AllPlus, “The Universal Meta Search and Discovery Engine,” is a relatively new metacrawler that searches for websites, news, images, video, and blogs on Ask, Google, MSN Live, and Yahoo! According to the developers, AllPlus “aims to identify and present the very best search results from the very best information sources on the Web.” They “have developed and integrated powerful Natural Language Processing algorithms in query analysis and refinement, search strategy, relevancy ranking, focused drill-down and exploration of multi-dimensional information spaces.”
I was able to add AllPlus to the search engines in my IE 7 browser, so I’ve been using it a fair amount recently. It’s finicky on occasion, but I like it a lot.
Unlike Live and Yahoo!, AllPlus has a clean home page:
For a test, I used the search terms crop circles. After informing me that it was analyzing the topc 160 results, I got 115 hits. The results page shows a Cluster Tree in a sidebar on the left, like the clusters you get when using Clusty, with options to show more or show all. In the middle are the Web Results, including which search engine(s) had the website listed and, apparently, excluding any sponsored/paid results. In separate boxes on the right are results for News, Images, Video, and Blogs, each with an option for showing more results:
When you click on the Cluster Graph tab at the top of the left sidebar, a window like the following opens:
You can use the slidebar at the bottom to select only clusters (terms) with a certain number of hits or more. The image above shows all the clusters. The one below shows clusters with seven or more results.
You can move the clusters around to get a clearer view. Here’s the first view of the cluster graph after it’s been moved.
The Cluster Graph can also be “docked” on the original results page:
If AllPlus just had thumbnails of the websites it brings back, it would be almost perfect.