A metasearcher: what for ?
A metasearcher is a ‘search engine on top of the search engines’. In practice, a metasearcher queries at least two search engines, or up to hundreds of different ones for the best of them. The advantage of a metasearcher is being able to enter a search query just once and to obtain results from many indexes at the same time. Another advantage is the speed of the search: there is no need to go to each search tool, to enter the query and to wait for the results. The disadvantage of this kind of mass querying process is that it does not allow use of each search engine’s full features, and is limited to basic queries using the most common Boolean operators AND, OR, NOT.
Metasearchers can be divided into two categories: online and offline (or downloadable). Online metasearchers often query fewer engines than their downloadable counterparts and do not have all the features (such as archiving) that are offered by software installed on a local computer.
Copernic, the pioneer of metasearch
Copernic Technologies is one of the first companies to commercialize metasearchers. Its eponymous solution is well known to most Internet users, as it has been downloaded many millions of times since its creation. Now known as Copernic Agent, the solution is available in three versions: Basic, Personal and Professional. The differences between these versions are essentially in the number of search engines and categories available, the maximum number of search results, etc. Our laboratory has tested the latest, and most advanced solution, the Professional edition. It includes monitoring, analysis and filtering features that are not available in the other versions of Copernic.