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5 (More) Search Tools You May Not Know … But Should
How would you like to track hot news geographically? Or see where social conversations are happening on a map? Maybe you’d like to find businesses that are open 24 hours a day, or research keywords on a state-by-state basis. If so, read on for a look at five search tools you may not know about, but should.
About two months ago, we published 7 Search Tools You May Not Know … But Should. That became a popular article and let us know that we should continue uncovering largely unknown search tools in future articles. So, here’s the second in an irregular series of posts about search tools you should know about.
Track This Now
Track This Now is a news search engine that displays results geographically on a Google Maps interface. Track This Now offers real-time tracking of news articles from 236 countries around the world. Just provide the topic you want to search for and the country(ies) you want to target, and Track This Now shows you news coverage of that topic mapped out. Here’s a recent search for “Google” targeting the U.S.
According to the web site, a widget is in development to let you embed news search maps directly into your blog or web site. And Track This Now also recently added geographic search engines for tracking any keyword/topic on Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube. All in all, the suite of search tools at Track This Now offer a compelling way to get a snapshot of what’s going on now in news, social conversation, images, and videos.
This is a search tool that shows the popularity of any search term on a state-by-state basis in the U.S. For example, StateStats shows that states in the southeast U.S. tend to do the most searches for the term walmart.
You can see the state rankings on the map at left. The second column adds extra information about other terms that correlate with your original query. Creator Doug Beeferman specifically warns against drawing certain conclusions from the data in the second column:
“… the fact that walmart shows a moderate correlation with ‘Obesity’ does not imply that people who search for ‘walmart’ are obese! It only means that states with a high obesity rate tend to have a high rate of users searching for walmart, and vice versa.”
All disclaimers aside, this is an interesting search tool that mashes up search data from Google Insights for Search with state data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Jogli is a music search engine that claims to have more than 12 million albums and 500 million songs on offer, and you can listen and watch videos for free. A search for your favorite band brings up a pretty standard interface, showing albums and videos.
Below the fold are sections showing related artists, playlists created by other users, and more. When you search for an individual song, the interface changes slightly to show lyrics prominently. It’s easy to use and runs pretty deep — it found a little-known UK band I like called Vib Gyor, but didn’t find a little-known Irish band I like called Agiven. If anything, Jogli seems to rely too heavily on sourcing videos from YouTube, which becomes a problem when things happen like Warner Brothers pulling videos from YouTube.
2itch is a local search engine with a unique twist: Its goal is to list businesses that are open 24 hours a day, and show them on a Google Maps interface. 2itch claims to have more than 4,000 U.S.-based, 24-hour businesses listed. A search on my semi-remote zip code only brings up a few truck stops along the highway in an hour or two in each direction; the best coverage, understandably, is in a handful of major cities: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and Phoenix.
There’s an add listing form where users can submit businesses to be listed. 2itch already offers a Windows Vista Sidebar Gadget and a mobile version; the site says an iPhone app is in development.
In the previous tools column, we profiled a new search engine for tickets called FanSnap; in this column, we’ll profile an older ticket search engine called Ninja Tickets. Like other ticket search engines, Ninja Tickets doesn’t sell anything — it aggregates tickets that are available through other ticket-selling web sites. What sets Ninja Tickets apart is its Price Rating tool, which attempts to list tickets in the order of best market value based on price and seat location. The Price Rating tool appears as a star-based rating next to each search result.
Ninja Tickets does caution, though, that their search engine is still in beta and that users should check to make sure tickets don’t have obstructed views.
Finally, an update…
Soovle, one of the search engines covered in the previous article, has added a few new features based on user requests from new traffic after being profiled on Search Engine Land. Chief among these is the ability to store, send, download, or print the keywords they discover via Soovle. This is done by simply dragging keywords to a new book icon in the upper left of the Soovle interface.