I’ve always been told that if something is too good to be true then it probably is. I sure hope that’s not the case with the new meta search engine Younanimous because it is already really remarkable, and there is still a lot more to come!
Their blog explains a lot of what’s going on, so this will be a quick overview. Younanimous is a meta search engine that brings together results from Google, Yahoo!, and MSN into one convenient location. It uses the search ranking of the results from all of those search engines in order to determine the ranking on their own site.
In addition to showing the ranking numbers from each search engine to the left of the result, you’ll also find some things located below the result. This includes the Alexa Rank, Google PageRank, and links to social networks like Digg, Del.icio.us, Furl, and Reddit. All of this in one tight little package. There are also links to a cached version of the search result from each search engine, and as long as the icon is in color (not black & white) then that means a cached version is available.
Many of the results will also contain a link to “supplemental results” which I think are the results that normally appear indented on some search engines such as Google. These are results that are from the same domain, but are also relavant to your search. The great thing about Younanimous is that it puts those results in an expandable link so that your screen space isn’t occupied by it.
Here is a great screenshot that they put together explaining all of their current features (click to enlarge it):
As of right now they seem to have things half-done because there is no way that you can customize the search experience. It sounds like pretty soon they’ll let users create accounts or store settings locally in a cookie if a user doesn’t want to register. Here is what their blog says is yet to come:
- Video Search.
- Settings page where you can add and remove widgets from showing up.
- Blacklisting, and manually voting ala red and green buttons.
- Compete.com Graphs.
- Stumbleupon.com Graphs.
- Public API for building your own widgets.
- Opera browser fixes.
- Site preview ala snap.com thingy.
- Some code overhaul to increase speed.
- Advertising program similar to adwords where people can bid on keywords.
- New loading images, which actually say whats going on.
Currently their search results link directly to the result and does not use a redirect, which will please a lot of people. Not only that, but their image results link directly to the fullsize image and not to the site containing the image!
They are also working on “widgets” so that users will be able to sort and filter results however they would like. Here are some examples of the widgets they will be including:
- Backlinks from each engine
- Bookmark Locally
- Bookmark via Younanimous
- Email result
- Instant Message result (Yahoo, AIM, ICQ)
- Blogs linking to the result
- Bugmenot plugin
- Netcraft Uptime and info
- Whois info
- Age of domain
- Translate result
- Tinyurl result
I’m sure you see what an amazing search engine this sounds like as well. It looks good enough for me to switch from Google, but there are two things that I would have to see first:
- An option to choose which search engine is ranked over others. I am so used to searching with Google that I would want my results to be purely based off of what they return. That kinda takes away from what Younanimous is trying to do, but it is still nice to see what other search engines rank the results that I’m seeing even though they don’t effect the ordering of the results.
- I need at least 50 results on the screen at one time. Right now with Google I have it show 100 results at one time because I scroll through them so quickly because I typically know what I’m looking for. I don’t want to be bothered with having to click the “Next” button after just 10 results because that will greatly hinder my productivity.
- Firefox 3 (pre-release) compatibility! Sure Firefox 3 hasn’t even been released yet but Younanimous doesn’t even work with it. When I try to perform a search it just sits there and does nothing. In order to test the search service I had to use Internet Explorer 7 because I didn’t have Firefox 2 readily available.
Oh, and if you’re trying out Younanimous it is important to note that when you click the “Next” button for more results, it uses AJAX to change the content. I initially didn’t think that the button had done anything but after looking at the initial results that were returned I saw that it really did change the results (hence the numbers located next to the title of each result).
The site has been around for just a few days, but what they currently have available is a strong foundation that they can work on. After they launch their remaining features and updates I believe that it will be the most feature-intensive meta search engine available.