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KartOO

Should You Ditch Google?
By

KartOO

www.kartoo.com Strong: An interesting design makes it a quirky conversation piece. Weak: The weirdness of design makes it impossible to get used to.

KartOO is easily the most interesting alternative search engine for one reason: its design requires you to suspend all preconceived notions about what a search engine should be and allow the unique experience to simply remove you from your former frame of reference.

KartOO calls itself the “visual search engine,” but it also delivers in a variety of other ways that make you desperate to show people just how wacky it is. However, you will likely never use it on a daily basis.

After inputting a query to the search engine, KartOO lets the company’s logo, a genie, get to work on finding the most relevant results it can and displaying them as thumbnail images that are linked to keywords, all within a visual display unlike anything you’ve ever seen in a search engine. The search engine also displays a list of “topics” that have some relevance to the query and allow you to click on them if you want to expand your search.

Describing exactly how KartOO looks will take more room than we have here, but suffice to say it’s easily one of the most interesting, yet brutally unbearable search engines you’ll ever use. After searching with a simple query – “dog” – KartOO retrieved over 42 million pages and showed thumbnails of the relevant sites (AKC.org was most prominent) and the keywords that could be linked to each.

Although it returned highly relevant results, the KartOO interface was practically impossible to navigate and there was too much going on to really enjoy using the search engine. For more complex searches like “where to find a dog pound in my area,” the search engine once again performed admirably, but it was impossible to get over its incomprehensible design and find the best result. And although it’s absolutely possible to get used to the site and find good results, the vast majority of people will search once, examine how results are displayed and never come back. It’s that weird.

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  • 1 Hide
    malveaux , August 26, 2008 1:13 PM
    Heya,

    Seeing as how google works perfectly fine, has gmail, already searches through all the same things and has a simple powerful interface as well as igoogle for customization, I'm not really certain why any article should ever be called `should we ditch google' as if something were wrong with it.

    The title is more like something I'd expect surrounding a microsoft product. Not google.

    And I'm not a google fan boy, I'm just random internet user number 7 billion and think it's great to have alternatives, but there's no reason to make a slandery type of title to introduce it.

    Very best,
  • 0 Hide
    invlem , August 26, 2008 3:01 PM
    This clusty thing seems alright, I'll admit I like the filter menu on the left-hand side which groups sites into subject categories.

    I've tried a multitude of searches, the top 10 correspond similar to those of google, and the search is equally as fast. Overall I'd say they're comparable, not enough to drop Google like a sack of potatoes though.

    Over all it seems to be a worthy alternative, much more worthy than quoole or quile, or whatever the heck that last site was, I can't even remember the name correctly, horrible top 10 hits, and horrid search times.
  • 0 Hide
    invlem , August 26, 2008 3:04 PM
    Cuil* its at the top of this article even :p 
  • -1 Hide
    bobbknight , August 26, 2008 4:24 PM
    Right now nothing is better than Google.
    Almost and as good as don't cut it.
    By the way what Toms article leaves out the conclusion?
    It's easier to read the comments than the article.
    Speaking of dumping MS Office, done that. I now use Open Office, it works great.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 26, 2008 5:38 PM
    Thanks for the Powerset mention. You might want to also check out the republished Wikipedia pages (click through on any of the links and notice that we republish that page). We have lots of enhancements on that page to make your experience better. Maybe you should do a follow up article with companies trying to innovate on the Wikipedia experience, though certainly not with the intention of getting people to "ditch" Wikipedia =)

    -mark, powerset product manager
  • 0 Hide
    cruiseoveride , August 26, 2008 6:15 PM
    you forgot google.com you you you....wont say it.
  • 0 Hide
    designerfx , August 26, 2008 8:37 PM
    Searches tried:

    UL, UL 790 (an engineering standard), venture bros season 3 torrent, cello music, tomshardware

    each of these is reflected in my comment below.

    clusty has some interesting things that google doesn't. However, it is not that accurate. I dont' know what searches you've done but I've done everything from generic to politically sensitive issues and found far more accurate results on google.

    Cuil, is completely useless and the amount of results is a lie/often overstated. They will take 1 result and turn it into "1500" somehow by counting every image and link on a website as another result for the same website. You can't get more than 50 pages deep on cuil, it simply won't let you. Whoops! I think the total results is probably in the realm of 200 thousand.


    Kartoo, won't even work without flash enabled. I refuse to play into the need for javascript or flash just to do a damn search. It is a text based search we are doing.

    Mahalo is so inaccurate it's retarded. I get like 6 results for stuff, but it does give me the option to "Create" the page, whatever that means. As you editors admitted yourself, it's useless.

    Powerset apparently can't do in detail specific topics that google covers well such as UL 790 and venture bros, you just see nothing. Let's go with "Crap, yet again".

    Trexy has an interesting idea, but it needs refining. No valid/successful results, though.

    Wikia crawls google and yahoo. Also needs java to run. remind me again why we HAVE to have java for search? Results were horribly inaccurate too.

    Honestly guys, whatever drugs you are smoking when you write your ridiculously positive reviews please share them as I would like to have some of it too.

    /opinions my own, not my companies, yadda
  • 0 Hide
    randomizer , August 27, 2008 12:58 AM
    I ran Nexplore once. It was so fancy that I could do 5 google searches in the time it took to load one page of results. And this is without trying to customise anything.

    Google is pretty boring, but it's fast, and in the end that matters most to me.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 27, 2008 8:17 AM
    The clusty.com site doesn't work anymore? Quite odd or funny?
  • 0 Hide
    randomizer , August 27, 2008 8:21 AM
    anonymous1981The clusty.com site doesn't work anymore? Quite odd or funny?

    Works for me.
  • 0 Hide
    dhvd79a , August 27, 2008 3:05 PM
    "clusty has some interesting things that google doesn't. However, it is not that accurate. I dont' know what searches you've done but I've done everything from generic to politically sensitive issues and found far more accurate results on google."

    I've used this "clusty" when it was still vivisimo.com. I find the exact opposite. The searches are generally more relevant than anything google.com presents.

  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , August 27, 2008 3:38 PM
    There is a good reason to try alternatives... In case you hadn't noticed, competition benefits the end-user... unless you juist want to be google sheep? That being said, yes google is the best and I enjoy using it but I will give it a rest on the very moment I discover something that is AT LEAST as good. They are raking in WAY to much money and they're spending habits are ATTROCIOUS. They need to have the user-base taken away to start appreciating it again. IMO.

    PS, if you think ditch makes the title slanderous, you have problems...
  • 0 Hide
    bobwya , August 27, 2008 5:29 PM
    nelson_nelIMO.PS, if you think ditch makes the title slanderous, you have problems...


    +1 and yes lets just lets make sure Google has no competition at the same time!!

    Bob
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 27, 2008 7:21 PM
    I gave up google 2-3 months after it hit the web simply because it is anti-1st, 2nd amendment, anti-American, & out to try and do what MSFT has been unable to do: control all net traffic/info. Plus it's fascist to the core & it plainly telegraphs that it is evil. It's got its claws in pretty good now. As for search: botbot, Copernic [since the web began darn near & on your desktop], Mamma, Highway 66, & Beaucoup to name just a few. Clusty doesn't seem too bad.
  • 0 Hide
    Kami3k , August 28, 2008 3:51 PM
    Kuni LemmelI gave up google 2-3 months after it hit the web simply because it is anti-1st, 2nd amendment, anti-American, & out to try and do what MSFT has been unable to do: control all net traffic/info. Plus it's fascist to the core & it plainly telegraphs that it is evil. It's got its claws in pretty good now. As for search: botbot, Copernic [since the web began darn near & on your desktop], Mamma, Highway 66, & Beaucoup to name just a few. Clusty doesn't seem too bad.


    I really hope you are joking....
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 29, 2008 6:28 PM
    this is all i get for clusty.com:

    The page you are looking for is currently unavailable. The Web site might be experiencing technical difficulties, or you may need to adjust your browser settings.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 29, 2008 8:15 PM
    Hell ya! More competition is better for the end-users. Clusty will keep those Google dudes stay competitive with a better search and perhaps pop the ridiculous stock price buble that Wall Street hyped up to draw in the suckers for quick cash.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 29, 2008 10:22 PM
    www.yahoo.com use a real search engine.

    "Clusty is perhaps Google http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google ’s most worthy competitor."

    Can't say I agree as I have heard of plenty of search engines, but sadly, not this one.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 30, 2008 3:09 AM
    Hey kami3k!, Kuni Lemmel isn't joking...all (his?) statements are true and backed up in fact. Google is a leftist/socialist enterprise...which is ironic since they use capitalism to try and further their restrictive socialist agenda...only in America!

    wonder if you can 'google' the die-hard liberal owner's biases?

    ...I bet they're buds with "Ben&Jerry's"...lol
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 30, 2008 1:53 PM
    previously,i want to your apologize if my English is bad.

    i'm very interesting for this post 'coz this post give me information about Google contender and how they develop their search engine better than Google. i have a request for this site owner (Mr.Tom),may i use this topic (Should you Ditch Google?) as a source information to my blog with my own language (Indonesian). my blog is richozphrenia.wordpress.com. please send me the confirmation as soon as possible to my email. thx a lot for your kindness.
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