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Five More Search Tools You May Not Know … But Should
Have you ever needed to see the search results for another city — maybe because you want to see what PPC ads are shown somewhere else? Have you ever needed to see search results from a different country, or in a different language? Maybe you’re into real time search, and you’d love a place to find the latest photos and videos being shared on Twitter. Or perhaps you’re planning a vacation abroad, but you’re not sure when is the best time to visit Europe.
It’s time again for another roundup of the latest and greatest search tools and search engines, and in this article, I’ll share five such sites that will answer the above questions (and more). This is the fourth in my occasional series profiling under-the-radar search tools. Links to the previous three are at the end of this article.
Look, I don’t name ’em, I just use ’em and write about ’em if they’re cool. And this one is. SearchMuffin has a simple premise: Type in a keyword and choose a city from the dropdown menu, and it’ll show you the Google search results that match. Think of it as a sort of geo-targeted competitive research/PPC research tool. It’s about the easiest way I know of to see the PPC ads that appear in other cities. Here’s a screenshot of a search for “anaheim real estate” in Anaheim, even though I’m up in Washington state.
And best of all, it’s not just limited to major U.S. cities; at the moment, there are 262 choices in the dropdown menu, including such non-metropolises as Roseville, California, and Arvada, Colorado. (No disrespect intended to Rosevillites and Arvadians.)
Let’s expand our horizons beyond 262 U.S. cities. What if you needed to quickly see some search results from other countries and/or other languages? Glearch (again, I don’t name ’em) is an international meta search engine that lets you search by country, by language, and/or by search engine. You can take those three options and customize each to build just the query you want.
In the example above, I’m doing a search for the rock band U2, and I’m searching French-language results on the French versions of Google, Yahoo, and Bing. I’m also including local newspapers, too. The search results page has a tab for web results and a tab for news results. The web results page, like any good meta search site, tells you where each listing was found, i.e., “Ranked 1 by Google search” or “Ranked 4 by Yahoo search.”
We’ve written a fair amount about real time search in the past few months, but we haven’t focused too much on the visual element — people posting photos and videos of what they’re doing now. Roooby is one of several real time search engines that capture media, but one of the few that surface both photos and videos. (Although, to be frank, Roooby could do a better job of finding videos by scanning sites such as Qik.com, TwitVid.io, and others that host live video.)
Speaking of media and images, here’s the most visual search tool I’ve ever seen: Spezify. The best way I can describe it is a sort of visual meta search engine. It pulls in results from Yahoo, Bing, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and even eBay and Amazon to create a fairly stunning search results page.
This is serious eye candy. There’s a settings page where you can choose the sources and types of content (images, text, video) you want included. But to be frank, the focus on visuals means the search results have no context whatsoever. You can move vertically and horizontally through the results, but you have no idea why you’re seeing what you’re seeing. It’s innovative to be sure, but for this searcher, it’s too lacking in functionality.
Finally, here’s one for our readers in Europe, or for our readers traveling to Europe. It’s called Joobili, and it’s a travel/event search engine with a twist: Rather than telling the search engine what you want to do or where you want to go, you tell it when. There’s a cool date-based slider on the home page to get you started, and once you’re in the results, Joobili lets you see results based on categories (Arts, Sport, Nature, etc.), by country, or by keyword.
If you create an account, Joobili will let you save events to a wish list or a “went” list. You can also rank events to help other users make decisions on what to do and where to go. It’s a clever approach, but as I hinted above, it only covers Europe.
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