This week, both InfoSpace and Lycos are introducing search toolbars, making it easier than ever to locate information both on the web and residing on your own computer.
Search toolbars are utilities that let you use search engines directly, bypassing their home pages. They typically are browser plugins, but some reside in the Windows taskbar.
If you haven't used a search toolbar, you should consider trying one. Probably the most well-known is the Google toolbar, but there are many other choices, with options for searching numerous sources beyond Google.
Today, InfoSpace is offering its Dogpile Toolbar. From the Dogpile toolbar, you have access to the 13 major web search engines that Dogpile searches, as well as a number of speciality lookup utilities.
Tomorrow, Lycos is offering its HotBot Quick-Search Deskbar, a nifty search tool that lets you search HotBot's four search major engines, as well as an additional 200 specialized search engines, using shortcut commands. The Deskbar also makes other desktop tools and utilities such as instant messenger, email and calculators accessible with simple commands.
Both toolbars offer many useful customization options.
I'll be taking a close look at each of these new toolbar offerings this week, starting with the HotBot Quick-Search Deskbar tomorrow. On Wednesday I'll review the Dogpile Toolbar. On Thursday, I plan to look at several other search toolbars offered by individuals and companies not affiliated with the major search engines themselves.
Meanwhile, if you're eager to get your hands on a toolbar right away, take a look at the mini-reviews of search toolbars and utilities on the Search Engine Watch site.
Search Toolbars & Utilities
There are a variety of ways you can search and navigate the web without first going directly to a search engine. Search toolbars provide direct access to search engines from within your browser, while meta search utilities make it easy to search more than one search engine at the same time. Search companions often help you "discover" information as you browse pages on the web.
Teoma Offers Free Search Toolbar
SearchDay, June 25, 2002
Teoma has introduced the Teoma Search Bar, a free online navigational tool that lets you search Teoma.com while viewing any web page with Internet Explorer.
Beyond the Google Toolbar
SearchDay, July 15, 2002
UltraBar emulates the most powerful features of the Google toolbar and extends them to virtually any search engine on the web -- and it's free.
NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication's search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.