Tag Archives: Houses For Sale

Alternative search engine

Whilst searching for a broad range of search engines on which to promote my website I recently stumbled across a site which I hadn’t seen or heard of in the past which is actually shockingly good. For the last couple of years, Google has been my search engine of choice and is still in the majority of cases the first site that I’ll go to when searching for information on the Internet although the original layout of the site that I’m going to cover today definitely earns it a position as one of my favourites.

Kartoo (www.kartoo.com) is a meta engine which means that it searches more than one database at a time when you look for something on the Internet so that if, for example you typed in ‘houses for sale’ then it may question both AltaVista and Yahoo to bring you the most comprehensive results. In addition it can also intelligently choose which databases to question based on your search phrase so if you were to type in a question such as ‘Where can I view houses for sale?’ then Kartoo would ask a search engine that specialises in recognising natural language such as www.northernlight.com.

The best aspect of this site has to be the interface that it uses as for as long as search engines have been around, their layout has changed very little indeed – You simply type what you want into a box, hit search and then a big list of sites come up for you to choose from. Kartoo on the other hand uses a Macromedia Flash interface which makes things much more graphically intensive which many of you are probably thinking is a stupid idea as surely a graphical search engine will take longer to load and offer no advantages over a tradition engine, right? Whilst it’s true that on the first time using the site it will take a little while to load on a slow connection, repeat visits will be significantly faster and surprisingly the graphics actually help you to navigate your search results quite nicely.

Type in ‘Cheap cartridges in Devon’ into Kartoo and it comes up with a list of possible results all floating on the screen in little balloons and a list of keywords associated with the sites that have been returned focused towards the centre of the page. If you now put your mouse cursor over one of the balloons representing the site you want to go to then the search engine will join together the balloon and all the keywords from the centre of the screen that are associated with that site.

Vice Versa, on that particular search that we just did one of the keywords placed in the centre of the screen was the word ‘canon’ so if you float your mouse over this word then the site will join this word with the balloons of websites using this particular keyword. All of the balloons can be clicked on to open up that particular site or if you click on the top of the balloon then you can search from within that site, search for related sites and so on.

A list of other related searches that you may wish to try is listed down the left hand side of the screen as well as a list of top sites and sponsored links. There is an expert version which offers you greater control over how the results are displayed on your screen as well as more advanced searching options and the ability to save the searches that you’ve performed.

Basically, I recommend that you head to www.kartoo.com and give it a try as it is fairly difficult for me to explain how a graphical interface looks without the aid of pictures; you may hate it, you may love it but at least give it a try.

Fish4.co.uk

It seems to be rare nowadays to see a website advertised on the TV after the recent crisis in the .com industry and so it’s refreshing to see the site www.fish4.co.uk always advertised during prime time viewing. As one of those sites that attempts to cover a broad spectrum of services I thought it was about time that it was reviewed for Click.

The site itself is essentially nothing more than a collection of search engines tailored towards specific categories, from jobs to lettings all accessible from the one front page. So, from the start we have the ability to do a quick search for cars, a quick search for jobs or a quick search for houses in an area of our choosing subject to several search restrictions which we can place such as maximum price, number of bedrooms etc. There are also links to allow you to do searches for homes, local newspaper sites, local lettings as well as a number of buying guides for each kind of product available online.

Below I’ll evaluate roughly what is included under each category as each different area of the site also includes a number of services that you may not be expecting to find within.

Jobs – Involves filling in two sections; what do you want to work as and where you want to do it. Just then hit the search button and it’ll find any jobs that match your criteria although I found the results somewhat inaccurate in terms of the location that I was specifying.

This section also includes specific sections for different career paths, for example there is an entire section dedicated to engineering and an entire section for IT as well as a travel section that offers discount flights for business travellers through Thomas Cook.

Homes – You can search here for houses for sale and houses for rent, specifying the amount you want to pay, the number of bedrooms and the type of property as the search criteria. Addition sections on this category of the site include a mortgage searcher, legal advice, insurance services and guides for moving, selling and buying.

Cars – You start by specifying a make and model of car, the miles you want it to ideally have done, the location of the car and the approximate prices you are willing to pay for it. This page also includes a car loan searcher, insurance advice, a used car valuator as well as links to sections that allow you to search for boats, caravans, vans and motorbikes. This section has a number of guides on road tests, motoring products and services as well as a dealer directory.

There is also a section that you can use to search for local businesses by either specifying the type of business that you’re interested in, the business name or the location of the business. Overall, the site is well designed for ease of navigation although the biggest problem I found is that the amount of information in each section was somewhat limited if you compared it to a dedicated search engine (for example using Autotrader rather than the Fish4 cars section) however this is to be expected really.

Fish4 is however a good place to start for pretty much anything that you’re searching for but should ideally be used in conjunction with targeted sites such as www.autotrader.co.uk for cars or www.yell.co.uk for a business directory.

As far as sellers are concerned, I am unable to comment on the results that are generated by this site as although the prices seem very cost effective it is obviously not of use if no sales are generated as a result. Just to give you some kind of an idea, it costs £5 to advertise your car on the site for two weeks so any readers attempt to advertise on www.fish4.co.uk then please let me know the kind of results you achieve.

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