1. Computing

ZapMeta, a Meta Search Engine

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ZapMeta

What is ZapMeta?

ZapMeta is a meta search engine; which means that the user can search listings from multiple search engines all in one place. ZapMeta gets its' search results from AOL Search, Google, Yahoo, Ask.com, Wisenut, and Yahoo Web. ZapMeta also retrieves directory results from the Open Directory, and shopping listings powered by PriceGrabber.

ZapMeta Home Page

The ZapMeta home page is simple and uncluttered. The ZapMeta search bar is squarely in the middle, with tabbed options for Web and Shopping. Directly under the search bar is the option to set preferences, or do an advanced Web search. You can also check out ZapMeta's Boolean and Field Searching helps, or meta search engine FAQ.

ZapMeta Meta Search

ZapMeta's search is easy. I typed in flipflops and here's what I got:
  • Sponsored results predictably at the top of the search results page.
  • Results Snapshot option: The default for the Results Snapshot is to be "off", but you'll want to turn this on - and ZapMeta will then load thumbnail-sized snapshots of each Web search result.
  • Quick View option:Most of the search results returned had the text "Quick View", which is kind of like the Results Snapshot option, but even better. What this does is open up a screen within your screen of whatever search result you've clicked on - it's a super preview. You can decide quickly whether or not that the site you're looking at is what you want, without leaving the search results page.
  • Search results sorting options: At the top of your search results, you are given the option to sort your results by relevance, popularity, title, source, or domain.
  • Alexa and Internet Archive: To the immediate left of the search results Web page titles are three little page icons. The first one leads you to the actual Web page. The second icon with a yellow circle brings you to Alexa's data for that search result. The third little page icon (it has a tenny tiny little blue "i" on it) leads you to a hard-link of Internet Archive's repository for that web site.

ZapMeta Meta Search Options

It's a bit tricky to get into the various search spheres that ZapMeta offers, but here they are:

ZapMeta Advanced Web Search

Searchers have quite a few options with ZapMeta Advanced Search, including word inclusion or exclusion, domain filter, relevance, limit sources, and even a timeout option. ZapMeta Search Preferences gives searchers the choice to group their results, page open display, sources, etc.

Reasons to Use Meta Search Engine ZapMeta.com

ZapMeta is a good meta search resource. I found it delivered fast, relevant results, and the search features (results snapshot and Quick View) made it visually pleasing and fun to use.

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