1. Computing

Snap - A New Kind of Search Engine

Search the Web with Snap

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Snap.com

Note: Snap is no longer in business as a search engine. Try The Ultimate Search Engine List to find a search engine that might work for you.

What is Snap?

Snap is a new kind of search engine; it not only goes out and retrieves results for you, but the more people use it, the smarter it gets. From the Snap About Us page:

"Instead of just relying on computer algorithms to rank search results, Snap also uses click-stream information from a network of one million Internet users. By recording and processing which Web sites users spend time on, and which sites they quickly leave, Snap improves the likelihood that the search results you get will be the results you're really looking for."

How To Search With Snap

Searching with Snap is a (you knew this was coming) snap. Just navigate to the Snap home page and type in a search query.

The home page is a bit different looking than most search engines. Snap displays the most popular searches, with the search count, underneath the main search bar, as well as news results. As you type in your search, let's say xbox, you'll notice that those Popular Search results change instantly to relate to your search. For example, my popular searches now are xbox 360, xbox cheats, xbox games, etc. The news results change as well, reflecting news search results that are in some way related to my original query.

Snap Search Options

Snap has tabbed search options on the top of the search bar; these are Web, Classic, Shopping, News, and Jobs. I'll go through these one by one with my guinea pig search term of "xbox."

Snap Web, Snap Classic

Snap Web and Snap Classic are inter-related; basically, it's just two different ways of viewing the same data. Snap Web view grabs the main page related to your query - in my case it's the Xbox home page- and displays it as a preview on the right hand side of the search results, with text results on the left. You can toggle to the next result or view the site itself by using the navigation buttons on the top of this window.

Snap Classic was my preferred view. The search results are on the right hand side, with small preview thumbnails of each page. To the left were those Popular Searches again - reminiscent of clustering, always a feature I appreciate in search engines, since most of the time these searches are better than what I come up with.

Snap Shopping

Snap's shopping feature is powered by Smarter.com. However, I was really, really surprised that nothing came up shopping-wise for my search query of xBox, not even xBox 360. The only results that came back were sponsored results (ads). A more generic search for socks returned better results. A highly coveted (and highly popular) item such as the xBox should've brought back a ton of targeted results - this is something that Snap, still in beta at the time of this writing, needs to work on.

Snap News

I like the look of Snap News - in fact, I liked the overall design and look of this entire site. Snap News brings back news that feature whatever your search query is, with a preview pane to the right. There are tabbed categories within the News search results that you can use to narrow down your results; these include Top Stories, World, US, Business, and more.

Snap Jobs

Snap's Job search is powered by SimplyHired, an excellent job search engine, and the results are presented in much the same way as Snap News. You can create job alerts within Snap, as well as search within job titles, by date posted, by company,by city, by distance, etc.

Why Should I Use Snap?

While I wasn't completely bowled over by Snap, I found it to be a good, solid search engine that delivered relatively good results. I really liked that Snap displayed the most popular searches for whatever term I typed in - this was a very handy feature. Right now, Snap is still in beta, and I'll be watching to see what kind of features and improvements they roll out next.

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