Friday, July 9, 2010

Resource Review: Yippy

Occasionally it's worth remembering that Google isn't the only search engine on the market.

Yippy is one of the newer kids on the block but, as is the way with many search engines, it's more of a new identity for an older model.

Some of you may remember Clusty - the search engine that would cluster your results based on keywords? Well, Clusty has pulled a Stephanie Harper and is now walking around with a new face and name: Yippy.

Yippy still has Clusty's search algorithm, and it still clusters results based on keywords appearing on the pages. This can be very useful when searching for terms that are used in a variety of fields. The advanced search options aren't that great (but then, they never were), but the clustering technology helps make up for this. Expect Google to steal this feature at some point in the future.

At the moment, for some reason, you can see two different views when going into Yippy. One is sitting at the address http://clusty.com/, and is the straight Yippy search engine. However if you go to http://www.yippy.com/, you can choose to see a kind of browser-within-a-browser - complete with address bar. You also get a few extra toys in the Yippy menu, which stay on top of whatever web page you are viewing as long as you remain within the Yippy inner-browser.

These toys include news items that can be browsed by category (can be quite specific - there's a whole sub-category for "curling news" under the sports tab), computer games (like Pong and Mah Jong solitaire) and "TV". They've actually uploaded a collection of old cinematic shorts and cartoons for you to watch - making use of the public domain.

It still has some bugs to work out. For example, the search function has a tendency to take you outside the inner-browser. Quite frankly, the inner-browser is a bit annoying and promises to be an invitation to waste time. However, it's worth seeing what Yippy has to offer. On the one hand, the clustering technique is very useful. On the other hand, anything they do that's worth-while is bound to be bought up by Google eventually...

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