A metasearch engine is a system that uses information from other search engines to offer complete and adequate answers to a question. It does not have its own database and feeds on others to satisfy its users, so it can not be considered a search engine to use. We could call it a ‘search engine’.
There are several types, but the most common are tourist metasearch engines and employment metasearch engines.
How a metasearch engine works
The first metasearch engine, MetaCrawler, was developed at the University of Washington in 1995 and still exists today. They work in a similar way to any simple search page:the user must write his query in a box and this, in turn, is sent to different search engines to obtain the different answers. The results can appear once gathered (in this case, the waiting time increases a little) or gradually emerge as they are obtained.
Metasearch engines are very interesting in SEO strategies, since, due to the large amount of information they gather, they allow you to search for synonyms or combinations of relevant keywords.
Characteristics of metasearch engines
- By drawing on various sources, the information they offer is more complete and varied.
- In this way, they represent an important saving of time for the user.
- They usually present the results according to their popularity in the search engine from which they come.
- They have filters so that a response does not appear on more than one occasion.
- They allow you to store searches for later queries.
- In most cases, the order of the results does not follow a clear criterion and can be convoluted for the user.
- Its operation is usually slower than that of generic search engines.
- In sectors such as tourism, competition is tough and it is difficult to ensure the presence in these metasearch engines. Therefore, a small investment in online advertising is necessary to surpass the rest of the companies.
- Some have a number of ads that can interfere with navigation.
Examples of metasearch engines
The daily use of metasearch engines is common by people who are actively looking for employment or simply for those who are planning their next vacation. Most do not specify where they get the information, although it is usually one of the most used search engines (Google, Yahoo! and Bing). There are numerous pages of this type, among which the following stand out:
The comparators of flights, hotels and accommodations in general are the most used metasearch engines, since they offer a selection of offers and services at a single click. In addition, they allow you to book tickets and rooms directly, without having to move to the original page.
- Google Hotel Ads
Work metasearch engines are also widespread for the time they allow the user to save. They have filters that allow you to segment by position, type of day, salary, etc. Many are linked directly to LinkedIn to facilitate registration in job offers.
- Indeed. It is the most used to look for work, with 250 million unique users per month.
- Jooble. It collects the offers of 3350 job portals in Spain.
- Trovit. It offers all kinds of products (car, houses, etc.), as well as jobs.
They are metasearch engines that offer information, images, videos, etc., so their interface and their results are very similar to those of Google or any other search engine.
- Ixquick(now StartPage). It defines itself as “the most private search tool in the world” because it does not use tracking cookies or store data about its users.