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Top 100 All-Time Coolest Search Engine Features
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
I love search engines. In fact, working with search engines is how I earn my living. In the beginning, my original search engine of choice was ASK Jeeves (now known simply as ASK.) I also used Netscape quite a bit and then of course Google. I wasn't a big MSN user even though my first email account was a hotmail account. Still I did use it from time to time along with Yahoo and the odd time AOL. (Remember I live in Canada, so AOL wasn't really that popular up here.) The point is that I used search engines then and I use them now. In fact I probably use them hundreds of times a day. Each of the engines have various features that we use with some being better than others. A few weeks ago I began a little project and began polling some of my co-workers and friends at Enquiro to see what some of their favorite search engine features were.

The response that I received were quite interesting. Varying from ASK's cool SERP interface to Google's iGoogle page to Yahoo's music search. I compiled a list of nearly 200 search features that we use or were mentioned. How did we define a "search feature"? Well we defined a search feature as any service provided by the various engines that help a user find information through a search engine. This could be anything from the SERP page itself to photo sharing services or vertical search services.

The end result we are dubbing, "The Top 100 Search Features of All-Time". With that lets have a look starting with #100.

The Top 100 Search Engine Features of All-Time

100. AOL Movie Search – synopsis and reviews of movies. A number of interesting lists. Check out the Top 31 Horror Movies of All Time.
99. ASK Homepage Skins
98. Windows Live SkyDrive – password-protected online file storage
97. Google Scholar - Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature.
96. Search By Number - Use Google to access package tracking information, US patents, and a variety of online databases.
95. Windows Live Video Search
94. Yahoo People Search
93. Windows Live OneCare – All in one security and performance for your PC. Check out their Windows Live OneCare Family Safety section.
92. Google Weather - Check the current weather conditions and forecast for any location in the U.S.
91. Windows Live QnA
90. Live Search Feeds – not as cools as ASK’s feature
89. Google Translate
88. Google Patent Search
87. Yahoo Education - Everything you need to help you find, apply, and get into the right school. School search, admissions tips, test preparation, financial aid, scholarships, school rankings, and more. Also features a free online encyclopedia contains over 50,000 entries and more than 84,000 hypertext cross-references covering a wide range of research and reference topics.
86. AOL Search History – allows you to view previous searches that you completed on AOL
85. Windows Live Writer – allows you to publish rich content to your blog
84. ASK Stock Search
83. Google Currency Conversion
82. Google Product Search
81. ASK RSS Feeds
80. Google Street Maps - Use Google to find U.S. street maps.
79. Yahoo Calendar – you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all… Or have you?
78. AOL Travel – includes travel guides, weather reports, flight status checks, fare watcher, maps and directions.
77. ASK Movie Search
76. PhoneBook - Use Google to look up U.S. street address and phone number information.
75. Yahoo Mobile - Yahoo! oneSearch reinvents search to give consumers exactly what they want on their mobile device - instant answers.
74. Windows Live Personalized Page
73. Yahoo People Search
72. Google Music Search - Use Google to get quick access to a wide range of music information.
71. Yahoo Desktop Search - Indexes files on desktop machine and allows searching via software interface.
70. Google Catalogs - Google Catalogs helps you browse and search merchant-provided catalogs right on your computer. You can flip through any catalog to find what interests you, or simply type in what you're looking for, and you'll find every place that your search term appears in the catalog.
69. Google Books Search
68. Google Travel Information - Check the status of an airline flight in the U.S. or view airport delays and weather conditions.
67. Windows Live Spaces - Provides users with the ability to publish a weblog via mobile phone, add music lists and manage friends.
66. Google Q&A - Use Google to get quick answers to straightforward questions.
65. Yahoo Real Estate - search for home values, places to rent, real estate listings and more.
64. Windows Live Search Academic - Search for scholarly journal articles, conference proceedings, dissertations and academic books.
63. ASK News Search
62. ASK White Pages Search
61. Live Search Image Search – try a search for Van Halen and see what you come up with.
60. ASK Image Search
59. Google Desktop Search
58. ASK Blogs
57. Windows Live Alerts - Get headlines from your home town, scores and updates for your teams, stock quotes, traffic for your commute-just about anything.
56. Yahoo Instant Search – With Instant Search, results instantly appear for Yahoo!
55. ASK Dictionary Search - Need to know the definition or pronunciation of a word, origin of a word or just a new word altogether? Quickly search the online dictionaries, encyclopedias and thesauri for the information you need.
54. Microsoft HealthVault Search
53. ASK Advanced Web Search
52. Google Specialized Search - Google's special searches enable you to narrow your search to a specific topic.
51. Yahoo Widgets - always-updated, at-a-glance view of your favorite Internet services right to your desktop. The Yahoo! Widget Gallery offers over 4,000 desktop Widgets.
50. Google Calendar
49. ASK Conversions - perform any number of conversions using this cool feature from ASK.
48. Yahoo My Web - Save favorite web content so you can easily re-find it, connect with others so you can selectively share the sites you save, benefit from other MyWeb users by tapping into their collection of sites, browse tags to identify active taggers on any topic.
47. Windows Live Local Search
46. ASK Search Toolbar
45. AOL Music Search – features full CD listening parties, AOL radio, video countdowns and more
44. Yahoo Instant Search - Instant Search gives you answers as you type -- no more waiting!
43. Yahoo Buzz Search – see the hottest searches in Yahoo.
42. ASK Blog Search - sort for your favorite blog posts. Sort by relevancy, most recent and popularity.
41. Windows Live Search Maps aka Windows Live Local aka Virtual Earth/Live Maps - this has potential to be a very powerful feature if thye could just improve the Local Search product.
40. Google Definitions - a quick way to look up definitions.
39. ASK Video Search - maybe you're searching for video of Britney Spears or a recent news story, try ASK's video search to find what you are looking for.
38. Yahoo! 360° – Post a picture of yourself, Create a blog, Upload photos, Post a Blast - one idea, all your friends. Things start to happen.
37. Orkut - online community from Google designed to make your social life more active and stimulating. orkut's social network can help you maintain existing relationships with pictures and messages, and establish new ones by reaching out to people you've never met before.
36. AOL Video Search – upload your own videos to AOL. AOL Video has millions of free, high quality videos including music videos, news clips, movie trailers, viral videos, and full-length TV shows.
35. Yahoo Pipes - An interactive feed aggregator and manipulator. List of 'hot pipes' to subscribe to, and ability to create your own (yahoo account required).
34. Google Blog Search
33. ASK MyStuff - Personal page option
32. Google Web Page Translation - Provides you access to web pages in other languages.
31. Google Search Suggest - As you type, Google will offer suggestions.
30. ASK Search Suggestions
29. Google Video
28. Google Reader - constantly checks your favorite news sites and blogs for new content.
27. Yahoo Health – find information on medical and health related resources.
26. Google Image Search - perhaps the most comprehensive image search on the Web.
25. Yahoo Toolbar - available for I.E. and Firefox on Windows, Mac, and Linux
24. ASK's Famous People Search - this is just a fun feature.
23. ASK's Smart Answers - Ask's Smart Answers provide key information right at the top of the page. Smart Answers can be found on the web results page of many searches, like for a band or famous person, and contain a brief bit of information and links to more information.
22. Yahoo Alerts – a great tool for help with monitoring your brand and your online reputation. Monitor your competition, employees, stock, products, weather and more.
21. ASK's Zoom Related Search - Narrow or broaden your search with possible alternative search terms which appear on the right hand side of the Ask results page. Narrow Your Search: helps you to drill down into topics that are specifically related to your search. Expand Your Search: allows you to explore topics that are conceptually related to your search. Related Names: presents a list of names that are conceptually tied to topic options within the "Narrow Your Search" and "Expand Your Search" lists.
20. Yahoo Finance - get free stock quotes, up to date news, portfolio management resources, international market data, message boards, and mortgage rates.
19. Google Maps
18. ASK Maps & Directions - Find the maps and detailed directions you need for locations in the U.S. and Canada. Use the drag and drop feature on the map to get driving or walking directions from point A to point B and beyond.
17. Google Finance - Perform a search for your favorite stock such as Google (GOOG).
16. Yahoo Answers – Have a question? Yahoo community members may have the answer.
15. Yahoo News Search - Use Yahoo! News to find breaking news, current events, the latest headlines, news photos and more.
14. Google News
13. Google Toolbar
12. Flickr – Flickr is almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world. Yahoo operated online photo sharing service.
11. YouTube - can you say 1.6 billion dollars?
10. MapQuest – I don’t use this much as I should. This is a pretty cool feature from AOL.
9. ASK Binoculars Site Preview - This was a very cool feature that was featured on ASK.com's overview page with the link to binoculars (as of October 2007) now redirecting to this page.
8. Google Alerts - easy to set up email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.
7. Google Local Search - Search for local business listings by name, key word, or location with satellite maps.
6. Google Earth - Google Earth combines the power of Google Search with satellite imagery, maps, terrain and 3D buildings to put the world's geographic information at your fingertips.
5. Yahoo Search Assist - one of the newest features to make the list, Yahoo Search Assist is a very cool feature that is used on a regular basis.
4. AskCity - combines Ask.com’s existing maps product with great local content such as information, reviews, etc. The premiere resource for maps and local business information
3. Yahoo Site Explorer - allows you to explore all the web pages indexed by Yahoo! Search. View the most popular pages from any site, dive into a comprehensive site map, and find pages that link to that site or any page.
2. The ASK SERP - the coolest search engine results page on the planet. / Google Webmaster Tools - free and easy way to make your site more Google-friendly.
1. iGoogle - Add news, games and more to your very own personalized Google homepage. I love this feature as my iGoogle page acts as my portal to the Web.

OK so we had a tie at the number two spot. Let's just call this the Top 101 Search Engine Features of All Time. Google reigns supreme. Of course there are always exceptions and omissions to any list. If you feel that we are missing any search engine features that should be on this list, let us know and we will consider them for next year's list.


posted by Jody @ 10:46 AM  
  • At 8:44 PM, Anonymous GuruWatch said…

    Thanks for a Great Post. I've been working from 100-up and I found so many great search functions I never realized were out there.

  • At 11:19 PM, Blogger ankur said…

    Great blog. I really liked it. I have also created a lens in same niche. This is my first time, hope u guys like it. Here’s a brief intro. You're over 50 and if you have children, they will be gone soon or are out of the house already. If you are married or in a long term relationship, you are wondering what do we do with each other now? You have the opportunity to get to know each other again and one of the best ways to do this is by traveling together. If you are single, traveling is also a great option to explore new places, try new things and meet new people. The options to travel when you are over 50 are bright and there are many ideas open to you. For more detail visit here http://www.squidoo.com/Travel-over-50/

  • At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Great list! You can also find the Top 100 Alternative Search Engines on the Read/WriteWeb network blog www.AltSearchEngines.com under the "Top 100" tab.

    Charles Knight, editor

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