Searchme - Visual Search Engine
June 19, 2008 9:10 AM   Subscribe

Searchme is a search engine that displays results as images of web pages.
posted by xod (22 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I like it. But I won't use it. That's the problem with Google: it's about as definitive as it comes.

Although the "highlight the search term within the image" aspect of it is fairly nifty, I can't see a value in it beyond making the company more "acquirable". By Google.
posted by Jofus at 9:16 AM on June 19, 2008

First thought: oh, that's kind of cool, I should try that.
Second thought (while trying it): oh, that's quite pretty.
Third though (about ten seconds later): oh, I'm going back to Google.
posted by rhymer at 9:19 AM on June 19, 2008

mathowie recumbent

Okay, it works.
posted by yhbc at 9:22 AM on June 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

Kinda unnecessary... (except for porn)
posted by joelf at 9:22 AM on June 19, 2008

Why is Google better? I just tried it out and here's what I found:

1) The search results were very relevant. If anything, it seemed to have less noise in deeper results than Google.
2) Being able to see the snapshot of the page saved me from lots of click-and-back actions. In fact, I read most of them from the snapshot and never left searchme.
3) Being able to see the metadata the page publishes by hovering over the little info panel at the bottom of the screen shot is a big plus in my opinion.

I mean, I probably won't switch either since I've got alt+d+google+ctrl+enter engrained in muscle memory. But maybe I'll go make it my default search provider in that little box up in the corner of my webpage.
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:23 AM on June 19, 2008

I like how the warping on the side images isn't quite right, so they look wavy.
posted by smackfu at 9:23 AM on June 19, 2008

I do like the little category icons, especially since, for some reason I will never reveal, when I searched for "dead sheep" one of the categories it returned was "Canadian Government" with a cute little flag.
posted by Jimbob at 9:41 AM on June 19, 2008

RedZee does this too, along with one or two others. Or did - looks like it's having issues.
posted by cashman at 9:45 AM on June 19, 2008

And Bryns Brain, which is kinda fun.
posted by cashman at 9:49 AM on June 19, 2008

Google is better because:

1) It works all the time. After a couple of searches, I can no longer get SearchMe to do more than give me a dubious list of categories based on terms.
2) It can give me a list of 100 results I can scan in a few seconds, instead of 10 or so grainy images which take 10x longer to scan. The scrollwheel works sensibly for a start.
3) It doesn't break copy and paste and all the other nonsense of using flash.
4) It actually has some hope of finding something useful for most of the things I search for.

Funny gimmick though.
posted by Freaky at 9:52 AM on June 19, 2008

And Bryns Brain, which is kinda funslow.
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:53 AM on June 19, 2008

Google is better because...

Yeah, most of those are true. Though it is Beta, so we can forgive #1 and assume they'll fix it. As for #4, I've used it to help me find a site that I know what it looks like but can't find it in the long list of google results.

I think it is a good tool for some situations. I think #2 is the most important point--it's just too slow to really compete in the 90% case with google.
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:56 AM on June 19, 2008

Does Apple know about this? And did any of you use your back button when you were done flipping through the results? There has got to be an ajaxier way to serve up the results without clogging up your back button.
posted by Dave Faris at 10:01 AM on June 19, 2008

oh my god, i love this thing.
whenever i try a new search engine, i usually search for my nick 'yeoz', and, there were all the normal links for me, my flickr page, etc., and, out of the blue it shows this post in the blue. I would've never seen that post if it weren't for this search engine. I love it.
posted by yeoz at 10:02 AM on June 19, 2008

the fact that, in order to generate their index, they browsed a bajillion pages on our site, downloading all images, without identifying their user agent as a spider, was kind of annoying. plus their results suck and their interface sucks. but other than that, pretty cool.
posted by snofoam at 10:10 AM on June 19, 2008

Anyone else find they couldn't use their back button once there?
posted by maxwelton at 10:54 AM on June 19, 2008

No back button problems here (Firefox).
posted by xod at 11:32 AM on June 19, 2008

The back button on my mouse didn't work in IE.
posted by jeffamaphone at 12:26 PM on June 19, 2008

Did you back button problem-having folks try hitting it a few times? When I pushed mine, at first it just scrolled through the results, but then once it presumably got to the end of that, it went back to the previous page. This was in FF3.
posted by !Jim at 12:40 PM on June 19, 2008

Nifty. I like it!

I'm with the other posters who won't use it as an actual search engine, but it's certainly a fun new time wasting bauble. I'm embarrassed to admit that I typed the first thing that popped into my head into the search box before the graphics had fully loaded. That thing happened to be "cat".

Just when I thought I couldn't get anymore vanilla than I already am, once again the joke's on me. (Cut me some slack though, I have a lovely all white fixed cat who is a modern veterinary miracle- she went into heat three days ago and hasn't stopped yowling since)
posted by stagewhisper at 4:00 PM on June 19, 2008

Ha. Cat = Central Arkansas Transit.

Yeah. I was wondering if this engine wasn't somehow useful for visual research. For my purposes to date, nachomunch.
posted by xod at 9:28 AM on June 20, 2008

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