Little-Known Search Engines

January 9, 2008

Here’s a run down of little known engines with links to their web sites.

As I work to complete “Beyond Search: What to Do When Your Search Engine Doesn’t Work,” I reviewed my list of companies offering search technology. I could not remember much about several of them.

Here’s what triggered my checking to see what angle each of these companies takes, or in some cases, took towards search and retrieval.

  • Aftervote — A metasearch engine with a “vote up” or “vote down” button for results.
  • AskMeNow — A mobile search service that wanted my cell number. I didn’t test it. The splash page says is a “smart service”.
  • C-Search Solutions — A search system for “your IBM Domino domain.” The company offers a connector to hook the Google Search Appliance to Domino content.
  • Ceryle — A data management system that generates topics and associations.
  • — Site has gone dark when I tested it on January 8, 2008. It was a “search engine for impatient boomers”.
  • Dumbfind — An amazing name. A social search system. Dumbfind describes itself as a “user generated content site.” A social search system, I believe.
  • Exorbyte — A German high-performance search system. Lists eBay, Yahoo, and the ailing Convera as customers.
  • Eyealike — A visual search engine. The splash page says “you can search for your dream date.” Alas, not me. Too old.
  • Ezilon — not Ezillion which is an auction site. A Web directory and search engine.
  • Idée Inc. — The company develops advanced image recognition and visual search software. Piximilar is the company’s image search system.
  • Kosmix — An “intelligent search engine”. The system appears to mimic some of the functions of Google’s universal search system.
  • Linguistic Agents — The company’s search technology bridges “language and technology”
  • Paglo Inc. — This is a “search engine for information technology on an Intranet. The system discovers “everything on your network”.
  • Q Phrase — The company offers “discovery tools”.
  • Semantra — The sysetm allow syou to have “an intelligent conversation with your enterprise databases.”
  • Sphinx — Sphinx is a full text search engine for database content.
  • Surf Canyon — In beta. The system shows related information when you hover over a hit in a results list.
  • Syngence — A content analytics company, Syngence focuses on “e-discovery”.
  • Viziant — The company is “a pioneer in delivering tools for discovery.”
  • Xerox Fact Spotter — Text mining tools developed at Xerox “surpass search”. The description of the system seems similar to the Inxight system that’s now part of Business Objects which is now owned by SAP.

Several observations are warranted. First, I am having a difficult time keeping up with many of these companies’ systems. Second, text mining and other rich text processing solutions are notable. Semantics, linguistics, and other techniques to squeeze meaning from information are hard-to-miss trends. The implication is that key word search is slipping out of the spotlight. Finally, investors are putting up cash to fund a very wide range of search-and-retrieval operations. Even though consolidation is underway in the search sector, there’s a steady flow of new and often hard-to-pronounce vendors chasing revenue.

Stephen E. Arnold
9 January 2008, 11:00am


4 Responses to “Little-Known Search Engines”

  1. Yakov on January 10th, 2008 1:44 pm

    Stephen, I wanted to let you know that Quintura has been recently named the Alternative Search Engine of the Year by The editor of AltSearchEngines tracks hundreds of alternatives to Google since the beginning of 2007.

    We have just re-launched a kid-friendly search engine Quintura Kids on The most noticeable new feature is Embed it! where you can get code and embed Quintura Kids to a web or blog page.

    Please check Quintura on out and let us know your views.

  2. cbrady on January 24th, 2008 8:55 am is a new research and collaboration portal worth checking out. Not only does it analyze content in a way not possible with traditional search engines, but it also lets you organize your research into virtual notebooks, which can be exported to the web or Word.

  3. Heiner on February 28th, 2008 9:18 am

    Hey Stephen,

    i’m surprised that you sort exorbyte to the “litte known search engines”. Is that an individual point of view?

    Exorbyte has the best search technology for structured data. Proven in benchmarks with over 85 million data sets. We are not like fast, autonomy and the rest (If there is any). They are good for looking in office documents. But when it comes to search in online directories, online shops, telephon books, site search + every kind of structured data, they are the worst choice you can make.(Unless you are happy to invest most of your budget in consulting and hardware)

    That is our market, and there is no one better, faster, more fault-tolerant, flexible and able to search in milliseconds in huge data sets than Exorbyte’s technology.

    If you would like to test it, give me an answer.

    All the best


  4. Stephen E. Arnold on February 28th, 2008 5:01 pm

    Thanks for writing. “Little known” is an ambiguous phrase. When I am in Europe, I do hear about Exorbyte, and I hear generally positive remarks. In the context of this Web log, “little known” is used to suggest that there are very interesting, even quite significant content processing systems that are not on the radar of pundits in the US consultancies, Wall Street analysts, and high-profile SEO conference organizers.

    I do follow Exorbyte and I may include the system in my next “Beyond Search” study.

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