Search Engines – Dogpile

Some people are loyal to a given search engine. They must use Yahoo, or they must use Google. There’s so many out there and we all use it daily. But do we really give much thought about what makes one search engine better than another?

THE HOTEL BOOKING DILEMMA
Anyone who’s ever tried to book an airline flight, hotel stay or rental car online knows that there are dozens of sites available to book through. And, of course, each one promises the best deal. Site A may have the best prices on certain chain hotels, Site B may have the better price on other hotels, Site C may not get you the best rate on a hotel but can beat competitors for rental cars. But unless you’re willing to do hours of research and comparison shopping, you may never know whether your “great deal” vacation saved you much money or not.
Search engines operate the same way. You go to yahoo, search for something, and back come the results. They look good, they’re all relevant to what you need. But what if you did that same search in Google? Chances are, you’d find even more returned results that would be of use to you. You can see where this is going. The search engines are just like the vacation sites. Unless you search everywhere, you may think you found the perfect results for your use, but there may be something better out there.

THE SOLUTION IS FOUNDED
Aaron Flin knew there just had to be a better way to do this and in 1995 he created Dogpile. There’s no need to explain to you what Dogpile is, it’s a search engine. But what makes it unique is that it compiles results from Yahoo, Google and other popular search engines and gives you the ability to not just guess that you have the best results, but to actually know that you have them all, because Dogpile’s looked for you. It’s called Metasearch technology.

WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL
When you look at the first page of returned results of a search on Dogpile, you are getting the most relevant results, across a broad assortment of engines, all listed in order of importance and relevance to your search. And you did it all with one search instead of going to 10 different sites.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Google. I don’t fault them for being large or successful and they are very good at what they do. But Dogpile just brings the potential of a search to a new level. Think about the number of searches you do in any day, or a week. On a small scale, the time saved by using Dogpile may not seem like much. But over time, this really adds up. If you’re an avid multi-tasker—aren’t well all these days– you’d not only be saving time in your searches, but the quality of what you’re searching for would be improved. This could easily have a positive effect on school projects, work needs or just everyday tasks that start with a simple search.

Dogpile could be a game changer. I’d love to hear what you think. Share this article with your friends on social media. Try out Dogpile for some of your searches today, comment below to tell me all about it.

4 Free Website Builders to Love

Anyone who has ever owned a website can probably tell you how tricky the design process is. And maybe you’re shaking your head at your first website attempt. How is anyone supposed to make a great looking site without spending thousands of dollars?
That’s where free website builders come in. You can use a template or maybe even a drag and drop program to create the website of your dreams. And most of these website builders will give you a free subdomain and allow you to use your own custom domain for a minimal fee.
So here are the four top free website builders I recommend to get you going. I even use them! Don’t let the word free make you think they’ll look cheap. Here, the phrase “you get what you pay for” applies only to your time. But in the work to customize the templates and you’ll be rewarded ten times over in a great site that leads to sales.

  1. WordPress – this is the king of free website builders. Hundreds of free templates are available. So find the one that matches your niche and get to designing. The real shining star feature with WordPress is the widgets. There are so many free options, including an HTML custom widget. Maintaining a blog is also easy and is where WordPress got its start. It literally takes under five clicks to get your blog post up and findable by millions of web users.
  2. Wix – if you’re looking to customize a site to a further extent than WordPress, Wix is for you. They focus more on drag and drop features and you can add images and text anywhere on the page. The only thing to take note with these features, is that they don’t always adapt to mobile users well. Your image will be ten times bigger than it should or text won’t show up in the right place. It takes some fine tuning, but it’s worth it in the end.
  3. WebsiteBuilder – maybe you’re searching for a middle of the road between WordPress and Wix. Then, WebsiteBuilder is the site for you. It has hundreds of website templates that are updated often. Plus, you can drag and drop slight edits and customizations to make it perfect. What makes WebsiteBuilder truly noteworthy is the free business email you get with your website. Running a business online has never been easier! And if that weren’t enough, it has free SEO analytic tools built right in.
  4. Weebly – here is probably one of the first free website builders to hit the market. It’s been there through it all. But that does not mean that Weebly is past its prime per say. Because they have a special feature up their sleeves. Free ecommerce. Most other free website builders will charge you to use their ecommerce features, but not Weebly. Their fee comes in the form of a 3% cut of the money you make. But that seems a fair deal for a budding online business.

See? Website building does not have to be the scary or difficult, or scary difficult, part of your business plan. Creating a stunning website can be done in an afternoon, without draining your bank account dry. It’ll really catch the eyes of your potential customers, which is what the goal of any website should be.
So which website builder do you like best? Comment below to share your thoughts and what features sold you on a particular website builder. And if you know of any others, comment about those to share them with those who are still searching for their website building match.

Search Engines – Duck Duck Go

It all began in 2008. As Google sat on its throne of power, one man by the name of Gabriel Weinberg dared to launch his own search engine. It seemed a crazy idea that many condemned to fail. But, now, Duck Duck Go has passed its one billionth search and has an average of 14 million searches a day.

Weinberg was in the startup business. One had crashed and burned and another sold off for ten million dollars. As a graduate of MIT, Gabriel Weinberg was determined to succeed and moved on to a variety of other projects that had an underlying theme: combating spam and increasing privacy.

None of these projects were having much individual success. And that’s when the idea of Duck Duck Go came to life. He began working on his search engine idea, much to the dismay of those who pushed him away from what they thought was a bad move for the young man.

Here we are, nine years later. Duck Duck Go received a hefty three million dollar investment and was featured in Time’s 50 Best Websites of 2011. And the Snowden incident only further skyrocketed the traffic this “little” startup receives. So what made it so successful? Why does Google need to worry about their tiny competitor? Read on.

 

WHAT MAKES IT DIFFERENT

The focus is all on your privacy as a search engine user. The basic gist is that Duck Duck Go does not save your search history or any data pertaining your habits or who you are. Every time you access Duck Duck Go, you are a brand new user with no past history stored.

See, Google tracks everything you do. From what you search to where you click and explore, Google knows it all. They then compile this data and try to better anticipate the information you’ll search for and the types of sources you’ll prefer. But this means one company has quite a bit of knowledge about your life.

 

PROS AND CONS

It’s clear to see what the benefit of Duck Duck Go is. Your privacy is taken very seriously on a repeated basis with this company. If you download the app, they request almost no permissions to function. And, you can go and edit the settings further to fully customize just how private you want to be.

The downside is that many of us have become so used to how Google functions. We’ve been trained, in a way, to use search engines a certain way as far as how we write terms and what we click on based on our experience with Google. Duck Duck Go doesn’t work the same way, so it can take some reeducation.

Also, Google may invade privacy with the amount of information it collects on us. However, it puts this info to good use by providing intuitive results for us. Since Duck Duck Go doesn’t collect any data, the results can be a little all over the map and not as fine tuned. So you have to decide if security or quick easy searches are more important to you.

 

As you can see, Duck Duck Go is a company to keep an eye on. They’re growing rapidly and I, for one, expect to see them pop up in the news more often in the near future as more and more people take notice. In a world where everything we do, from every purchase on our cards  to GPS tracking of our movements, this search engine is a welcome reprieve.

If you enjoyed my article, then share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, LindkedIn, or wherever you go social. After you check out Duck Duck Go and try it out for a bit, comment below to hell me how your experience was. I’ll be back soon with even more search engine info for you soon!

Search Engines – Google

Popular Search Engines – Google

Google Logo

Google has gained mountains of popularity in the past decade as one of the first and the most popular search engines. Before you can look at exactly what makes Google stand out so much, you first need a clear definition of the term “search engine.”

What is a Search Engine?

Simply put, a search engine is a tool that allows internet users to find what they are looking for. More specifically, it is a program that searches websites for the key words that are put into the search bar. It then brings links to these websites to the internet user that is using the search engine so that they may click on a website related to their search.

I have a friend who knows the entire history behind search engines. People’s names, dates, events and everything else you can imagine. Reach out to him through his website.

For example, if you were to google “Lawyers in New York City” you would likely find hundreds of websites for lawyers in that area. This is why search engines are so popular; they allow anyone to retrieve information on virtually any subject with little to no effort.

In terms of human development, this is an amazing invention. But how exactly does this process happen?

How Does it Work?

Web search engines typically function by sending out a program known as a “spider” to find the data. This program finds websites with the specified search terms and brings it back to another program known as the “indexer.” From there, the indexer reads all of the files and presents them in an organized list for the user.

Google

While these are basic functions of nearly all search engines, the searching algorithms of search engines are usually different. This is why Google succeeded where so many other search engines failed.

Why Google?

Google went public with its search engine in 1998, a time when search engines were vastly different from what they are now. In fact, many search engines of the time were designed to be slower than Google because it contributed to “stickiness.” That will be defined in just a second.

When Google tried to sell to Excite, a leading search engine at the time, Google was simply too efficient. Excite made their money from ads that timed how long a user was on the website. The longer they were on the site, the more money they made. This meant that it was in Excite’s best interest to be as slow as possible, or “sticky.”

By refusing to adhere to the standard of the time, Google completely revolutionized search engines into what we know them as today. Whereas most Google searches take small fractions of a second, older search engines took significantly longer. If not for Google, we would all most likely be waiting for cat videos for several minutes before anything popped up!

How Does it Help?

It is essentially impossible to overstate the impact that Google has had on the modern world. Everybody uses the Internet; that you can read this means that you’re using it right now. Google shaped a huge part of the Internet at a time when it was just beginning to form. Without them, search results would take double or triple the load time that they currently do.

Google Search Engine

Thankfully, we do not live in that world. We get to live in a world where all of the information that we could want is available to us at the click of a few buttons and within .3 seconds. The next time you’re looking up the newest model of a vehicle or a pasta recipe, just be glad that you don’t have to wait through five minutes of ads!

Search Engines – Yahoo!

Yahoo! Search Engine

Yahoo! Logo

Although Yahoo is an American multinational technology company widely known for its search engine, Web portal and other related services such as Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Groups, Yahoo! Directory, Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Answers, online mapping, advertising and social media website, it is Yahoo’s search engine we are focusing on.
According to the eBizMBA Rank, the Yahoo Search Engine is currently the third most popular search engine. Google currently ranks number one with 1,600,000,000 estimated monthly visitors and Bing with 400,000,000 estimated monthly visitors ranking number two. As the third most popular search engine, Yahoo! Search visitors are estimated to be 300,000,000.

What is a Web Search Engine?

When we are in need of information about just about anything, we use one of the many web search engines. These web search engines are actually software systems specifically designed to find information on the World Wide Web. The results of the search are presented in a line known as search engine results pages or SERPs. The SERPs presented may display information in a combination of web pages, images or other kinds of files. Search engines are not maintained by human editors. Instead, their information is run in real-time by an algorithm on a web crawler or robot often known as a spider.

How Do Search Engines Work?

Once you enter the topic or query you are looking for information about, the search actually begins with robots. These robots also known as “bots” or “spiders” crawl the web in search of sites with info on your topic or query and links leading from and to a site with info. The spider will mark and follow the links on your site in order to find other places online with information about your topic.

This marking of sites is called indexing. You can think of the index as being a library online. The query you type in results in the search engine trying to match you with the most relevant or best possible indexes. Think of the index being a library’s card catalogue or librarian leading you to a book on the topic you’re looking for.
Billions of stored indexes are looked through by the search engines. Complex mathematical algorithms then decide the results that will populate a page. This entire process starting with crawling, then indexing and creating a results page, SERP, takes less than one second.

Yahoo’s Acquisitions over the Years

Yahoo!

2002: Yahoo bought Inktomi in an effort to have their own technology for Web search.

2003: Yahoo bought Overture Services, Inc. which also owned AltaVista and AlltheWeb search engines. Yahoo then owned a number of search engines, however they still kept using Google’s search engine.

Yahoo didn’t become its own web-crawler search engine until 2003. By combining their search engine companies’ capabilities and their earlier research, they reinvented a web crawler called Yahoo Slurp. All of Yahoo’s websites with a search function of the web then included the results of the new search engine. Other companies could also purchase Yahoo’s search engine results in order to have them show on their websites. At that time, Yahoo’s relationship with Google was terminated. The former partners then became the main competitors of each other.

2007: Yahoo! Search created a modernistic appearance in order to keep in line with its home page. Search Assist was also added providing related concepts as well as real-time suggestions for queries as they are typed.
2008: “Build Your Own Search Service,” or BOSS was announced to be offered by Yahoo! Search. The purpose of this service was to open the doors for developers to use Yahoo!’s indexing information and images system as well as create their own customized search engine.

2010: In January, Microsoft announced the creation of the Microsoft Search Alliance. For this alliance, Microsoft would take over Yahoo! Search’s functional operation, and also set up a joint venture of Yahoo! Search and Bing to sell advertising. By October, a transition of all Yahoo! sponsored ad clients to the Microsoft ad Center, Bing ads at that time, was completed.

2014: A five-year partnership was formed with Yahoo! and Mozilla. This partnership made Yahoo! Search the Firefox browsers’ default search engine in the US.

Yahoo Building

2015: In April, the partnership with Microsoft was modified. Bing results were now only required on the majority of the desktop traffic. Yahoo! now had the ability to enter non-exclusive deals for mobile platforms’ search services and any remaining desktop traffic. In October, Yahoo! and Google reached an agreement in which Google would provide services to Yahoo! until the end of 2018. This included search, advertising and image search services.

First Topic – Search Engines – Bing

Search Engines

Overview Of The Search Engine Bing.

Bing Logo

What Is Bing?

In 2009, Microsoft decided to take a run at Google for the title of search engine king when they introduced Bing to the world. As an upgrade over the company’s previous search engine programs such as MSN Search, Bing was launched under the promise that Microsoft would take the technological foundations – and marketplace knowledge – that they had established through their previous search engine attempts to create a more involved search engine program that did more than just relaying the results of a user request.

Currently, Bing is recognized as the second largest search engine in the United States in terms of market share.

How Does Bing Work?

Like other search engines, Bing allows its users to input a request (such as: “What is the weather report for today?”) and receive a list of compiled online results related to it. Furthermore, Bing also allows its users to specify their search result preferences by requesting either image, video, map and news results only.

What Sets Bing Apart?

Bing Search Engine

Upon its initial launch, Bing immediately tried to distinguish itself by allowing users to retrieve more active results that pertain to their specific requests as opposed to just producing a general list or returns.

What that means is that Bing uses things like social media integration to tailor its returns more to the individual user. Unlike Google that relies more on its own social network to produce more personalized results, Bing focuses more on analyzing your third-party social media usage across sites like Twitter and Facebook to better understand what it is that you are looking for and produce a series of search results that are ideally more relevant.

To really see this feature in action, you will need to sign into Bing, link your accounts to its services and search for specialized terms that relate to your interests. In some cases, you’ll even be able to interact with your social media account via Bing’s results should the situation call for it.

Another unique quality of Bing’s functionality is its emphasis on producing direct answer returns whenever possible. What this means is that basic searches across topics such as weather, sports scores, math questions or flight information will yield special instantaneous answers that often don’t require you to hunt down individual search results.

Aside from the functionality features, Bing separates itself largely through its visual layout. Bing’s homepage features a rotating series of spectacular images from across the world vibrantly displayed in HD, while a small news sub-section at the bottom of the page allows you to quickly view what’s new and relevant today with no individual searches required.

This emphasis on design simplicity further reveals itself when it comes to the individual search pages. Here, Bing drops many of the vibrant visuals found on the homepage in favor of a simplified design that has won the hearts of many search engine users. Free of a lot of the optional clutter that can sometimes clog the competition’s pages, Bing’s results are clearly presented to the user in a manner that allows them to be easily navigated by those looking for direct answers.

What Can Bing Do For Me?

Bing

Besides allowing you to more easily navigate the internet by providing a kind of “one-stop shop” for all your possible online needs, Bing is also a tremendous tool for those who are interested in elements like online retail, research, and promotion.

Due to its more active and personalized search results, Bing advertises itself as more of a decision-making tool than a general search engine. It is catered towards individuals looking for specific information returns to complete a particular action, as opposed to those simply surfing the web.