User-centered design and technical design are two big aspects in deciding what search technology works. New search technology is mainly centered on how a user gets the information. Similar to how school teachers teach students, is how technology leaders develop search engines. I will explain some of the new technologies and give some references.
Ask and HotBot both have a selectable skin interface. Bing may have that soon, also. Ask manages their engine?s content database by indexing ?smart? sites. Smart sites are considered websites that deliver content worth looking at. While some content may not be so good, Ask wants better. The only improvement of Ask.com is the skin interface and the preview thumbnails in search results. Ask is all about CONTENT. Ask.com is a big engine, which is based off of the Lycos engine. Both Ask and HotBot are based from the Lycos engine. HotBot is now based off of Yahoo! and Bing/MSN.
Bing?s search engine has a skin that changes daily. Instead of a selectable skin (which may change), you see a nice, comfortable image. Critics respond aggressively at Microsoft for allowing video preview thumbnails for adult content. Let us hope Microsoft changes that soon, to help improve child safety. Just over a week of big time Bing boom, Norton has child safety tools available. Bing is a copycat, in my opinion, as if you type in a specific term, like turkey, and get semi-different results all down the page. The semi-different results help distinguish what you are looking for. However, showing images first, before results should be changed to showing images after the results ? or, how about hiding images, because they may contain objectionable content. Nonetheless, Bing definitely has the ball on showing enhanced results. Just click enhanced view on a search result, and get an i-framed page of code-modified, scripted content. Wait! Microsoft warns about accessing content through i-frames. Is this really possible to have a safe search engine, with i-frame capability? I am not so sure it is a big deal, but a script based attack is possible.
Cuil places an edge that Google has gotten a tiny bit jealous of. The hovering search results. Hovering search results, emphasizes a preview thumbnail of a search result, for search terms on the right side of the page. This helps the user get what they need faster. The headers on the right side of the search results are typical narrowed down results that contain links ? with the ability to preview the links. Search results are gathered if they are a same subject, and separated if they are different.
Dogpile has a force behind it that it will find every relevant result based on the search terms only. In gathering the results, it makes sure the results are worth looking at and see if they actually relate to each other. Most commonly, a search result does not appear, until another search engine has that result. In general, the compatibility of the engine is so strong, it can search fast all the time. Because, it does not have a bot-centered interface, Dogpile has more to offer than just its original results.
Grokker and kartOO have visual search interfaces that can show you two to three different visual views, and can provide a database for you to expand. You can capture other links, and select for yourself what looks the best.
What may seem like great technology ? it truly is worth checking out. Many of the sites explained have a similar philosophy: get the information to the user as fast as possible, as long as it is relevant.