Meta Search Engines

By Deane Barker on December 7, 2003

Meta Search Engines are Back: A “meta search engine” is an interface which submits your search to multiple other search engines. They were big in the late 90s, but with the emerging dominance of Google, they faded. Well, apparently, they’re back in full force, and here’s why.

First, the meta search engines have responded to criticism and worked hard to remove all of the ambiguity about whether results have been purchased by advertisers or determined by search algorithms […]

Second, Google is now one of 15 search sources for and one of 13 search sources for Dogpile. […] This helps to restore the earlier impression that meta search engines are providing more comprehensive results than any single engine. […]

Third, the major meta search engines are spending more time and effort “protecting the clicks” and emphasizing the “quality” of their partners and audiences.

If you’re interested in meta search, I always felt that Copernic was a good desktop solution — it’s a desktop app that blasts your search terms out to every search engine under the sun, then cleans and compiles your results. They announced a while back that they were expanding into enterprise, server-based solutions.