap on the Back button. A third iLOR option— open in taskbar —creates a separate search window for the highlighted item.
As you can see, it’s a very search-friendly tool.
To avoid being accused of search-engine bias, I’ll provide you with a few other really good search tools:
Altavista ( www.altavista.com ) lets you customize your search by date and geography. It also contains Babel Fish, which translates text into many different languages.
IxQuick ( www.ixquick.com ) hunts through 14 other search engines and then ranks the results by the number of times a find is listed.
Wisenut ( www.wisenut.com ) uses a technology similar to Google—albeit it’s a bit slower. But it adds a quality feature—ranking finds by the number of matched links. It also can search in multiple languages.