Wouldn’t it be great if you could use a search engine without needing to touch your mouse? You know, type your query and then scan and even click through to results without actually clicking the mouse button? Or maybe you’re looking for an alternate source of search advertising data, like how many advertisers are bidding on certain keywords. Or maybe you’re into something more mundane, like finding an apartment to call home.
In this roundup of five search tools you may not know about, I’ll introduce you to possible answers to those questions and a couple more. This is the third in my occasional series that profiles under-the-radar search tools. If you missed the previous two, links to those are at the end. But let’s start with that mouse-free search tool….
For some, the computer mouse is nothing more than an inconvenience. Take my hand off the keyboard? No thanks! keyboardr was invented for people like that. It’s a meta search engine that pulls in results from Google, Wikipedia, and YouTube.
Results begin to appear on the page as you type a query, and once you’re done, the mouse is unnecessary. You can use the up and down arrow keys to navigate from one search result to the next, and hit Enter to open the result in a new window.
This one is for the search marketing crowd. AdQuants is a tool that offers competitive research related to any keyword or URL you provide. If you use or have seen SpyFu, you’ll be familiar with what AdQuants does. (One difference is that AdQuants is a free service that aims to make money via custom research.)
The screenshot shows an AdQuants search for “sunscreen,” and the data includes the number of advertisers bidding on that term, and estimates for average CPC, average daily clicks, and related information.
You might be thinking that we don’t need another Twitter search engine, but Tweepz is a bit different from ones I’ve come across, and it’s already helped me find new people to follow. It’s a search tool to find Twitter users, and it offers more functionality than I’ve seen in other Twitter user search engines. One option is to search based on location, and Tweepz quickly found several people local to my area that I’d never found on other Twitter search sites.
After doing a search you can sort your results by number of followers, number following, or join date. In the right column, there are additional refinements and an RSS feed for your search results. In addition to location-based search, Tweepz lets you search Twitter member names and bios. Good stuff.
Whether you’re searching for another person, or searching on your own name, you might be impressed with the wide variety of data that 123people.com pulls together on a single page. A search for my name includes photos (from Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, and other sources) … email addresses (mine, and some from other Matt McGees) … phone numbers (not mine, thankfully) … web links … videos … blog posts and news articles mentioning my name … the Amazon page selling my U2 book and my Amazon wish list … and much more.
If you’re searching for a common name, 123people.com lets you narrow your search by including a city name or zip code. There are a few too many advertisements on the search results page for my taste, but it’s still an interesting people search engine.
MyApartmentMap is a search mashup that pulls in apartment rental data from online classified sites and color codes them by price on a Google Maps interface. The site promises “up to the minute reports” for the entire U.S. The interface includes a drag-and-drop marker (see below) that simplifies the process of finding apartments by price in specific cities and neighborhoods.
The search results pages also show average apartment rental prices for the most recent month, as well as a chart showing 6-month trends for rental prices. Based on a few searches I did, the data appears to be quite good in bigger cities but more hit-and-miss when you get to smaller locales.
UPDATE: FanSnap, an event ticketing search engine I profiled previously in this series, is now out of beta. New features since our previous mention include the ability to see available tickets by zooming to row level at venues, as well as a partnership that adds available tickets from eBay into FanSnap’s search results.