A review of “SearchGBY“, The website and extensions for FireFox and Chrome – The new enhancements to search, and a new twist in the search engine wars
Every few months, someone tries to develop some new search technology, to challenge Google, and inevitably they fail. Nobody ever thought of simply enhancing the current search engine technologies. Along comes SearchGBY.com. SearchGBY stands for Search Google, Bing and Yahoo - essentially what they have accomplished is aggregating the information from the three search engines , keeping the exact display format currently in use, while also introducing much needed search enhancements . Due to the innovative search engine technology enhancements, SearchGBY.com is currently defining themselves in the search engine technology war , while gaining attention , momentum, and copycats worldwide.
SearchGBY.com founder Leo Jeremias states, “What we have been working for over a year has recently been launched by Google with half the functionality”. Google has recently announced image previews to their search, one of the fundamentals of SearchGBY, but they essentially ignored the main function, which is to be able to see the actual image preview and read it as if actually going to the website”.
“Although our website is very nice, we don’t want to change users search habits or what they are used to “, said Mr. Jeremias. So what SearchGBY.com has developed is a browsers plug-in for both Firefox and Chrome which essentially upgrades your search with all the bells and whistles you see on SearchGBY’s website.
The first thing we noticed when installing SearchGBY internet browser extension was a small icon in the bottom right which acts as an on and off button so a user can turn the Plug in it on and off, and right click to toggle different features and play with different options. Since these plug-ins have so many enhancements you can pick and choose which is more important to you, and switch on and off as needed.
A tiny non invasive toolbar provides logos for Google Bing and Yahoo and take you directly to the results of either search engines, which actually isn’t needed since the results are available directly below if turned on. However that feature was useful when we turned off the aggregation. Here was the kicker although you can switch websites easily you don’t have to since even when on Google I can see Bing and Yahoos results right underneath completely separated in the same format as if Google itself was giving you Yahoo and Bing results. An automatic filter removes duplicate results, so you get only unique results in one page.
Another unique feature of SearchGBY.com is their “Fast Preview” search feature. We will get to that later.
Image previews are neatly placed next to the results and this is completely different than thumbnails, since clicking on them and rolling your mouse wheel, gives you a clear picture of the resulting page and if you wait another three seconds it pulls a real time image that is as clear as going to the website itself. This is perfect for avoiding ad heavy sites, malware, pop ups and viruses allows a user to get the search results that are relevant without loading any websites, or even leaving Google.
This leads to the “Fast Preview” button, which opens a small square box directly within Google and provides a crystal clear slide show format of results that you can flip through, similar to Goggle flip or other readers.
Load time was lightning fast and the simplicity and quality of the entire program was astounding.
When comparing the search engines side by side with traditional methods of search, here were the results;
When searching Google, the top ten results and after reading descriptions and deciding to visit half the sites for relevancy, we loaded 5 sites with a total search time of 1 minute 55 seconds (using a high speed connection)
When searching with SearchGBY we received more results since we were served Yahoo and Bing which left us after the filter with a total of twenty two results. Using a combination of fast preview and site previews, the total search time for entire page was twenty seconds and we never left Google, although fast preview loaded two blank images.
Another big advantage of SearchGBY’s search engine technologies and browser extensions is the image searching, the one thing we feel like Google has major shortfalls with. Google’s image preview display is unorganized, and clicking on any image loads the web page with the image. However with” Fast preview” a user can directly flip through images on one page and in large format. A user can also change the size of the images, and most importantly a user can right click and save different sizes of the images. The install was worth it just for this feature alone, especially since we have all recently seen viruses being passed on via image searching, most notably the “think point virus”.
In the Chrome extension we were given an additional option that enhanced image search even more. When clicking on the GBY logo it opened a pop up, that loaded the website and when searching images you can click the images and drag the corner of the box to change the picture size. This provided a clickable image search capability, that is more efficient than every other image search.
The image previews lead to the unique image bookmarks and bookmarking system. The concept behind this idea was pure genius, although this utility is better served for students or advanced users than the average user who has a hard time using computers in general. When a user previews the site result, and waits three seconds to fetch a real time image, user can click and drag within the image to crop a small section, the image gets a small box that you can move and resize, and by clicking the small plus sign it actually saves a section of the website you just viewed. This freezes it in time and allows you to pull interesting info, quotes and research. A user can then save it in a folder and view it as an image instead of webpage, on and offline and can provide groups of people the availability to share bookmarks and research easily, without sending them to twenty different sites.
Within image bookmarks they have a feature which is useful. The “Fast Preview “can be turned into a news aggregator that allows a user to flip through their favorite news sites and blogs, which will allow a user to read them in fast preview quickly.
The main difference between this news viewer and Google flip was that a user can add and remove news sites, and are not limited to the pre-packaged sites that Google will feed you, allowing a user to add blogs as well, something user cannot currently do with Google.
Another difference noticed is Google updates news once an hour, while the fast preview was pulling news in real time and we were seeing live stories as they happened in the slide show format.
We asked Mr. Jeremias what stops Google from doing this themselves and he answered, “first of all we have a patent pending”, and quickly added, “and the one thing no search engine can do is aggregate the results of its competition, so we will always be a step ahead”.
The Firefox plug-in already has received thousands of downloads and reviews have been amazing. The Chrome extension has had fewer users, but was only released as recently as last week.
When Mr.Jeremias was asked, “What’s next? “, he responded that they are currently working on an Internet Explorer extension, numerous enhancements that will provide additional results for different searches from more places, an IPHONE app, and much more, when we asked what else he laughed and said he couldn’t tell me but to , “stay tuned”, and we will.
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