NOTE: PreviewSeek is no longer in business as a search engine. For more information on search engines you can use, I invite you to read The Best Search Engines on the Web.
What is PreviewSeek?PreviewSeek is a good general search engine, still in beta at the time of this writing, that bills itself as the "world's most advanced search engine." I tend to be turned off by that kind of lofty sales language, since that's a bit of a hard title to live up to.
PreviewSeek is a pretty solid search engine that offers quite a few search usability features, such as search clustering, Web site previews, and search refinements; however, all of these features have been already done in the search world - and I would venture to say that they've been done better. That being said, PreviewSeek is still in beta and I think it's got a lot of potential - that is, if it works out the issues I'll go through in this article.
PreviewSeek SearchUsing PreviewSeek is easy; just navigate to the main PreviewSeek home page and start querying away. My search for Windows brought back some good results with some interesting search features, which I'll go through one by one here.
PreviewSeek Search Discernment - Needs Some Serious WorkThe first thing I noticed on my search results page was a green box stating that "PreviewSeek also knows this about Windows" - because the term "Windows" can mean quite a few different things. This green box held a ton of information all about Microsoft Windows, directing me to more resources that I could use to learn about Microsoft Windows, if I chose to do so.
This feature is a good one, however, the information sounded familiar to me for some reason. The reason it sounded familiar to me, unfortunately, was because I had just seen the exact same Microsoft Windows information at Wikipedia. The same information that PreviewSeek is using in this search discernment feature, word for word, is available on the Wikipedia Windows page. I found it astonishing that there not only is no crediting text stating that this information is from Wikipedia, but that the links within the text, originally pointing to Wikipedia entries, point to PreviewSeek related searches. This is not a good way to get that title of "world's most advanced search engine." And it's not only for Microsoft Windows:
- PreviewSeek's entry for boot vs. Wikipedia's entry for boot
- PreviewSeek's entry for pancake vs. Wikipedia's entry for pancake
- PreviewSeek's entry for web vs. Wikipedia's entry for Web
PreviewSeek Search FeaturesPreviewSeek does offer some search features that I enjoy from other search engines - their search clustering (also found in Clusty) is something that I wish ALL search engines had, and their Web site preview (also found in Search.com and ZapMeta among others).
PreviewSeek also offers an image, MP3, Dictionary, and Video search, but right now none of these will pull up too many results and they're definitely in need of some serious family filters. PreviewSeek also has a pretty good Advanced Search page that searchers can use to narrow results.
Why Should I Use PreviewSeek?Honestly, I was very perturbed that PreviewSeek basically is pirating material from Wikipedia and using it as a search feature. While PreviewSeek delivers moderately good results and offers other good search features such as clustering and search previews, I can't agree with the motto of "world's most advanced search engine." Any search engine that wants to seriously stand behind the following statement (found on PreviewSeek's About Us page):
"While we have a lot of respect for Google's engineers and resources, we believe--and we hope you will agree-- that Previewseek is significantly better than Google and other traditional search engines in at least 5 ways.."
had better get it's proverbial stuff together.