1. Computing

The Top Ten Alternative Search Engines

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Looking for a new search engine? There are literally hundreds of really great niche search engines on the Internet that focus on specific topics: images, jobs, blogs, etc. You can find all sorts of great stuff using these alternative search engines that you might not be able to find on the more well-known search engines; plus, many of these niche search engines have really interesting features that are fun to play with. Here are my picks for the top ten alternative/niche search engines out there on the Web.

1. Blinkx

Blinkx TV is a search engine that helps you find audio, video, and podcasts using not only keywords and phrases, but also content in the actual clips that you're looking for. For example, if you wanted to find Kermit the Frog's "It's Not Easy Being Green", you could type in "having to spend each day the color of the leaves", and Blinkx would be able to fetch what you're looking for using not only your content, but the concept behind your content - the spoken word (or in this case, the lyrics).

2. IMDB

The Internet Movie Database is the biggest movie database on the Web. Featuring top movies, movie news, movie reviews, movie trailers, movie showtimes, DVD movie reviews,celebrity profiles,etc., the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) truly is a mammoth depository of movie information.

3. AuctionMapper

AuctionMapper is an extremely cool search engine that focuses only on eBay listings. Sure, eBay has it's own site search; but AuctionMapper takes that site search and goes a few steps further. There's all sorts of geeky (yet useful) fun to be had with AuctionMapper; the whole site is full of maps, animated fun things that fly around, and Star Trekky sounds. AuctionMapper is just a really well-done search engine that is not only fun to play with, but also actually useful.

4. USA.gov

USA.gov, formerly known as FirstGov.gov, is an absolutely mammoth search engine/portal that gives the searcher direct access to searchable information from the United States government, state governments, and local governments.

5. Healthline

Healthline.com is a medical information search engine. Healthline is solely dedicated to finding medical information online, and it offers medically filtered results developed by trained medical personnel. It's really an excellent tool for finding all kinds of medical information.

6. BrainBoost

BrainBoost is an automated question-answering search engine. Here's how it works: you type in a question, any question, and instead of merely matching your search query in page text and titles like other search engines, BrainBoost actually goes the next logical step and sorts through the search results for you, then extracts the answer to your question.

7. National Geographic's Map Search Engine

National Geographic's Map Machine is a gigantic collection of all the National Geographic maps in a searchable online database. There is so much to the Map Machine that it's best to look at it piece by piece. Start with the Map Machine categories to get a big picture view of all that National Geographic map search has to offer. There's a lot here, and it's all searchable: world maps, satellite maps of Mars, Globe Explorer aerial imagery, and much, much more.

8. Technorati

Technorati is a real-time search engine dedicated to the blogosphere. It only searches through blogs to find exactly what you're looking for. At the time of this writing, Technorati was tracking over 22 million sites and over a billion links, a mind-boggling amount.

9. Clusty

Clusty is a meta search engine, meaning it combines results from a variety of different sources. However, Clusty adds a bit of extra search engine goodness in the mix by giving you clustered results. Basically, Clusty uses clusters to help your search become better, helping you cast your net wider, and sometimes coming up with search queries that you might not have thought of without the clustering feature.

10. Dogpile

Dogpile is a meta search engine, meaning that it gets results from multiple search engines and directories and then presents them combined to the user. Dogpile currently gets its results from Google, Yahoo, MSN Search, Ask , About, MIVA, LookSmart, and more.

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