Yes, I use Google for my primary search engine. However, I recognize the importance of trying my search in other engines. I rely on subject specific engines such as Findlaw (legal information), NLH gateway (health information), and TripAdvisor (travel information) when applicable. When searching for general material, if I get too many irrelevant hits, I usually execute my search in an “alternative” engine.
One such engine is Hakia. Hakia is based on semantic searching. What does that mean to you? The website explains, “Hakia is a semantic search engine that brings relevant results based on concept match rather than keyword match or popularity ranking.” A 2007 conversation between the staff at Alt Search Engines and Hakia’s CEO, highlight some of the features.
I conducted a search using the terms “metadata and “electronic discovery.” Results on the first page were all from recognizable sources. All were quite relevant. Hakia also highlighted my search terms, which is a nice feature. The option to open the page in a new window was available for all hits.
Another feature of this engine is evident by searching the term “autism.” The results are divided into sections such as general information, symptoms & diagnostics, treatment, news, clinical trials, research and many more. Again, the sources of the information are recognized agencies, organizations, and government sites.
One final note of discussion – search the term “mesothelioma.” The top few results demonstrate Hakia’s “quality rankings.” Per the website, these results satisfy “three criteria simultaneously: It (1) comes from credible sources (verticals) recommended by librarians, (2) is the most recent information available, and (3) is absolutely relevant to the query.”