Friday, January 27, 2006


When it comes to searching the Internet, you've heard of Google, you've heard of Yahoo, you've heard of MSN, you've heard of Ask Jeeves.

But have you ever heard of a search engine known as Gigablast?

I've long thought that Gigablast doesn't receive the attention it deserves. Gigablast is the brainchild of one "little guy," Matt Wells, who singlehandedly designed and coded his search engine from scratch.

One of the virtues of Gigablast is that it maintains its own completely independent index— something which hardly anyone outside of the top three or four search engines still does nowadays.

Gone are the early days of the World Wide Web, when each search engine out there kept up its own index: Lycos and Excite and Alta Vista and HotBot and Northern Light and many others which have long since been forgotten. Nowadays most search engines, whatever name they go by, are being fed most or all of their search results from one of the very few search giants such as Google or Yahoo. But not Gigablast, which remains stubbornly independent.

Another strength of Gigablast is its astonishing array of features, including natural language queries, a web directory, optional advanced query syntax, and much, much more.

I must confess I'm not sure Gigablast's index is as fresh as it used to be. But overall it's an astonishing piece of work. I've long had Gigablast among the search engines on my toolbar. You can add a Gigablast toolbar to Internet Explorer or add a Gigablast plugin to Firefox. Or if you're an Opera user like me, you can add Gigablast to your Opera search.ini file— here's my (heavily customized) search.ini file, for any Opera users who'd like to download it and experiment with it.



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