Should You Ditch Google?

Clusty Strong: Clusty’s breadth of options and relevance make it the best alternative search engine. Weak: It enlists the help of lesser search engines like Ask and Live to generate results.

Clusty is perhaps Google’s most worthy competitor. It returns fine search results that it retrieves from sources like Wikipedia and Microsoft’s Live Search. It also offers a fantastic design that not only makes it one of the most attractive search engines on the Web, but one of the best alternatives if you’re tired of Google’s look and feel.

Clusty’s name comes from the company’s unique way of displaying search results. Instead of simply offering results to your queries as you would normally see with more popular services, Clusty also includes a “cluster” function on the left pane, which collects keywords that have relevance to your query and allows you to drill down into them to refine your search and improve your results.

After submitting simple queries to the search engine like “dog” or “cat,” Clusty responded with search results that easily matched Google’s and made finding related queries a cinch with the help of the clusters to the side. The site also responded well when asked to find “Tom’s Guide” and made it easy to find the most relevant results.

To put it to the test, I also queried the service with more complex searches and compared the results to those found on Google. Ironically, Clusty retrieved more search results and actually offered more relevant results than Google did. Even better, its cluster on the side made it much simpler to find additional information relating to my search, “where to find a dog pound in my area,” and created a far more friendly experience.

As a nice added feature, Clusty also allows you to search Wikipedia and jobs, as well as the customary images and news. The ability to search more services right on the Clusty page made it an even more viable search engine to use and reduced the amount of time searching, which should be the aim of any search engine.

Although it may not have the curb appeal Google’s name does, Clusty is a stellar search engine that takes Google’s simplicity and improves upon it in more ways than you would expect.