Though Google may have a monopoly on mainstream Internet consciousness, they definitely are not the be all end all of search engines. Here are a few you may never heard of. They are worth checking out because even if you know Boolean logic and advanced search techniques you can still end up with a lot of content you prefer not to wade through.
Legendary Kingdoms Heavy Metal Search Engine – I created this one after frustration using Google to look up bands like Riot, Rage, Anvil, and others. The engine features over 300 hand picked sites, many so obscure they won’t show up in the first pages of regular search engine searches (if at all) and make this site a must for finding out what happened to so and so.
Word on the Wire – I really dig this one. Type in your search and up comes results from Blekko, You Tube, Twitter and Google Images in four columns. It doesn’t get better than this for general purpose search engines.
Blekko – Calls itself “the spam-free search engine.” And from my limited use of it the claims seem to be true. Blekko uses slashtags (explained in their tutorial) that can reveal search results they say are impossible to get in other search engines. I tried out the slashtag concept and am impressed.
Zuula – Another general purpose search engine. Quite fast though the results come from other engines. In beta, but works quite well. You can set search preferences.
Writer’s Knowledge Base – A Search Engine for writers.
Million Short – ‘Competes’ with Google by removing the top million popular indexes from it’s search. A sidebar lists the sites it blocked content from. Personally I didn’t find this one anywhere nearly effective as the intro video dramatically implies. It is also very slowwwww.
SymbolHound – Got a problem with a character you don’t know the meaning of or even know what it’s called. This site will help you. Simply type or paste the character in the search box and get answers.
Blinkx – Not awesome by any means, however this is the best video search engine I tried. Much better than Live Plasma. You can sign in with Facebook.
Search Engine Colossus – A giant compendium of Search Engines. Not well designed or as easy to use as it doesn’t have a search function, just lists to sift through. Nevertheless, if you’ve got the time and patience, it is useful for finding a wide spectrum of Search Engines.