What to use besides Google?
July 12, 2010 4:15 AM   Subscribe

What's a good alternative to Google? Their new algorithm (Caffeine) stresses fresh content and that's not what I always want.

Google's so ingrained in me, that I don't know how to search the net without it. I was a fan well before they did an IPO and well before they went mainstream. However, lately I've done searches which yield no results. It's gotten to the point where I've said to myself "Does this not exist because it's not in Google?"

As a collector of vintage hand tools, fresh content is not my main concern, so what search engine do you suggest?

For example, I have a pair of locking pliers (KNU-VISE V-10 Made in Detroit) that I'd to know more about. I can't find anything about them on Google.
posted by qsysopr to Technology (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
A search for your tool on Bing yielded no results. However, a search for Knu-Vise brought me to the manufacturer's website, which has a comparison chart of all the tools they currently make: http://www.knu-vise.com/comparison.php

Your tool is not on that chart. However, you might be able to get some information about it if you email or call the company.

In my experience, Bing is the best alternative to Google.
posted by twblalock at 4:35 AM on July 12, 2010

I Googled for KNU-VISE V-10 and this was the first hit:

Are you getting something different?
posted by Mwongozi at 4:48 AM on July 12, 2010

Mwongozi, you're right that that result comes up in Google. But is that about the KNU-VISE V-10? I'm not seeing it. There's V-100, but not V-10.
posted by Jaltcoh at 5:06 AM on July 12, 2010

I Googled for KNU-VISE V-10 and this was the first hit:

Are you getting something different?

The V-10 is not listed on that page.

It could be that you're not finding anything because there's nothing to find - I looked for your model number on bing, yahoo, ask and cuil. None of them have anything about your tool.
posted by missmagenta at 5:10 AM on July 12, 2010

He could be throwing the whole search term into quotes: the only thing that comes up in that case is actually this Ask MeFi post.

I don't believe Caffeine affects the search quality on static content. My impression is that Caffeine allows Google to rapidly rebuild parts of its index, allowing them to incorporate real time results. This shouldn't affect something like a vintage hand tools catalog; this should be indexed as before.

In any case, you can use Bing.
posted by chengjih at 5:17 AM on July 12, 2010

Best answer: As someone who used to work QA on a (different) search engine: freshness algorithms just promote newer content above older content where it exists. Older pages don't get removed, they just get downranked to appear lower in the search results.
For example, if you were searching for the name of a recurring conference ("MetaCon"), a freshness algorithm sees that there are multiple exact references to it ("MetaCon 1998" "MetaCon 2002" "MetaCon 2006" "MetaCon 2010") and will adjust their ranking values so that the most recent page is the first result of the group, with older pages following in order (2010, 2006, 2002, 1998).
If there is only one page - 1998 - then that one will be the top result for an exact match.

Summary: if the only pages on your topic are old, you should still see them in search results.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 5:30 AM on July 12, 2010

Response by poster: Bing's never done anything for me. That is, it's never delivered anything I didn't get with Google.
posted by qsysopr at 5:59 AM on July 12, 2010

I found a 1944 KNU-VISE Catalog for $12: KNU-VISE Toggle Action Clamping Tools Catalog Number 4
posted by ennui.bz at 6:12 AM on July 12, 2010

I think this is a case where picking up the phone and calling the company will yield the best search results.
posted by mkultra at 7:19 AM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: DuckDuckGo is up and coming as far as search engines go, and offers some really useful features.
posted by dirm at 10:02 AM on July 12, 2010

Google blog post on Caffeine

I don't think it does what you think it does. It's mostly about changing the way we index stuff so things appear faster. It does not, as far as I know, use freshness to affect search quality beyond what L'Estrange Fruit suggests.

[this is just from what I've read -- the search algorithm stuff is super secret sauce that even other Googlers like myself don't get to see]
posted by wildcrdj at 2:16 PM on July 12, 2010

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