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There is life beyond Google

AltaVista offers superb audio and video searches, If you want to find people or find out what people are talking about, Lycos makes sense, If you want to customize and save your search results, A9's your engine (but cozy relationship with Alexa raises privacy concerns). For everything else, use Google.

CNet has a nice comparison of search engines - They took a fresh look at Google, Yahoo, and seven of their closest competitors, focusing on their interfaces, features, and functionality. While Google and Yahoo still trump their rivals in terms of overall search, we found that almost every player in our competition brought something unique to the table. For example, AOL Search offers real-time search suggestions while you type in your query; Ask Jeeves offers a cool thumbnail preview of Web pages on its search results; and LookSmart has a unique periodical search feature, plus a one-of-a-kind page archiving tool.

Search engine alternatives such as A9, AltaVista, AOL Search, Ask Jeeves, LookSmart, Lycos, and MSN Search are launching innovative tools and services to catch up with the two Web searching giants. The search engine comparison report can be viewed in a matrix style - As expected, Yahoo! and Google top the charts but A9 from Amazon is fast catching up.

wins because of the intuitive interface; excellent image searches; best-of-class local searches, producing maps with satellite imagery; cached pages and related links; sponsored links clearly separated out into the right-hand column; desktop search tool; downloadable toolbar. Businesses can use search engines to better understand their competition in the marketplace.