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Conducting web-based research: Metasearch Engines

What are search engines?

Metasearch engines (also called multi-search engines) send your query to several different search engines at once and collate the results.

Examples of popular metasearch engines

These are popular metasearch engines:



  • some metasearch engines time out, so if any search engine site is too slow to respond its results may be excluded
  • with metasearch engines you do not have the same level of control over your search statement that you would have with an individual search engine.  The way of phrasing a search in a metasearch engine may not be the best way of searching in all the individual search engines that the metasearch engine visits
  • metasearch engines quite often change the selection of search engines they use
  • with some (e.g. Ixquick once you have done an initial search) you can “customise” your search by including or excluding particular search engines.