Dogpile isn’t a household name when it comes to search engines, but the feisty little search pioneer has continued to survive over the years even as Google came to dominate the search market.
Instead of attempting to take Google head on, Dogpile attempts to deliver a better search experience by fetching results from numerous search engines including Google, Yahoo and Yandex, and then delivering the best results for your particular query.
Making a Bet on Metasearch
Dogpile is trying to take advantage of the frustration we can have when we can’t seem to find the right results in Google and we have to conduct multiple searches to find what we want. Dogpile wants to be our one-stop shop where we can quickly find the best results on the web through crowdsourcing search engines that find results based on different algorithms. In making its case, Dogpile released research in 2007 that results on major search engines were diverging with increasingly less overlap.
Dogpile uses a technology it terms “Metasearch” to describe its spin on crowdsourcing. When you search something like “Pacers Game 2,” Dogpile fetches results from multiple search engines, analyzes the respective results, eliminates duplicate results and delivers the results it deems the best. This method supposedly gives you the most complete list of results while saving you time. This Metasearch play is in some ways similar to blekko’s 3 Engine Monte, except it’s Dogpile instead of you that’s choosing which results are best (and blending them as necessary).
Arfie, go fetch!
Arfie the mutt has been Dogpile’s friendly mascot since its early days in 1996. He’s a staple on the website and occasionally sits front and center for holiday logos such as a nod to “Lady and the Tramp” on Valentine’s Day.
Today Dogpile is part of Infospace, a tech company that serves a network of over 100 web publishers and has long-standing supply agreements with Google and Yahoo. Infospace also operates two other branded search sites: MetaCrawler and WebCrawler.
While Google and Bing tend to dominate the headlines, sites like Dogpile have occasionally gotten some digital ink over the years as a way to “go beyond Google” and search the results of several search engines at once.
So what do you think of Metasearch offerings like Dogpile? Are you happy with the results you tend to get with Google (or other major search engine), or are you occasionally looking for alternative means to answer your questions?