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SearchMash

Friday, December 22nd, 2006 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet
 
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SearchMash

Google is passé. Yes, you heard me right. The day of the Google search engine is nearly over. Says who, you may ask? Well, it wasn’t me, but it was actually Google themselves. Yes, that’s right. Unknown to most of us, Google for some time now has been trying out a new format for their next generation search engine. No, it’s no longer Google. For whatever reasons, they have named it SearchMash. In fact, unless you go to their Terms of Service page, you won’t be able to figure out that it has anything to do with Google at all. Okay, so what’s so different about this new search engine? Well, let’s find out!

The basic idea is the same. There is a text box in which you type in your query and press Enter. Notice there’s no “I am feeling lucky” button anymore. Once the results come up, to start with, you won’t see all those adsense ads that cram up toward the right when you search for something on Google. This page is totally ad free. Secondly, this is quite an improvement over the Google search engine. A search in SearchMash won’t bring up tons of irrelevant results like it happens in Google, especially for searches with longer queries. The good thing for tenured Google users is that the syntax and the way of Googling works the same on SearchMash. You can use wildcards, quotes plus signs and the other operators that you presently use to customize your Google searches. In the image below, you can see how it all works.

As you can see, it goes along with the tried and trusted Google search results format. Click on the link that says “Hide Details” and it will hide all the text in an instant, showing you only the links and the Web sites from where the links are originating. This is really cool, especially if you know the exact Web site you are looking for. Since the link and the Web site addresses are color coded, it’s even easier to go through the page in a jiffy.

Now, one feature I really love about SearchMash is the little panel to the right. Remember those tabs up on top of the Google search box? Yes, the ones that let you search the images and new Google groups, etc. Well, the same functionality is presented here too, however, it’s in a different, much more friendlier format.

As you can see, along with the regular search results that were pulled up, there is also a small panel where you can see other related material. For instance, if you click on the plus sign next to the images, another small panel will drop down with pictures related to your search query, which in this case was “Goo Goo Dolls” (the band). Similarly, if you click on the plus sign next to the blogs, you will be presented with links to some blogs whose primary content is about the Goo Goo Dolls. I clicked on the plus sign next to videos and it showed me a screenshot from the videos, which also links to that particular video. To see more video results about the search query you put in, you can click on the “See Video Results” link. Another cool thing about this panel is the Wikipedia link. It shows you all of the Wikipedia pages related to your search query. Is that cool or what?! You don’t need to click on another tab or wait for a new page to load. Simply click on the plus sign and you’ll see instant results.

Since this is a new venture from Google and it is in its test stages, you can also give your feedback on its performance. At the bottom right, there’s another panel where you can give a positive or a negative feedback to the efficiency of this system. This is beneficial to Google, as it will help them develop SearchMash into an even better finished product.

As much as I love Google, I am truly enjoying this new search engine and the new, much more friendly format. I can’t wait for Google to unveil the final product. Until then, go give it a spin. Maybe you’ll love it as much as I do!

Check SearchMash out for yourself right here.

~ Yogesh Bakshi

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