Since I first got connected years ago, I’ve been on the look for the perfect search engine that reads my mind and gets me the answer that’s most appropriate for me. As I’m sure you can empathize with me, that’s a tough order.
I read once that students can find what they’re looking for within the first ten results from a Google search. That has always stuck with me since it tells me that they’re a whole better at searching than I am. Or, they compromise and move on.
Even that scenario gets more difficult because, if you don’t have an ad blocker installed, the actual results appear after the advertising. Or, maybe the advertising gives the result you want?
Search engines are everywhere – of course, we know of Google, Yahoo!, DuckDuckGo, Bing, and the list goes on. Heck, even dougpete.wordpress.com has a search engine at the top right corner of this page. Why would I go anywhere else since I’ve written and done my research for years now on so many topics! “off the record” gives me license to do what I want on any given day. Let’s not go down that rabbit hole.
When you peel back the fancy wrapping, search engines mostly look all the same. The biggest fight seems to be providing advertising results that take you away from what you’re actually looking for.
So, when I had a chance to poke around with the YOU search engine, I was pleasantly pleased.
You can read a great deal about how it doesn’t sell your data and its take on your privacy here. I do read these terms and I appreciate that lawyers get paid well for their wordsmithing. The reality is that your request comes from an IP address and has to be returned to where it came from so you aren’t wandering around completely anonymously. I think we all know that and have become accustomed to the reality of being online.
What separates YOU from all the rest are the results and how they are displayed. Unlike other search engines which provide a list where some algorithm has determined what is most important, results are displayed both horizontally and vertically. I gave it my acid test and searched for “dougpete”. After all, I should know what the most relevant result should be. (I think, anyway)
The results came from the internet, to be sure, but specifically they came from Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, … as you can see below…
What really hits you between the eyes with the horizontal display results from a source is that YOU recognizes that there might be more than one relevant result from a source. As we know, traditional search engines typically provide one and then move onto the next. So, right off the bat, you’re digging a little deeper. I can’t help but think that this will prove to be very useful for people doing research on a topic.
If you scroll to the bottom of the screen, you can add additional web applications to be searched. YOU also lets you create an account for customization. Your first kick at it doesn’t require this.
With a nod to the traditional approach, you can refine that search by type…
After playing around with it for a while, I really started to appreciate the design and layout that went into it. It really effectively uses all of the screen real estate nicely. It doesn’t seem as fast as a traditional search engine but when you see the results, you can appreciate that more work with the results has gone into its design.
Some of the settings should be familiar – private and safe searching – and the ability to make YOU your default search engine.
I’m intrigued that you can join their Slack channel to discuss items related to YOU. To make it the default search engine, you need to install its own extension – your regular browser probably doesn’t know about YOU just yet.
I think you owe it to yourself to kick the tires on this one and see if it has a place in your browser or your searching routine.