This is the best list of Alternative Search Engines I have ever done. It has to be. With each monthly update, several things happen that serve to improve the list. One, I have spent a month - since the March update - scouring the World Wide Web for any brand new Search Engines (see Querycat) or ones that might have been missed (see Accoona). Two, several alternative search engines have been added directly from readers' comments to the last list (see younanimous; more on that later). And several readers suggested a new category: Charity Search Engines; so that category has been added and I placed a charitable search engine on this month's list (see SearchKindly). I am also preparing an article that looks at many of the Charity search engines that have recently sprung up. Finally, another source of new alts comes from those leaving their alpha or "stealth" phase and entering a Beta phase - or even fully launching; see the new Cydral (note: instructions are in French).

12 new search engines

In total, there are 12 new search engines this month (and 12, sadly, went "down to the minors"). From the first List in January through to this one, there have been 160 Alternative Search Engines in total!

I also try to improve the format and usefulness of the List every month. Last month I incorporated your suggestion to add Categories to the List and Excel spreadsheet. This month I have added some more features. As you look over the 100 names, please note that there are fifty alts that have an asterisk (*) after their name; this indicates that the search engine has been on all four lists from January through April. I also added notes to remind you who was one of the ten (throughout the year) featured Search Engines of the Month (see GoshMe and KoolTorch).

But the biggest change that I have made is in response to those readers who have noted that 100 search engines is too many to check out! I guess in my heart I have always known this, because if you spend just 10 minutes looking at each one, it will take you 16 hours to complete! So this month I am inaugurating a brand new feature: in addition to the Search Engine of the Month, I have marked with an (HM) ten Honorable Mentions! Try to take the time to experiment with these this month. Every month I will designate another ten; and so when December rolls around, you will have the absolute best Top 100 Alternative Search Engines; 90 Honorable Mentions; 10 Search Engines of the Month; and of course the #1 Search Engine of the Year for 2007!

Search Engine of the Month: AfterVote

And now for the month of April, I am pleased to present the Search Engine of the Month - younanimous! Or, as it has become, AfterVote! One thing that I have noticed after looking at so many search engines is that many fall into one of two camps. Either they present a fairly simple search box with an "Advanced Search Preferences" link, which are essentially the same routine filters (and very similar to Google's). Or the Search Engine is chock full of features which are intimidating for the first time user and require a steep learning curve that few are willing to climb. AfterVote stops the searcher right on the homepage and asks him or her to select their comfort level. If they just want to do a quick and easy search, they can select "Beginner" and AfterVote will only show them the essential tools. But if the searcher desires to learn how to be a more skilled user, she can choose "Intermediate" and AfterVote automatically responds with some more - but not all - of its features. Finally, you guessed it, if you are an expert searcher (and you know who you are), you don't have to "dumb down" when using AfterVote - just select "Advanced" and all of their features will be at your disposal! And thanks to cookies, AfterVote will even remember your "level" the next time you visit the site! But if you're curious, go ahead and select "Advanced" and take a look at all of the cool buttons. You can select "Search Level" at any time and pick another option.

This is not the place to go into a detailed tour of AfterVote, for that just click on their blog and you can read all about it. I do want to point out that AfterVote is the work of three guys who also have regular jobs. It just goes to show that you don't have to have a million dollars in VC money to create a new search engine, just some great ideas and a whole lot of work!

How AfterVote works - click here for larger screenshot

P. S. I will be in Italy when this is published, so I have asked Dan (of AfterVote) and Richard (Read/WriteWeb Editor) to keep an eye on your comments. I will have to play catch up when I get back, or you can send me an email at Arrivederci!

Special Announcement for Alternative Search Engines

Please follow this link to the Searchnomics Conference website and submit your search engine in their competition. Then you can ask your users to vote for your site. The winner will be announced - with much fanfare - at the Searchnomics conference in Santa Clara, California on June 27th.

The List, April 2007

Search Engine name URL Category
Accoona A.I. Search (HM)
AfterVote (SEM) Social Search
Agent 55 MetaSearch Continuous Search
AnswerBus Semantic Search
Blabline Podcast Search
Blinkx* Video Search
Blogdigger Blog Search* Bookmark Search
ChaCha* (#1 2006) Guided Search
ClipBlast!* Video Search
Clusty* Clustering Search
CogHog Semantic Search
Collarity* Social Search (HM)
Congoo* Premium Content Search
CrossEngine (Mr. Sapo)* MetaSearch
Cydral Image Search (French)
Decipho* Filtered Search
Deepy RIA Search
Ditto* Visual Search
Dogpile MetaSearch
Exalead* Visual Search
Factbites* Filtered Search
FeedMiner RSS Feeds Search
Feedster RSS Feeds Search
Filangy Social Search
Find Forward Meta Feature Search
FindSounds* Audio Search
Fisssh! Filtered Search (HM)
FyberSearch Meta Feature Search
Gigablast* Blog Search
Girafa* Visual Display
Gnosh Meta Search
GoLexa Meta Feature Search
GoshMe* (SEM) Meta Meta Search
GoYams* Meta Search
Grokker* Meta Search
Gruuve Recommendation Search
Hakia Meaning Based Search
Hyper Search Filtered Search
iBoogie Clustering Search
IceRocket* Blog Search MetaSearch
Ixquick* Meta Search
KartOO* Clustering Search
KoolTorch (SEM) Clustering Search
Lexxe* Natural Language Processing (NLP)
Lijit Search People
Like* Visual Search
LivePlasma* Recommendation Search (HM)* Local Search
Mamma MetaSearch
Mnemomap Clustering Search
Mojeek* Custom Search Engines (CSE)
Mooter* Clustering Search
Mp3Realm MP3 Search
Mrquery Clustering Search
Ms. Dewey* Unique Interface (HM)
Nutshell MetaSearch
Omgili Social Search
Pagebull* Visual Display
PeekYou People Search
Pipl People Search
PlanetSearch* MetaSearch
PodZinger Podcast Search
PolyMeta MetaSearch
Prase MetaSearch
PureVideo Video Search (HM)
Qksearch Clustering Search
Querycat F.A.Q. Search (HM)
Quintura* Clustering Search
RedZee Visual Display
Retrievr Visual Search
Searchbots Continuous Search
SearchKindly Charity Search
Searchles* (DumbFind) Social Search
SearchTheWeb2* Long Tail Search
SeeIt Image Search
Sidekiq* MetaSearch
Slideshow* Visual Display
Slifter* Mobile Shopping Search (HM)
Sphere Blog Search
Sproose Social Search
Srchr* MetaSearch
SurfWax* Meaning Based Search
Swamii Continuous Search (HM)* Shopping Search
Trexy* Search Trails
Turboscout* MetaSearch
Twerq Tabbed Results* Social Search
WasaLive! RSS Search
Web 2.0* Web 2.0 Search
Webbrain* Clustering Search
Whonu?* MetaSearch
Wikio* Web 2.0 Search
WiseNut* Clustering Search
Yoono* Social Search
ZabaSearch* People Search
Zuula* Tabbed Search (HM)