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MetaCrawler Fact Sheet


MetaCrawler®, one of the first metasearch engines, leverages many of the Web's best search engines simultaneously, returning the most efficient search results.

Site Overview:
MetaCrawler queries many of the Web's top search engines simultaneously, retrieving the best search results across the Internet and organizes them in a uniform format, ranking them by relevance.

MetaCrawler draws upon the databases of a large number of the Web's best search engines. MetaCrawler simultaneously sends queries to About, Ask Jeeves, FindWhat, LookSmart, and Overture, among others.

Key Features:
Efficiency is what sets MetaCrawler apart from other engines. Users are able to receive relevant results from more than a dozen leading search engines in the same amount of time it would take to independently search one engine.

MetaCrawler instantaneously queries multiple search engines, produces results, and then organizes the results according to relevance. MetaCrawler is more likely than a regular search engine to obtain accurate results and find relevant information.

In presenting search results, MetaCrawler combines and normalizes confidence scores to rank each result in a "voted" ordering. Results can be returned in order of the highest to lowest score.

MetaCrawler has extended its metasearch capabilities to include auctions, audio/MP3, image, domain name and origin, newsgroups and directories:

  • Audio/MP3: Simply click on MetaCrawler's Audio/MP3 tab, and the world of music is available. Results are sorted by relevance and category (i.e. title, artist, file name and more) of those first returned.
  • Image: In partnership with ditto.com, MetaCrawler's Image search feature helps users find images, pictures and photos.
  • Domain name and origin: MetaCrawler searches can also filter results by domain name (i.e. .edu, .com and .gov), region (i.e. North America, Europe, Asia, etc.) and by individual country.
  • Newsgroups: Through Google, MetaCrawler users can search the Web and find people discussing topics and information relevant to their search topic.
  • Directories: MetaCrawler users can also search various directories, including the Web's Best Directory, powered by LookSmart, and the Open Directory, part of the Open Project Directory, a volunteer effort to produce the Web's most comprehensive directory.

For extremely hard-to-find search items, MetaCrawler offers "Power Search." Options associated with Power Search include the ability to select specific engines to search, and the option to adjust the amount of time to wait for results, quantity of results per page, and number of results per search source.

MetaCrawler also has the capability to customize searches to produce even more timely and relevant results. The first level of customization consists of the "any" words, "all" words and as a "phrase" options. In addition to the previous search specifications, MetaCrawler recognizes special search syntax allowing the searcher to return even more specific results.

MetaCrawler offers two additional unique tools for the search enthusiast – MetaSpy and MiniCrawler. MetaSpy gives users a glimpse of what others are searching for at that very moment. Meanwhile, MiniCrawler is valuable for those trying to manage space on their desktop. It is a tiny version of MetaCrawler that gives users constant access to the Web's top metasearch service.

MetaCrawler, part of InfoSpace Inc., was developed in 1994 by then University of Washington (UW) graduate student Erik Selberg and UW Professor Oren Etzioni. MetaCrawler was first released to the Web in June 1995 and then licensed to Netbot, Inc., which Etzioni co-founded. Go2Net, now InfoSpace Inc, (NASDAQ: INSP), took over exclusive operation of MetaCrawler from Netbot in February 1997.

For more information, press only, Steve Stratz, PR Manager, 425-709-8167, steves@infospace.com

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