Search Multiple Sites Simultaneously

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News Posted: Wed, Jan 14 2009 1:21 PM
Google might be the most popular search engine, but it is by no means the only search engine people use. In fact, when people are truly digging for information it is not unheard of for them to use more than one search engine to find what they are looking for. So why not use multiple search engines at the same time? That's what the folks over at SearchBoth.com have allowed you to do--using the two most popular search engines, Google and Yahoo!, SearchBoth.com essentially mashed-up both sites, giving side-by-side results. Now SearchBoth has taken their mash-up a big step further and have added a bunch more sites you can perform simultaneous searches on--including not just other search sites, but also travel, shopping, apartment rental, and job sites, as well as others.

The newly updated version of SearchBoth.com currently offers nine different multiple search categories. The top category is "compare search engines," which allows you to conduct searches using any two at the same time from Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask, DogPile, MetaCrawler, AltaVista, LookSmart, and WebSearch. You can preselect if you want to do a search for Web pages, images, videos, news, or more. A results page opens with the search results from the two sites on each side of a split screen.

 An example of a search of Google and Yahoo!
(Click the image to enlarge)

The "compare travel sites" category allows you to search from a number of travel sites simultaneously, including Travelocity, Orbitz, TravelZoo, Priceline.com, CheapTickets, SideStep, Kayak, and more. You input your departing and arrival cities, the number of adults traveling, whether the trip is one-way or roundtrip, your departing and returning dates, and what class (economy, business, or first class) you would prefer, and then hit the Search button. We actually had some problems with the travel searches--despite that fact that we tried several different browsers and made sure that their pop-up blockers were disabled, the travel search results screen kept telling us that our popup-up blocker needed to be turned off. Needless to say, we were unable to see the results of our travel searches. The travel search uses YellowPages.Travel as its search engine.

The "compare shopping sites" category uses DiscountMore.com as its search engine--you will need to be a DiscountMore.com member (it's free) in order to see your search results. Just type in the name of the product you are looking for and a search window opens showing results from a wide variety of vendors. For instance, our search for the "Garmin Nuvi 265w" queried 28 different online sources, such as eBay, Amazon, Buy.com, OverStock.com, Wal-Mart, and Costco. The results were sometimes off the mark, however; for instance, eDealInfo.com instead listed a number of Dell and HP desktop systems.

The "compare apartment rental sites" category works similar to the "search travel sites" category--and since the apartment rentals search worked for us, it gives us an idea of how the travel sites search is supposed to work. Apartment rental search uses RentCompare.com as its search engine. You will need to sign up as a (free) member of RentCompare.com in order to use this search (note that you can use the same login credentials for SearchBoth.com, YellowPages.Travel, DiscountMore.com, and Andwers.travel). To search for apartment rentals you input the city name or zip code, the state, the radius, any relevant keywords, the price range you are willing to pay, and the number of bedrooms you are looking for. Unfortunately, you are not presented with a comprehensive list of results, as you are with the search engines or shopping sites searches. Instead, you are presented with a page from which you can then click on links of the individual rental sites to see the results for that site. When we searched for an apartment in Philadelphia, we were presented with a page that included links for 17 different sites, including apartments.com, Rent.com, Rentals.com, and craiglist. Clicking on any one of these links took us to the specific search results on that particular apartment rental site.

We like the concept of consolidating search results from multiple sites into a single search, but we were less than impressed at how SearchBoth executes these searches for anything other than for search engines. If SearchBoth can clean things up and get the searches to work more seamlessly, they might have a winner on their hands. If you decide to check out SearchBoth, note that 15-percent of SearchBoth's net proceeds are donated to charitable causes.
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Jeremy replied on Wed, Jan 14 2009 2:27 PM

Anybody remember MetaCrawler? It was my personal favorite until Google came along.

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3vi1 replied on Wed, Jan 14 2009 7:10 PM

The shopping comparisons are kind of nice, but dogpile.com has been doing multi-engine searches since 1996.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

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JAgee replied on Fri, Mar 25 2011 12:56 AM

RefDog.com will search up to 26 different sites simultaneously.

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