I still remember the way I searched data through the primitive type of engine about 12-13 years ago. Although it slightly varied with search engines, to use Boolean operators was almost essential for finding appropriate data. For instance, I had to type in “+, –“ signs, or sometimes “&, |” when I looked up on the internet; somewhat it sounds like an old story. In these days, most of the search engines basically do not require us to input this kind of operators under the name of artificial intelligence, which is convenient at some points.
Recently, I found a new search engine, DuckDuckGo ( http://duckduckgo.com/ ) that has an adorable name and user interface and is one of the simplest and fastest engines. The first noticeable characteristic of it is what they call, “zero-click info”. If we type in some keywords for searching, DuckDuckGo instantly show brief contents of it at the top of the first result page by using Wikipedia, so we do not need to follow the links for more information. Of course, it may not enough for serious research, but it is worth for casual information, which takes big part of our internet surfing. They also show the official labels of sites in front of the every search result, and this enables us to recognize easily where the information came from. Moreover, DuckDuckGo provides hierarchical or categorized search results for users. As William B.Badke pointed out in the chapter 3, it might be problematic if we want to look up multivocal words, such as “rock”(Badke, 42). However, DuckDuckGo show the categorized results for these kinds of words, and consequently, we are able to choose appropriately for what we were looking.
It is true that not many engines win success in this technological world, however, it is always enjoyable to look around new “products” and compare its merits and demerits with previous ones. With this comparison, sometime we can predict the future of search engines and database.